I think I will set myself up as a personnel consultant specialising in the priests of the Salford Diocese. I more than anyone know the abilities and more the inabilities of this august body of venerable old men, having researched their every foible for the last three years. Take for example the police force, if they wanted to know the qualities of a potential witness, victim or criminal residing within the diocesan ranks, all they need to do is come to me and I would be able to tell them in very short sentences, the various shortcomings of the cleric being investigated.
Take the case of Barry O’Sullivan, once the man who gave the Safeguarding Commission of the Salford Diocese a bad name after shuffling paedophiles around for 10 years whilst acting as Coordinator of the Commission and giving out lies and general obfuscation to deny the many complainants who reported clerical abuse in the diocese. I have written about him often in the past relating his many un-sacerdotal actions, I know Barry like I know the back of my hand.
However two years ago his lack of talent was eventually realised by our dingbat bishop, Terence Brain and he was moved off the paedophile prairie and now grazes in more mundane pastures as the prison chaplain at HMP Manchester, Strangeways to me and you. Here using his unbelievable skills as part time therapist come psychoanalyst, learnt from his hours training his two little lovable terriers, he sits and chats to housebreakers and lads who cannot pay fines about their straying partners and the general detritus of life you collect when you are not there to deal with it personally. It was banal, boring work with only the odd GBH case to brighten Barry’s day. He was slowly sinking into the morass that is ideal for people of Barry’s abilities but he always felt he was a super star and wanted better.
The day arrived, our learned therapissed cum part-time psychoanalyst once protector of vulnerable people in the Salford Diocese got himself a real life, honest to goodness, fully depraved child murderer. Everything was up Bazza’s street as he dived into Mark Bridger’s cell on his first evening in detention.
Bridger, from mid-Wales had been arrested for the abduction, possible sexual assault and murder of a five year old girl in Machynlleth, a Welsh coastal town, a lovely spot for such a dark deed. The problem was the police could not find the poor girl’s body, so Barry jumped in with two booted feet and using all his voodoo skills broke the offending murderer, Bridger, in minutes, without realising that Bridger was a lying deceitful rogue. Barry was delighted when Bridger under intense O’Sullivan interrogation broke down and said “fair cop Barry, old son, I threw the body in the river but I cannot remember where”. Barry, fired up with his god given ability, ran off and told PC Plod of the body’s whereabouts and this valuable tit-bit sparked off the biggest body hunt known to British policing, up and down the Dyfi River for months. Police now know using their own sleuthing powers which were put on hold with Barry’s revelations, that Bridger cut up the body into minute pieces and dispersed of them over a wide area.
Now my point is that if the police had come to me in the first instance and said “hey Paul, what do you think of this O’Sullivan shrink, is he kosher or what?” and I would have, within seconds, without looking at my files, been able to tell them that old Bazza was the biggest blithering idiot that I had ever met. Not only illiterate but not really part of this world. He cannot remember even where he parks his car, reporting it stolen and then letting the police find it for him.
Let the police and any other interested party beware, Fr Barry O’Sullivan is a danger to the living and the dead. He is in the best place for a man of his ilk, HMP Manchester. But before I finish what about this vow of secrecy between priest and confessee, therapist and patient. It seems to have been forgotten about fairly easily in this instant when Barry’s only thoughts were for his name in the papers and instant glory. It must put the fear of God into prisoner and confessee alike when he knows Old Barry will be telling the parish of his confessional secrets within minutes of learning of them.
Not a nice man, not a good man but one disgusting, deceitful, stupid priest is Fr Barry O’Sullivan.
Having written this article my thoughts go out to the poor parents of the murdered girl. In no way do I want to belittle their own grevious loss. Hopefully Bridger will go down for life and a short life it could well be when the prison laws of justice come into play.