Father Ted, Can It Get Any Worse.

Well he is back and do not tell me you don’t know who I am talking about.  I will give you a clue.  He is a pinchbeck headmaster, one in name only without the qualities of people with that title.  He is an ultra right wing Catholic, steeped in the falangist philosophy of Spain where he spent his young life washing his dishes in the backwaters of Opus Dei.

I think you are with me now, yes give three ringing farts for the second coming of Mr Daniel Kearney, Lord High Headmaster of St Bede’s College in Manchester, back from his hard earned sabbatical or extended home leave as his doting deputy, Mrs Pike, called it.  A year in the job and he needs a few months off to recuperate.  Well he certainly got it.  After the stumbling, stuttering, incident ridden first year of his tenancy, he is back to torment the staff with his ridiculous ideas on how to run a second level educational establishment into the ground, which had run very successfully under its previous head, the sorely wronged Mr Mike Barber, until the putsch when Kearney in his odious Iberian way took charge with the full support of the nodders who call themselves a Board Of Governors, led by that imperious and ruddy complexioned Monsignor Michael Quinlan.

The staff since that time have been hopping mad at his foolish antics, their problem like so many groups of teachers is that they have no proper leader.  Teachers of necessity are guides rather than leaders, they lack the qualities of rumbustiousness and drive that is necessary for one with skulduggery at the top of their list.  I will volunteer if they would have me but I doubt if they could force themselves so low.

The staff looked on,  as Kearney’s star was in the ascendant and as teachers who had served the school admirably, were treated abominably.  All they, the staff that is, were able to do was stamp their feet and mutter and moan like demented banshees as the school plunged inexorably into disarray, its head held up above the raging waters of scandal by parent’s fees and they seemed happy enough to let the school sacrifice their children while they got on with their happy business of earning.

Now the morale and determination is at an all time low as the established staff reel at the ridiculous behaviour of Kearney’s under-educated, over-promoted yes men, who have now over the last year been promoted into positions of control like the government of some eastern European revisionist state.

The other day Kearney called the staff together for an unplanned staff bullying session, it is in this arena that he tends to get his kicks.  I am beginning to think that he is probably a psychopath along with all his other charming attributes.  It was in this meeting whilst obviously talking about the financial position of the school, plagued by diminishing income and rising costs which have only been covered up by some nifty accountancy bookkeeping, that he told the assembled that in the interests of openness and transparency they ought to know that after his first years unremitting hard labours, his salary was so much and that was a lot less than Mr Barber, the previous head, was getting 18 months previously and so it should be when he takes extended home leave at the drop of a hat.  He seemed to want his disaffected, much maligned staff to come rushing forward, pound notes in hand, to offer  their hard earned to the charitable coffers of the College.   My feeling is that in the interests of openness and transparency Mr Kearney should realise he is a square peg in a round hole, he should work the rest of the year for nothing and then piss off and take his Manchester City footballers finishing school with him and set up elsewhere, preferably in the High Sierras.

He seems, Dan Kearney that is, to be trying to restabilise the ship by pulling the bung out of the bottom of the hull to allow the hulk to fill itself up to the gunwhales and in so doing making it an easy task to scuttle her when the time comes and mark my word that time is nigh.  Things are moving at a faster pace than ever he or in fact I imagined.  Yesterday the school’s Achilles or Hector, depending on what side of the Hellespont you live, came a cropper.  For the purposes of simplicity we will call this man, this man of God,  Achillor and let us hope that he has not become one already.

This man who has jumped from nowhere, sphinx-like out of the ashes of Duggan, Dodgeon and their ilk, and who for some inexplicable reason is only understood by the inner most denizens of the Holy Roman Church, was granted powers financial in the running of the school.  Some would call him an honest to goodness parish priest from St Mary’s in Denton, a little parish to the east of Manchester, others would know him better as a Machiavellian misanthrope.  His powers lie behind the throne, Achillor was Cardinal Richelieu to Kearney’s Louis XIII, he it was who organised the 2011 putsch, the florid Quinlan’s right hand man and assassin.

Yes we are talking about plain Fr Timothy Hopkins, a Governor of St Bede’s College in Manchester and a Diocese Of Salford representative on the City of Manchester Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  With the massive strides this man made over the last few years he was obviously monsignorial material in the making, he used to walk round St Bede’s College as though he owned the place.  Tommy Duggan would have been dancing in his grave, Terry Dodgeon would have been pouring himself a final drop of craythur at this man’s mighty progress.  He was everything they had hoped for in a regurgitated form of their latter-day selves.  The tortured staff thought differently, they used to call him Father Ted, Achillor to me and you

Who was right?  Well yesterday news came through that must have been devastating to the Bishop of Salford , his Diocesan Trustees, the Governors of St Bede’s and to Mr Pedro Kearney himself.  Allegations of a sexual nature had been raised, the Police and the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) are investigating.  This is,  if proved, a very, very serious matter and these two organisations are the best placed to handle these smears.  Priests can no longer hide behind the cassocks of bishops or the gowns of headmasters.  Fr Timothy Hopkins has had to step down.

Let us just say that allegations are that, just words, until investigations takes place but if proven, God forbid, they would  be a massive blow to the Diocese of Salford which has for so long washed its dirty underwear in private and a shattering, almost death threatening haymaker to St Bede’s College already only held up by the sorely tried generosity of a bamboozled flock of parents.

Que sera sera and only time will tell and decide Achillors fate but I have recently been shown a financial report on the College and although no expert myself,  one or two things stood out immediately, I have commissioned an in-depth investigation on the report by an Old Bedian and an ex-De Loitte and Touche accountant, which I will be publishing in the next few days and will give us an interesting insight into a failing company.  As regards all other facts reported above I have been only able to produce same with the help of some very brave and downhearted members and ex-members of the staff of the College and the fortitude of some strong but disheartened members of the clergy of the Salford Diocese who realise now that they are within the realm of a Church they did not exactly join.

31 thoughts on “Father Ted, Can It Get Any Worse.

  1. Allez, Paul, more power to your elbow. Ted deserves everything coming to him if prosecution ensues. Even His Lordship, the Bishop, to say nothing of Quinlan and his Governor/Trustee cohorts, will not be able to wriggle out of this one. I assume Ted’s been salted away to a remote parish pending developments?
    On a slighty critical note, kindly refer to anything to do with Manchester City with a touch more respect.

  2. Blimey! Crazy educational institution. Thought mine was strange….? Hope justice is served very cold. Yes, correct Rick, a minor slur on the Champions seems unnecessary given the severity of context and the forthcoming Sunday thrashing to be delivered by the same.

  3. Well written Paul.
    Googled Hopkins and guess what no mention by any other media, especially the MEN (Manchester Evening News)par for the course, of course, they have ignored Duggan now for ever.
    The Salford Diocese still have Hopkins listed as parish priest.
    As for Manchester City, I stopped supporting them when their gate prices passed the two shilling mark.

  4. Trust you are aware of developments at St.Ambrose, Hale Barns. Will the Diocese of Shrewsbury be as dogged in its “defence” as the apparatchiks of the Diocese of Salford?

  5. Michel M: finally a cultured member of tha Malpas family, the fragrent Helen, apart, of course.
    Ken: dear Sheik, you must be older than me. Come back in to the fold, all will be forgiven.

  6. Fr Hopkins is innocent untill twelve good men and true have determined that he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Your blog with its speculation and character assassination of Fr Hopkins is unjust – to both the accused and his accuser. Silence is the only response until the judicial process has run its course.

    1. Mr Parpworth, I do not speculate or character assassinate Fr Hopkins on his recent problems but on what he has been doing over these past couple of years. The destabilised staff are not happy with his presence and I have every right to criticize him. I also have every right to let the public know of these allegations just as all allegations of this nature need to be brought to the public attention. If they are not proven, I will be the first person to broadcast it. You do not seem to understand, my disgust is with the imminent failure of a great institution brought on by the crassness of the Church. Individuals are not my real concern.

  7. Re Mr Parpsworth comments. If a man such as Paul Malpas who pursues the truth in his blog, the fact he might prejudge someone is quite alright by me. Paul has a wide and deep knowledge of the ongoing problems of the Catholic Church. Hopkins is only one of a long line spawned by the church and in particular the Salford Diocese dating back as far as the 1940’s. The Diocese is still trying to protect the image of Monsignor Thomas Duggan who abused countless young boys as principal of St Bede’s College in Manchester from 1950 to 1966. The diocese apologized nearly 2 years ago and have since been backtracking ever since.
    Mr Parpsworth, perhaps you would like to give Savile the benefit of the doubt too? The worse part of Savile’s activities was the fact that once he was dead and gone and could no longer harm anyone else so many people came forward and said “oh of course we knew”. The BBC and numerous people around Savile knew what a nasty little cretinous creep he was, but did nothing about it. Look at smart arse Max Clifford, always out to make a quid at other peoples expense, little wonder the Police have interviewed him.
    Hopkins can have his day in court, whenever, and the RCC will field a battalion of lawyers in his defence.

  8. Ken Horne – you have already libelled Fr Hopkins by calling him an ‘abuser’. Mr Malpas would do well to remove your comment. I would have thought that the recent publicity surrounding Lord McAlpine would have taught people a lesson about how injudicious it is to make comments on line without proof. If Fr Hopkins is found to have no case to anwser then I only hope that you have deep pockets to pay his compensation.

  9. To all Old Bedians,
    News came to me last night that Dave McGarry is gravely ill in The Royal Infirmary in Manchester. David, over 40 years a priest in the Salford Diocese is the only honest priest I have ever met, recognising that everyone of us has frailties and never once having a bad word to say about anybody, except the nonce who took over St Catherine’s parish in Didsbury about 10 years ago whilst Dave was in recovery. He regrets not spotting that man.
    In his life he was hit some hard blows, not least of which was being forbidden to go to his father’s funeral by that idiot Bishop Holland (my words not his) whilst he was studying in Rome and at the same time almost, having his younger brother, Joe, kicked out of Bede’s on a pretext by the infamous Duggan but he has never condoned criticism of the Church whilst recognising its managerial faults.
    Over the years myself and Dave have had some long and rambling conversations and in the last few years when I told him of my quest to oust Duggan et al, although never denying the truth, would never let my accusations spill over into acrimony and would never let my findings deter him from his own path and being the best priest I have ever known.
    Those of you who still know how to pray, pray the best you can for him. For us that cannot and do not, think of him as a hero. He is not has daft as some of you think.
    Paul Malpas
    PS. And please, Mr Parpworth or Mr E. Steward or whatever name you go under today, pipe down, you do yourself no favours.

  10. I was at Bede’s with Dave McGarry – a long time ago. I did not know he had made it to the priesthood but good lad. I think we may have played footie together and sat in the same classes. Dave – May your God go with you – as another Dave used to say!! I hope that you recover. I will keep you in my thoughts and while I am not able to say with any conviction that my prayers are with you (the catholic church having done me in also!!)I will offer up some form of petition to Our Lady who still has my undivided attention. Dave Andrew. Andy.

  11. Am I the only one missing something here, but where does it actually say anywhere in Ken Horne or Paul Malpas’s postings that the the less-than Rev Hopkins is a serial abuser? Try reading the postings again Mr Plopsworth,it says he has been accused of the offences, by no-one’s definition is that libel. You might just find you are mistaken and along with Danny Boy Kearney are another person who issues vague, meaningless and unsubstantiated accusations? Surely you’re not a lawyer, or, heaven forbid, a politician? Surely no-one really has a true name such as yours? With such an idiotic name, if true, you won’t be too difficult to track down. Let’s go Google… we might find we’re Google-whacking here (entering a name and getting no reference to the request)

  12. Re Mr Parpsworth

    I’ve Google-whacked! If this man can at least spell his name right (we have to give credit for at least a modicum of intelligence), Google at least has never heard of him. That in itself seems suspicious – what exactly has he got to hide?

  13. I too Googled “Parpsworth” and came up with zilch. I remember a “parp” years ago meant either a fart or a poo movement. So Mr Parpsworth maybe that is all your opinion is, a fart or a bit of liquid poo.
    Parpsworth, you are up against the heavy squad on this blog cos the guys here are all ex Bedes and eat little twerps like you for breakfast.
    Time to crawl back into the little hole you once popped out of.

  14. Mr Horne – I am glad to see that your statement of December 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm has been amended and that the a certain word has now been removed. Though a google cached version would reveal what was said.
    Despite the puerile anger directed at me I am neutral in this. I support Paul Malpas in his quest for justice for those who suffered horrendous abuse at St Bedes – yet I am also a great believer in legal process and the need to let the law run its course. Careless talk can damage the accused by smearing their character, and also most importantly the accuser as it risks prejudice to any potential trial.

    1. Mr Parpworth, now that you have semi revealed yourself, I will allow this last comment. Again we are getting away from the nub of my article. So there will be no more legal talk from anybody. Let us all concentrate on the object of our quest. Thank you.
      Paul Malpas

  15. Paul, is “Dave McGarry” the “cat and fish” Father McGarry who used to teach English? If he is, can you post an address for him, so that those of us who would like to (and that includes me) can send him a card to cheer him up a bit while he is ill (assuming that he is still in a fit state to recognise anything).

    1. Linda,
      You are thinking of Bernard McGarry an equally nice priest has Dave. Bernard taught English and has far as I know, he is in good health, he is retired and lives at 32 Cudworth Road, Blackley, Manchester, M9 8PE tel No 0161 740 3463, I think he would appreciate a call. He never taught me but he came with us on a trip to Rome in 1961. Both McGarrys were educated there in seminary, but not related. Bernard was in charge of a party who went to Rome in about 1982, my wife and third daughter was with them, when the Pope came over and picked Louise, the daughter, up and kissed her and blessed her. Bernard should remember that.

  16. Father Dave passed away yesterday in MRI and will be sorely missed by many of us who had the pleasure to know him. He took our St Caths rough edged Sunday league football team in the 80’s to a backstreet pub in Salford and I saw at first hand how much this man was both loved and revered by all the good folk who knew him. His sermons were always deep and usually involved an analogy to sport whether football or his beloved cricket. Dave was one of the most highly intelligent yet humble men I have ever met. Godbless Dave and thanks for your words of wisdom and constant right direction in advice. Another Guardian Angel of the highest order to look to in times of need. A great man.

    1. Well said Chris, Dave was the best, I will miss him greatly. I could not sleep tonight thinking of him so I am about to sit down and give the world my version of him.

  17. Sorry to hear About Fr Dave McGarry, I’m too young to have come across him, allied to the fact I’ve always resided on the North side of town (currently Whitefield), but clearly he made a great impression on many people.

    On the other hand, I do remember Fr Bernard McGarry, he was my English teacher at Bedes from 1964/69, missing out on only the 2nd year, when our English teacher was a Mr Grogan (he was also our form master – he disappeared shortly afterwards). I always respected Bernard McGarry as a teacher, he left Bedes, I think, in summer 1969 – I have a school photo from May 1970, he’s not on it, as I’m fairly sure he’d gone by then.

    Les Disparus of teachers from 1964 to 1971 could fill a book – Mike Collins (with whom I’ve had the pleasure to correspond), Joe Loran (one of the best maths teachers I ever had), Gordon Frost, Tom Heslop (one of my favourites, last sighted at St Monica’s Prestwich, now retired), the late but great Mike McDermott, the unlamented Chemistry teacher Mr Carney (must be something in the surname – he left in 1967), the list goes on.

    Also the ones who remained at Bedes when I returned to Planet Earth and the Real World upon leaving the Alma Mater in 1971 – Gerry Robinson, the brilliant Spike Martin, the kindness of Ego, Jasper Shaw, Bill Heaton, Doc Slater, Woof Parkinson, all of whom were, above all, together with most of the Disparus, human beings.

    I intend to keep taking the Gingko Biloba tablets, as I credit these with my excellent memory (so I’m told). Now if I could only find where I put the tablets…..

  18. fascinating reading and sad to hear that what I regarded as a wonderful school is challenged on many fronts….gerry robinson could recite log tables from a number, , Tony Martin taught us to think, Chip’s Taylor encouraged me to read English at Leeds , Paddy Mulvey, get on with your notes alon with basher Bailey were really into horses and in Ben and George with the exception of M Foster who went to Gloucester, we had the worst French Dept on the planet. Bill Hockenhull was mad, but you never forget your teachers. ever. For me Bedes gave me music and theatre and rugby ….all of which I developed into my adult life….Tony Martin was a genuine thought leader , Jack Rigby and frank Austin , good priests …..I hope that this blog plays a role into restoring a once great place to its former glory…if anyone remembers me , now living in Sydney Australia. keep up the good work, best wishes Phil Crenigan

    1. Phil,
      Thanks for your comments, I see you started in 1968 and lived a relaxed life until 1975. Possibly the best years to miss out on abuse at Bede’s. You had the benefit of fr Eric Riley as Rector for a few years until that horror Dodgeon came on the scene. Spike Martin as you so rightly say was a shining light, my hero and still going strong in his 81st year. Jack Rigby is PP at St Vincents in Over Hulton in Bolton.

  19. Jack Rigby was my form master for 4th and 5th years, if it kicked off on a Saturday night in the Empress Hotel in Cheetham Hill, you’d want Jack to be on your side. A man mountain, but nice with it.

    On the other hand, Billy Hockenhull would now be classed as criminally insane, chucking 50 ml burettes at people, javelin-like,in the Chemistry lab, if they weren’t paying attention. When he lost his temper, he used to go red in the face, it was time to make sure you weren’t in his line of sight, as the punishment meted out seemed to be entirely random. But oh boy, that temper, and a left handed hook to match (a southpaw, like myself). The other trick he had was to rap boys across their open hands with thick rubber vacuum tubing, thus saving the Prefect time and effort. It sounds painful and it was, so I was told.

    Gerry Robinson was so dry a wit it used to take me half an hour to realise he’d just took the piss out of me with some acerbic comment. My excuse is I was only 16-17 at the time, but even at that age I didn’t think he was perfect – he was a Leeds United supporter.

    I only had the pleasure of Spike Martin as a teacher for English in the 6th form for two years as part of general studies. My abiding memory of him is playing the part of Lady Bracknell in a class reading of The importance of Being Earnest. It was a good job I had my Pampers on that day – I was crying with laughter at his rendition of her voice. A true inspiration to myself, I became, and still am, an avid reader of books, in part at least to Spike’s infectious enthusiasm in everything he did. If all teachers had been like him at Bedes…

    One final comment about French. I was taught by Ego in years 1 and 3, by Duffy in year 2 (he left to go to St Peter’s Prestwich then), they were both good teachers. I’m afraid by summer of ’67, they both had ceased teaching French, along weebled along Ben Sweeney. He unfortunately was not in the same bracket as the other two, from being always in top 5 in class, I limped along to a Grade 3 at ‘O’ level, the lowest level of mark I ever recorded in a French exam. I don’t wholly blame him, he was new to the job and we probably didn’t help him with some of our antics, but it sounds as though things got even worse in later years.

  20. Is this the same Timothy Hopkins that was in my year at Bede’s 1978-1983? (I escaped after O levels along with about half the year and made the long trip to Rusholme and the opposite of Bedes, a caring liberal school, Xaverian.)

    What is worrying is that if this is the same Tim Hopkins, he was a pupil well after the “risky years” of the 50s and 60s. There were always whispers of sexual abuse, and in fact jokes amongst the boys and some of the staff. Physical and mental abuse was commonplace of course: anybody remember that psychopath Wilkinson, Prefect of Discipline? and Terence Dodgeon, an awful awful man.

    Does anybody have any information on abuse in later years: mid70s onwards? Bill Green was a shock, I wonder how many more are to come?

  21. Paul just caught up with the last couple of years by blogging st bedes and there you are still on the quest . Good to know that things were quiet under ego’ s reign . The plot thickens and I admire your honesty in many blogs when questioned personally especially as you sent your kids there . When my father recently passed away we asked for a young priest who buried mum to preside at st winnies in Heaton moor as he did a great job with mum a few years prior under the direction of a florid mgr . The young priest had now acquired a run down parish in manchester and I had to ask the permission of the mgr to borrow his church for the young priest to preside . I think the mgr had a ruddy complexion and a connection with my alma mater but I may be mistaken . My abiding memory was being reminded after delivering a well thought out eulogy to a wonderful dad having travelled from one end of the planet to Stockport that I pads were not encouraged on the altar of god as he watched from the wings . Old school , ego from a mile and a little too much in love with the purple I thought . He had forgotten when mum died when he was unable to preside due to a commitment that he pointed out that it was indeed he with the pope and not the other way round . If this is the leadership in the place it is doomed . Australia is currently reeling from a public enquiry into the systematic abuse of children in many institutions . Once the flood gates opened the memories have been harrowing and the cover ups by the church pathetic and disturbing . This was driven by the courage of a police officer and journalist who were told to back off . Luckily their knowledge of what actually went on has brought the issue into the public domain and to read of grown adults weeping forty years on in court is humbling . you are doing the same in putting the unsaid on the table and whether it happened to you or not it does not justify what I am sure you know though various e mails you will have received Best wishes phil crenigan 67 -75 .

    1. Thanks Phil for those kind words and also your derogation of that fart of floridness, Mr Quinlan. I have been following the Australian public inquiry with interest, being kept up to date by various strine Old Bedians. Australia is full of them with most being in Queensland.

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