This is Fr. Morgan Costello.
As a young altar boy I served a load of his masses and a few Easter ceremonies. He was a young likeable priest on his first assignment. This was in the Cenacle Convent, Killiney, where he was chaplain around 1960.
It was around this time that he started writing religious pamphlets for Veritas, the Roman Catholic publishing company. The first pamphlet was a biography of Saint Maria Goretti, a young girl who had been killed while defending her virginity against an attempting rapist.
He moved from there to Castledermot, where I visited him and had a cup of tea and scones.
He moved from there to St. Catherine's, in Meath St. in Dublin's Liberties. I had meanwhile acquired a printing press and got an order from him for a book of baptism certificate blanks, which I duly provided, and fully filled in versions of which are now, no doubt, spread around the city and beyond.
That was the last I saw of him, but I was aware that he was well regarded in the Diocese. At least I assumed that to be the case, as he had been chosen to advance the causes for the beatification/canonisation of Edel Quinn and Matt Talbot.
And there my unremarkable story ends.
Until, that is, during the week in the course of a chat about the baptismal font in St. Catherine's, I mentioned his name to a former colleague. I was shocked when he indicated that Fr. Costello had been involved in abuse in Meath St.
I didn't pursue the matter then, but, today, I googled him and was further shocked and upset to find him charged with repeatedly buggering a young man, who was working in the church, over a period of two years (1967-69). He appeared in court in January 2010 and the case was listed for a hearing on 30 July 2012. The State has since decided not to prosecute the case and it is terminated. The Director of Public Prosecutions does not give reasons for such a move. Morgan Costello is no longer listed in the Dublin diocesan directory.
So why am I posting this when I wasn't the one abused?
I don't really know the answer. The initial shock has turned to anger. And I suppose, in a way, it just brings further home to me that the rational, relatively friendly, world I lived in as a youth has been falling apart in the last few years.
I worked in Jersey (CI) in 1961 and fell in love with the place. Now I find that while I was there, rampant child abuse was taking place in Haut de la Garenne and other places.
The church I grew up in has turned out to be rotten at the core. Even though perpetrated by a minority of priests, the scale of child sex abuse was enormous. Central HQ and others covered it up, and, at a broader level, have held on implacably to power, giving two fingers to the Second Vatican Council and jackbooting the faithfull in the face.
And, of course, there was more abuse, outside church and state institutions, in ordinary homes the length and breadth of the country.
The political system of governance which I had thought a democracy, in the full sense of that word, has turned out to be a sham and a scam.
The European Union, which I initially found inspiring, and which was meant, among other things, to be a counter weight to the USA, has turned out to be the lackey of the war mongering mad max USA administration. It has also failed in its duty of care to its citizens and has created one of the most horrible messes, short of outright war on the home front.
So there really isn't a lot of my youth, outside of my own family, whose integrity has not suffered over the last decades.