Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Tale of Two Priests

Two priests from my youth whose lives took on very different shapes.

Above, Fr. Ken McCabe, whom I never met but who wrote me a story for the Shanganagh Valley News which I was editing in 1958. I heard no more from or about him until I read a piece in the Irish Times last year which told me, at least in part, what had happened to him since then. He blew the whistle on abuse in the Irish industrial schools and ran foul of both Church and State as a result.

He made a new start in London where he founded a home for boys in trouble, ministered there for forty years, and was attempting to replicate this in Ireland when he took ill. He died two months ago. He has been paid warm tributes on this site, in the Jesuit's Newsletter, and on a new Facebook page, set up after his death by some of those whose lives he helped to shape.

Below, Fr. Morgan Costello, whom I knew well. At least I thought I did. He was well in with the Diocese, wrote devotional pamphlets - including a life of Maria Goretti, and was chosen to promote the cause for canonisation of Edel Quinn and of Matt Talbot.

Two years ago, after an extensive police investigation, he was charged with indecently assaulting a young man in St. Catherine's in Meath St. in the late 1960s. In June of last year, the DPP decided not to pursue the charges. The DPP never gives a reason for this but Fr. Costello's first appearance in court was in a wheelchair, so his health was hardly the best and I don't know the condition of the alleged victim.

Two priests. Two very different outcomes.

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