October 29, 2005

Comiskey's turbulent priest

The Sunday Business Post

30 October 2005 By Alison O'Connor
The man had been paralysed from the neck down in a car accident. He lay in a hospital bed unable to move. But he was still able to speak, and the story he told sounded more incredible as it went on.

Lying in the ward in theAbuse Tracker Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, Sean Cloney spoke of a priest who had lied, stolen, bullied, cheated and abused.

Back then, in themid-1990s, the stories about Fr Sean Fortune seemed simply too incredible to be true. From the moment the priest arrived in Fethard-on-Sea in south Wexford, Cloney was amazed at the way he wreaked havoc in the townland of Poulfur.

Cloney sensed from the beginning that there was something wrong with the new curate.

“He was the greatest liar that I ever met - a horrible man. He had all the deadly sins except sloth,” said Cloney, before explaining that he had his own trouble with the clergy in the 1950s.

Cloney was the man whose early married life was captured on celluloid in the film A Love Divided a few years ago. The movie told the story of a boycott of Protestant businesses in Fethard-on-Sea in the 1950s, after followers of Ian Paisley abducted Cloney's Protestant wife Sheila and their daughter to prevent her having to attend a Catholic school.

Posted by kshaw at October 29, 2005 06:35 PM