Dr Eamon Casey returns to Ireland after 14 year exile

FORMER Bishop of Galway, the disgraced Dr Eamon Casey, returned from a 14 year exile last evening.

Dr Casey (78) was forced to resign as Bishop of Galway in May 1992 after it emerged he had been in a relationship with an American divorcee since 1973 and had fathered a son.

Bishop Casey arrived at Dublin port on a ferry from Wales shortly before 6pm and sped out of the terminal at high speed driving his own car.

He will move into a house in the Parish of Shanaglish at Beagh in south Galway with the blessing of the Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan.

Points of entry to this country remained under the watchful gaze of the media over the weekend.

While it had been reported that Bishop Casey boarded a car ferry from Britain, media presence was obvious at Shannon Airport where reporters and photographers checked all flights on arrival from London.

Dr Casey has been given the use of a two storey church-owned house in the parish of Shanaglish, near Gort.

The building has undergone extensive refurbishment in recent weeks.

The former Bishop of Galway left his home in the diocese of Arundel and Brighton on Saturday driving his own car.

Dr Casey has been working in the parish of St Paul’s in Staplefield, Haywards Heath, for around six years.

He has made a number of brief visits back to this country since his departure in 1992.

On his visits he usually stays in the Adare area of Co Limerick where he has many relatives and friends.

He returned two years ago for a re-union of his class at Maynooth.

That function was held at the Fitzgerald Woodlands House Hotel in Adare and was attended by Cardinal Desmond Connell who met and spoke with Bishop Casey.

The Bishop of Galway, Dr Martin Drennan cleared the way for the return of Dr Casey to spend his retirement in his old diocese.

The decision has been warmly welcomed, particularly in the village of Shanaglish where he will live.

Fr Sean McHugh of the Diocese of Galway said: “The return of Eamon Casey is a private matter and the diocese is not making any comment on it .”

Fr Patrick Callanan of parish priest of Sanaglish said: “We are all ready for him. We have the house in order and he’ll have it all to himself.”

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