- Eamon Casey
The Most Reverend
Eamon Casey (b.
April 24, 1927in Firies, County Kerry) is the Roman Catholic Bishop Emeritusof Galwayand Kilmacduagh, Ireland. He was formerly Bishop of Kerry. Having renounced the office of bishop, Bishop Casey does not hold a Titular See. [ [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bcaseye.html History of Bishop Casey] ]
Casey was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kerry on
June 17, 1951and appointed Bishop of Kerry on July 17, 1969, a position he held until 1976, when he was appointed bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and apostolic administrator of Kilfenora. While in Galway, he was seen as a progressive, a significant change in a diocese that had been led for nearly forty years by the very conservative Michael Browne (Bishop from 1937 to 1976). Casey was well-known for both his work with Irish emigrants in Britain, and having taken the side of the Dunnes Stores' staff who were locked out from 1982 to 1986 for refusing to sell goods from apartheid South Africa. He was also a vocal opponent of US foreign policy in Nicaraguaand as a result opposed the 1984 visit of Ronald Reaganto Ireland, refusing to meet him when he came to Galway.
Casey had had a sexual relationship with Annie Murphy, an American divorcée and together they had had a son, Peter, born in 1974. It is alleged that he used church funds to fulfil his maintenance obligations; whether this was with or without the knowledge of his colleagues remains a matter of conjecture. When the matter became public in May 1992, Bishop Casey resigned his post. He then left for a missionary position in
Ecuador. It is also alleged that the church funds were repaid on his behalf by friends. Casey was succeeded by Bishop James McLoughlin, who served in the post until his own retirement on July 3, 2005.
In subsequent years, serious sexual crimes involving other Irish
priestshave become known, and the scandal around these exceeded that around Casey's actions. However, at the time it was regarded as a major scandal, as Casey was a prominent and outspoken figure in the Catholic Church in Ireland. The sense of shock at the time was also heightened by the fact that Casey was popular and respected as a progressive church leader. His resignation is widely regarded as a pivotal moment when the Roman Catholic hierarchybegan to lose its considerable influence over the society and politics of the Republic of Ireland.
Abuse allegations 2005
Casey was investigated in connection with 13 allegations reported in November 2005 by a woman, a native of
Limerickbut living in the UK, concerning incidents that took place over 30 years earlier. A Garda Síochánainquiry ensued but the Director of Public Prosecutionsdecided in August 2006 not to bring charges against Casey. [ cite news | url = http://www.breakingnews.ie/2006/08/29/story274415.html | title = Bishop Casey cleared of sex abuse charges | publisher = breakingnews.ie | date = 2006-08-29] [ cite news | url = http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1679065&issue_id=14578 | title = Casey cleared of sex claim by gardaí | publisher = Irish Independent | date = 2006-08-30] The Irish bishops will now determine if Casey can be restored to full priestly ministry through their own internal procedures.
Return to Ireland
January 20, 2006, it was announced that Casey would be returning to Ireland. Then on January 22, 2006, Casey said that he would delay his return until his name was cleared by an Gardaí of a new allegation of improper conduct (relating to his time in Ireland). However, he returned to the Republic of Ireland on February 5, 2006and resides in Shanaglish, a village near GortCo Galway.
* Bishop Casey is the alleged basis for the character of Bishop Leonard Brennan in the Channel4 sitcom
Father Ted, a corrupt and extravagant bishop with a son in America. [cite web |url = http://www.tv.com/father-ted/show/3409/reviews.html?review_id=227948 | title = Father ted Show | publisher = TV.com |accessdate = 2006-09-17 ]
* The general hilarity that the incident naturally caused in Ireland was substantial, the old joke being that contraceptives began to referred to as "Just in Caseys"! This expression was adopted as the trade name of a condom distributor in Northern Ireland. [http://www.justncasey.com/]
* Bishop Casey also founded and set up Shelter (the homeless charity) along with Des Wilson.
* Bishop Casey is the subject of Martin Egan's song "Casey", sung by
* Bishop Casey is also the subject of the Saw Doctors song "Howya Julia".
*Annie Murphy, Peter de Rosa; Forbidden Fruit - "The true story of my secret love for the Bishop of Galway" (1993); ISBN 978-0-316-90573-2
* [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bcaseye.html Catholic-Hierarchy.org info on Eamon Casey]
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