A priest notorious in school for 'tampering with boys'
Henry Maloney’s activities caused a crisis in the elite school in which he taught, writes PATSY McGARRY
CHRIST THE KING COLLEGE, BO
In March 2009, Spiritan/Holy Ghost priest Fr Henry Maloney pleaded guilty in the Circuit Criminal Court to abusing Mark Vincent Healy and the late Paul Daly when both were pupils at St Marys College in Dublins Rathmines between 1969 and 1973. He was given a suspended sentence due to ill health and as he was already under strict supervision at Kimmage Manor in Dublin, where he has been since.
In 2000 he had been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for sexually assaulting two other boys at St Mary’s in the early 1970s. He served 15 months. Maloney had been dean of discipline and junior form tutor at St Mary’s, where he also coached boys in rugby.
He has been out of ministry and under supervision since 1996.
Maloney was ordained in 1967 and taught at St Mary’s between 1968 and 1973, following which he was transferred to the Spiritan/Holy Ghost Christ the King College in Bo, Sierra Leone.
It is an elite school attended by the sons of leaders in that society, many of whose fathers had also attended the college. Among its best-known past pupils are Solomon Berewa, vice-president of Sierra Leone from May 2002 to September 2007; lawyer Charles Margai, leader of the country’s third-largest political party, the People’s Movement for Democratic Change; and Kandeh Yumkella, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.
Almost immediately following Maloney’s arrival at Christ the King College in 1973 there were problems. He had been appointed boarding school master and taught history and English.
“John” was admitted as a boarder there in 1973, at the age of 11. Speaking from Sierra Leone, he recalled that his family was “very Catholic . . . very committed to the church”.
In those early years at Christ the King he was an altar boy and served Masses said by Maloney. The priest would fondle him, sometimes in public, even in class. John had no idea what was going on and, though no other priest did these things to him, he thought Maloney was “being playful”. It was “quite subtle” he said.
It also happened when John was ill and alone in the dormitory. Maloney removed his trousers and fondled him. He found the abuse “bizarre” at the time but really did not understand what was going on. He recalled how in the dormitory Maloney “at night, very late, he would pick on boys in bed”.
As he got a bit older John realised what was happening “wasn’t correct”. He began to dodge Maloney. The priest complained to John’s father that he was not a good boy.
John’s close friend and former classmate at the school, Sahid, is in California. Speaking to The Irish Times from there, Sahid recalled that Maloney liked to refer to himself as “Hawkeye”, “because he said he could see everything”. Sahid said the boys had soon changed this to “F***eye”, because of “his tampering with boys” there. Soon it was known among the students that Maloney was abusing as many as 10 junior boys but “in those situations it didn’t matter what the boys said,” he said.
But this was to provoke a major crisis at the college. Senior student boarders took action one night. Graffiti and lewd drawings referring to Maloney and his activities began to appear on walls and buildings around the college campus. It caused a scandal.