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.
John recalled how juniors at the college were “protected by seniors, the senior prefects. They were a bit more mature.” He also remembered not knowing what the graffiti meant. “I didn’t know the meaning of the words. I wasn’t familiar with the language.” The seniors, he said, “were highly respected by the younger boys”.
In the investigation by school authorities he recalled that about 12 senior boys admitted responsibility. All were expelled. Some were sons of major figures in Sierra Leone society. The parents were scandalised by their sons’ behaviour.
Bishop Joseph Henry Ganda of the local diocese, Kenema, was contacted by some parents to mediate and it was agreed the 12 senior boys would be allowed attend the college as day pupils to finish their exams.
John recalled that after that crisis Maloney “stopped for a short time” but soon resumed his old ways at the college.
“Ed” has been in the UK for many years but remembers the 1977 June day when Maloney sat him “inappropriately” on his lap at Christ the King College. He recalled it was an admissions interview and he, then 11, was with his father. The priest noticed that both he and Ed were left-handed so he invited the boy to sit on his lap and write “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. When he began as a boarder at the college the following September, Maloney was Ed’s religion and maths teacher.
There was a maths exam at the end of November and Ed had to go to Maloney’s residence to get his results. There the priest undressed, fondled and kissed him. The same thing happened Ed when he got his religion results.
Ed never went to Maloney’s residence again. He recalled that the priest was “very resentful” about this. “He didn’t like me very much.” He said Maloney’s activities were “quite rife . . . and well known in the school.” He didn’t know whether other teachers there knew about Maloney’s activities “but it was not a secret among the students”.
“John” recalls how, the year before Maloney left the college in 1978 he was removed from the post as boarding house master – the only contact thereafter he had with students was in the classroom. “With hindsight now I think he was cut off from contact with the students,” John said.
In 1979, Maloney was appointed to Blackrock College in Dublin, where he remained until he took up an appointment at Rockwell College, Co Tipperary, in 1980. He was there until 1996, when he was removed from ministry and placed under strict supervision.
When the details of these allegations were put to the Spiritan/Holy Ghost Fathers congregation, a spokesman said that “whilst we cannot comment on the specifics of the allegations, we can say, with profound regret, that the form of abuse described is consistent with complaints that we have received about the individual priests mentioned” (including Maloney).
The spokesman continued that “with regard to a ‘major crisis’, as described by ‘John’ at Christ the King College, Bo in 1973/1974, we are endeavouring to gather as much information as we can to enable us clarify events which occurred at that time”.
CONVICTED PRIEST: ONLINE COMMENTS
FR HENRY Moloney used internet access in October 2010 to point out that there are MANY [his emphasis] ways in which to abuse a child, and all of them are practiced by some parents and caretakers.
His access to the internet was stopped in July 2011 when one of his victims, Mark Vincent Healy, brought it to the attention of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin. He recalled Dr Martin being “very shocked” at the time.
In 2010 Moloney was, as he continues to be, under his congregations supervision at Kimmage Manor in Dublin. In 2000 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually assaulting two boys at St Mary’s in the early 1970s. He served 15 months.
On March 19th, 2009, he pleaded guilty to abusing two other boys, including Mr Healy, in the late 1960s/early 1970s at St Mary’s and was sentenced to 18 months, which was suspended for three years. He was ordered to continue to live with the Holy Ghost Fathers and not have any supervisory role with children under 13.
On September 22nd, 2010, just over 18 months after he received that last sentence, he joined the Catholic Answers Forum blog as an observing member.
In his first posting, on October 2nd, 2010, under a heading “Response to the sex abuse situation” he signed himself as “Henry Moloney and began: Hello! My name is known to you . . . so this limits what I can say.
He accepted all the comments about the paedophile priests as betraying Christ, church, family friends, but especially the innocent victims. However, he found it unacceptable to find we name such priests as ’Judases.
He warned: The only Judge is Christ – so beware of taking up such a position on any failings by any Christian be he priest or lay person. We do so at our peril.
In a second posting, dated October 6th, 2010, Moloney said: The vast majority of child sexual abusers can not be rehabilitated, and they are and will remain a danger to children as long as they live. But, we should not limit those that we condemn to just those who abuse children sexually. We should modify our laws so that those who abuse children physically, mentally or in any other way are also subject to harsh legal punishment.
A posting dated February 19th, 2011, asks Is this the Rev Fr Henry F Moloney, CSSp who was our boarding home master at Christ the King College in Bo, Sierra Leone. Can someone help out please. It was signed “Stipose”, whose identity is known to The Irish Times.
A second entry from Stipose, dated February 23rd, 2011, reproduced an Irish Times report of March 20th 2009 dealing with Moloneys sentence hearing at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin the previous day.
Stipose continued: “It is proving to be very disturbing: of course he was a prime suspect when we were in school for sexually molesting and abusing boys; that it is now proven, I am finding [it] very hard to deal with this . . .”