Email Us My Blog

Father Michael Cleary + Phyllis and Ross Hamilton

Some years ago I wrote in relation to Father Michael Cleary and Phyllis Hamilton:

I did not know Father Michael Cleary personally but I guessed what was going to happen to Phyllis Hamilton and her son after his death.

Ross Hamilton now says that says that his mother was slowly drinking herself to death as the nation watched her story unfold.
"We kind of became D-list celebrities and everyone wanted a slice. There was huge amounts of sympathy while others called us liars and money-grabbers.

Father Cleary died in December 1993. The book "Secret Love: My Life with Father Michael Cleary" was published in October 1995. Phyllis Hamilton's co-author was Paul Williams, crime correspondent for the Sunday World. Paul Williams is an anti-cleric who went on to slander Nora Wall after her short-lived conviction for rape in June 1999.

Ross Hamilton and his mother lost all of Father Cleary's friends as a result of the scandal. They gained nothing in return. Anti-clerical journalists regarded them as "D-list celebrities" useful for trumpeting their own hatred of the Catholic Church, but not to be taken seriously as human beings in their own right.

Ross Hamilton says that his mother was "naive" but I suspect she was well able to understand what was happening. No wonder she "pined away to death for my dad as a direct result of the whole furore."

Ross Hamilton himself seems to be going in the same direction - giving media interviews and participating in "documentaries" that defame Father Cleary, while at the same time Ross proclaims that he has "forgiven" him!


How Medical Council Decided to Admonish Ivor Browne, by Fintan O'Toole - 11 January 1997

Sisters of the Unholy Secrets, Phyllis Hamilton and Annie Murphy - 21 January 1999

Court Rules Ross is Fr Cleary's Son - 8 February 1999

Deceased Priest's Lover Wins Libel Actions, Irish Times - 8 November 2000

Funeral Told of Pair's Secret Code, Irish Independent - 30 January 2001

Church Paid Son of Fr Michael Cleary to Quit Chidhood Home, Sunday Independent - 10 August 2003

Cannabis and Public Order Charges Against Priest's 'Secret Son' Dropped - 29 June 2005

Father Michael Cleary and Phyllis Hamilton (I have Forgiven Dad says Ross Hamilton) - October 2005

Fear Contributed to Cleary's Early Death says Ross Hamilton - 3 September 2007

Flawed Yes, but Here was a Priest who Knew his Job by Martina Devlin (Irish Indep) - 6 September 2007

Fr Cleary Less of a Hypocrite than the Media, Church Leaders and Society, Irish Examiner - 8 September 2007

Cut From a Different Cloth, Irish Times - 8 September 2007

Ross Hamilton: 'I'm Trying to Put Everything Behind Me and Move On' , Sunday Tribune - 8 February 2009

Model Son of Scandal Priest Makes Catwalk Debut, Irish Independent - 26 March 2009

Priest's Son on Drug Charge, Evening Herald - 22 October 2010

Fr Cleary's Son Hamilton 'Broke Doorman's Nose', Irish Examiner - 9 May 2011