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Thomas Morris, Archbishop of Cashel

Archbishop Thomas Morris

This is one of eight cases in the period 1994 to 2006 in which false sexual allegations were made against an Irish Bishop. In this case an allegation was made in an American court in 2006 that the late Archbishop Thomas Morris had ordained OliverO'Grady as a priest in 1971 while knowing that he had a propensity to molest children. On December 27, 2006, the California court found that, “There is no admissible evidence that Cashel & Emly knew that O’Grady had a propensity to molest children.”

In a statement on 3 January 2007 the current Archbishop of Cashel Dermot Clifford said thhat

"During the last six months many inflammatory accusations have been made concerning the knowledge and the conduct of church officials in Ireland concerning Oliver O’Grady. These accusations have been reported in many newspapers and on the radio. The source of most of these accusations is Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine monk, who is now employed by the lawyer who has pursued these claims against the Archdiocese of Cashel & Emly. Mr Wall has been a guest on radio programmes and has been quoted in most of the newspaper stories about this case.

The most inflammatory accusation made in this matter is that the late Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, the Most Reverend Thomas Morris, knew Oliver O’Grady was a potential abuser of children when he completed his seminary studies and was ordained before he moved to California. This accusation has been conclusively refuted by the court in California which has stated in its order dismissing the case that: “There is no admissible evidence that Cashel & Emly knew that O’Grady had a propensity to molest children and that the ordination of O’Grady would therefore give him a position of authority that would permit him to cause harm in other locations.”

The order of California court also found that Patrick Wall is not a credible witness concerning church procedures or doctrine. In two separate places in the order of the California court, the court states that: “The court finds that the testimony of the defense witnesses on matters of church procedures, doctrine, and Canon Law is more credible than that of Mr. Wall.

The dismissal of the claim by the California Court was reported by John Cooney (and Ralph Riegal) in the Irish Independent on 4 January 2007. Nevertheless on 29 June 2010 John Cooney repeated the same allegation - including a reference to Patrick Wall. On 31 July 2010 the Irish Independent published a "Clarification" (aka apology?).


Archbishop Thomas Morris: A Man Who Possessed a Native Earthiness - Obituary by John Horgan - January1997

Archbishop Thomas Morris, Obituary by Archdiocese

Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O'Grady - January 2007

Irish Catholic Bishops Media Centre - Press Release 3rd January 2007

Repetition of Slander re Archbishop of Cashel, Irish Independent (John Cooney) - June/July 2010