The Father Michael Cleary documentary

Leopold Bloom

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2007
Messages
97
Watched it in its entirety. Over-riding impression: when Phyllis Hamilton and her son first decided to go public they were threatened with extreme violence by the scumbags in Ballyfermot and Finglas whom Cleary had befriended.
 


L'Chaim

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
18,736
He was a horrible person. He only thought of himself. He decided to become a priest. When he fell in love with Phyllis Hamilton, he could have done the decent and honourable thing and left the church and become a family man. But he didn't do that. One of the seven deadly sins is pride and he had it in spades. He loved his fame and he went out of his way to court it. And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc. He was a hypocrite of the highest order. And at the end of his life he left Phyllis hamilton and his son with nothing. He didn't even acknowledge the lad as his son. The only decent thing Michael Cleary did was to die!
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
46
L'Chaim said:
He was a horrible person. He only thought of himself. He decided to become a priest. When he fell in love with Phyllis Hamilton, he could have done the decent and honourable thing and left the church and become a family man. But he didn't do that. One of the seven deadly sins is pride and he had it in spades. He loved his fame and he went out of his way to court it. And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc. He was a hypocrite of the highest order. And at the end of his life he left Phyllis hamilton and his son with nothing. He didn't even acknowledge the lad as his son. The only decent thing Michael Cleary did was to die!
You judgemental prick .
 

green

Active member
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
136
Website
www.younggreens.ie
L'Chaim said:
And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc.
Actually, unless I completely misheard the dialogue, the documentary contained a scene of him talking to a room full of teenage girls where he said something along the lines of "you shouldn't have sex before marriage but, if you do, be sure to always use a condom", which took me a little aback.
 

L'Chaim

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
18,736
}IknowurbutwhatamI{ said:
[quote="L'Chaim":l81ctue4]He was a horrible person. He only thought of himself. He decided to become a priest. When he fell in love with Phyllis Hamilton, he could have done the decent and honourable thing and left the church and become a family man. But he didn't do that. One of the seven deadly sins is pride and he had it in spades. He loved his fame and he went out of his way to court it. And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc. He was a hypocrite of the highest order. And at the end of his life he left Phyllis hamilton and his son with nothing. He didn't even acknowledge the lad as his son. The only decent thing Michael Cleary did was to die!
You judgemental prick .[/quote:l81ctue4]

Did I sum up his double standards wrong? His public life was an act. He didn't practice what he presched, which wouldn't be a big issue really....except for the dreadful way he treated Phyllis hamiltom and his son. His son said that Phyllis Hamilton drank herself to death and the two of them got more abuse than any people in their positions deserved. And all because of him. He wasn't a man!
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
46
L'Chaim said:
He wasn't a man!
Cleary was human like the rest of us, he made mistakes. Let him rest in peace.
 

Insider2007

Active member
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Messages
213
}IknowurbutwhatamI{ said:
[quote="L'Chaim":2f61xkvn] He wasn't a man!
Cleary was human like the rest of us, he made mistakes. Let him rest in peace.[/quote:2f61xkvn]

The only difference is that the rest of us don't get up on pulpits and lay down the moral law, and then go back to bed with your girlfriend.

One of the interesting points was his anger that Casey had not confided in him about he having a son, as Cleary had confided in Casey. He went ballistic, according to a member of his family, calling him a "bastard" and thought Casey a hypocrite.

Funny enough when the story about Cleary came out, it was revealed that he was vicious to women who had relationships with priests. One woman who went to him was reduced to tears by how he spoke to her. And then it turned out he was doing the same.

The irony of it. Casey lashed out at Cleary over having a girlfiend and son. Cleary lashed out at other priests and their partners over having sexual relationships. Yet both Cleary and Casey were doing the very things they were condemning others for doing! :roll: :roll: :roll:

Yes Cleary had many good points. He did great work in communities. But what was striking was that Cleary was ultimately a hypocrite who did not even tell his own family of his child, and even though dying lied to his own family when one of the family, thinking he had already done so, confirmed that Ross was his son.

What struck me was the number of people he hurt. His sister is still clearly traumatised at discovering that her beloved brother broke his vows. His nieces are still rocked by what was revealed after his death. His son went off the rails after his parents' death, and has been left with no family member given that Cleary's lies destroyed the chances of his family being able to come to terms with Ross. Whatever about the good the man did in other families, he brought devastation and heartbreak to his own. It is hard to forgive a man who even when dying, lies about his own son to his family. Cleary struck me as a basically weak man with an ego. If he could not act honourably towards his own family, how can we honesty say that he acted honourably towards others, and that how he treated others was as much about himself and his ego as it was about doing right.

BTW those of us who remember his radio show remember many times where he came across as vindictive and cruel. He made comments about the victim of statutory rape in the X case that drew grasps. How a supposed Christian could make those comments puzzled me then and puzzled me now.

Ultimately it struck me that Clearly was simply a weak egotist who used everyone around him to massage his own ego. He bullied his partner into putting up their first child for adoption, and had his second son put in foster care in case he might let slip the true identity of his father. Ross avoided being adopted only because his mother stood up to Cleary having failed to do so over her first son. Cleary's behaviour towards his family was despicable.
 

Colada

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
150
Website
colada.bebo.com
I saw the documentary and found it equally fascinating and disturbing.

Cleary typified the double-standards set not only by the Catholic Church in those dark days, but also by the gombeen politics of men like Haughey, and in truth - the wider underbelly of Irish society.

From top to bottom this country was full of 'contradictions' at best, and pure hypocrisy at worst. Cleary was truly a man of his time.

Thanks to the revelations about the behaviour of our 'betters', we have dropped the pretence, and now we see the kind of society we really always were beneath the mock puritanism - a populace of greedy, grasping, self servers.

We've swapped the old holy joe crap for the new 'grab it while its going' crap.

The Right Wing Establishment and Corporatists are the new Clergy of Capitalism, and just as self righteous and fundamentalist as the 'ancien regime'.

The only person who came out of it all looking decent was youg Ross Cleary. He seemed an intelligent guy, although I read he's had rough times since his mother died. Thats understandable given the circumstances, but I wish him well.
If I ever bump into him I'd be honoured to buy him a pint.
 

Insider2007

Active member
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Messages
213
Colada said:
The only person who came out of it all looking decent was youg Ross Cleary. He seemed an intelligent guy, although I read he's had rough times since his mother died. Thats understandable given the circumstances, but I wish him well.
If I ever bump into him I'd be honoured to buy him a pint.
He came out of it as very genuine young guy who seemed to be very unlucky over who his parents and paternal family were.

The film certainly showed that he has the 'presence' of his father, not just physically but in terms of a certain charisma. It was nice also to see old ladies come up to him and say nice things about him and his father. He seemed genuinely touched by their warmth to him.

I'd certainly like to buy him a pint if I ever met him. He has had a rough time, a rough family life and a rather selfish father. It is a pity that Cleary's family cannot reconcile themselves to the fact that there is a child of their brother/uncle out there. You would think by now they would make the effort. To give him his due, Casey has reconciled with his son and Annie Murphy and they all appear to have a close bond and friendship. It could have been so very different if Cleary had shown as much concern for the welfare of his son as he showed for the protection of his own image.

It was interesting also to hear Paul Williams. I have dealt with Paul a few times. He has always struck me as an honest guy. If he says the church behaved disgracefully after Cleary's death based on my experiences of Paul privately I would believe him. I do remember that Cleary left his partner and son without even a place to live. The church tried to kick them out of the house they had lived in, and by not acknowledging his son, Cleary had left him with no legal rights to Cleary's estate (Cleary was not poor, shall we say). The Hamiltons had to fight to hold on to their home. Christianity was not much in evidence in the behaviour of the Church after Cleary's death.
 

lostexpectation

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
13,988
Website
dublinstreams.blogspot.com
L'Chaim said:
He was a horrible person. He only thought of himself. He decided to become a priest. When he fell in love with Phyllis Hamilton, he could have done the decent and honourable thing and left the church and become a family man. But he didn't do that. One of the seven deadly sins is pride and he had it in spades. He loved his fame and he went out of his way to court it. And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc. He was a hypocrite of the highest order. And at the end of his life he left Phyllis hamilton and his son with nothing. He didn't even acknowledge the lad as his son.
i think what you've said here is true, although at the end I had some sympathy for him because of the country and family he was brought up in put much force on him to come a priest.
 

kerrynorth

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
1,525
}IknowurbutwhatamI{ said:
[quote="L'Chaim":3biqv59j]He was a horrible person. He only thought of himself. He decided to become a priest. When he fell in love with Phyllis Hamilton, he could have done the decent and honourable thing and left the church and become a family man. But he didn't do that. One of the seven deadly sins is pride and he had it in spades. He loved his fame and he went out of his way to court it. And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc. He was a hypocrite of the highest order. And at the end of his life he left Phyllis hamilton and his son with nothing. He didn't even acknowledge the lad as his son. The only decent thing Michael Cleary did was to die!
You judgemental prick .[/quote:3biqv59j] Some harsh language but I think the sentiments expressed are on the money.
 

Destiny's Soldier

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
2,328
The only thing L'Chaim said which was over the top was: "The Only decent thing Cleary did was to die. "

Cleary reminded me of Ron Moody (i think his name is) who played fagan in Oliver Twist.

Didnt see the documentary, but anybody who'd live a double life to that extent of preaching the opposite of what you do in reality is a cheat.

Judgemental Prick as IknowurbutwhatamI says, is not appropriate.
 

Briongloid

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
7
L'Chaim said:
He was a horrible person. He only thought of himself. He decided to become a priest. When he fell in love with Phyllis Hamilton, he could have done the decent and honourable thing and left the church and become a family man. But he didn't do that. One of the seven deadly sins is pride and he had it in spades. He loved his fame and he went out of his way to court it. And all the time he was living with Phyllis Hamilton, he was toeing the church line on sex before marriage, contraception etc. He was a hypocrite of the highest order. And at the end of his life he left Phyllis hamilton and his son with nothing. He didn't even acknowledge the lad as his son. The only decent thing Michael Cleary did was to die!

absolutely right. the man had no honour.

if you get a woman pregnant the honourable thing to do is marry her. even more so if you're a priest.

he just couldn't give up the trappings of being the "celebrity priest"...
 

Limerick Lad

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2006
Messages
4,596
Michael Cleary was a product of De Valera and McQuaid's Ireland. where if it wasn't acknowledged, it didn't happen.
While charismatic and outgoing to the public, he was obviously a deeply troubled man in private living a hypocritical life, preaching one thing while doing the opposite. Watching the documentary, seeing the devastation and havoc he caused to his "wife", son and wider family it's hard to have sympathy with him. When given the opportunity to acknowledge his son to his siblings towards the end of his life, when it would have made little or no difference to him personally except to his pride, he denied it repeatedly causing an irrevocable split between his son and his family in the aftermath of his death.
 

TheBear

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
234
Insider2007 said:
I do remember that Cleary left his partner and son without even a place to live. The church tried to kick them out of the house they had lived in, and by not acknowledging his son, Cleary had left him with no legal rights to Cleary's estate (Cleary was not poor, shall we say). The Hamiltons had to fight to hold on to their home. Christianity was not much in evidence in the behaviour of the Church after Cleary's death.
What added insult to injury became apparent only after the mother died. When the Church finally relented and granted the family somewhere to live, it was for the duration of both of their lives. They chose to interpret this as being for as long as they were both alive. Within days of his mother dying, Ross was made homeless.

A very decent guy, who has suffered an almost unimaginable series of blows in his life.
 

TheBear

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
234
<Mod>And I've moved the thread, as it doesn't really constitute Current Affairs.</Mod>
 

Aindriu

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
8,621
I didn't watch the documentary but have read about the man. It is further evidence for me that it is about time the RCC stopped this ridiculous farce about Priests having to be single and celibate. All the Protestant non-denominational groups (Baptist, Methodist etc) have always allowed their ministers to marry. So too do Jewish Rabbis. None of these see marriage and families as being a conflict of interests.
 

The Earl of Desmond

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
232
The only reason RC priests have to be celibate is that the Church did not want to have to provide for their widows and children. We know some Popes were gay and/or had children.

We also the RC church practically sold woman who got pregnant into slavery and lets not forget the many religious alive still who knew exactly what was going on and lets not forget that weak and pathetic Minister Michael Woods who so utterly failed to stand up against the Church. Lets also not forget that Cardinal O'Connell and his reaction.

No human being isp erfect but the RC church displayed such a barbaric lack of basic humanity and such staggering hyprocisy it deserves in return total comtempt.

How can anyone look a priest or nun in the face and wonder what abuse they inflicted on someone else.
 

Leopold Bloom

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2007
Messages
97
irishpeoplearewhingers said:
Did you ever see anyone who smoked as much as that guy?
Yes, never without a fag in his hand.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top