The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests
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frame of mind he drove off to Aharna, where an ancient Bishop called McGinty, whose name was remembered in clerical circles only with sorrow, had permitted the Jesuits to establish a house. There he had a friend called Father Finnegan, a stocky, middle-aged man with a tight mouth and little clumps of white hair in his ears. It is not to be supposed that Bobby told him all that was in his mind, or that Father Finnegan thought he did, but there is very little a Jesuit doesn’t know, and Father
old pack which had more than served their time in some farmhouse, but Brother Arnold was looking at them in rapture. The very sight of them gave Brother Michael a turn. Brother Arnold made the gesture of dealing, half playfully, and the other shook his head sternly. Brother Arnold blushed and bit his lip but he persisted, seriously enough now. All the doubts Brother Michael had been having for weeks turned to conviction. This was the primrose path with a vengeance, one thing leading to another.
the police, he said, ‘The blessings of God on them’ – though he had to say it discreetly, for fear it should get back. Fogarty knew that in the teacher’s eyes this was another black mark against him, for old Considine could not understand how any educated man could make so little of the cloth as to sit drinking with ‘illiterate peasants’ instead of talking to a fine, well-informed man like himself about the situation in the Far East or the relationship of the Irish dioceses to the old kingdoms
leave written instructions, he’d hardly be the sort to leave such unusual ones. I mean, after all, it isn’t even the family burying ground, is it?’ ‘Well, now, that is true, father,’ replied the parish priest, and it was clear that he had been deeply impressed by this rather doubtful logic. ‘You have a very good point there, and it is one I did not think of myself, and I have given the matter a great deal of thought. You might mention it to his brother. Father Fogarty, God rest him, was not a
chance,’ she replied ruefully. ‘In a convent school?’ he echoed with new interest. Convent schools and nuns were another of his phobias; he said they were turning the women of the country into imbeciles. ‘Are you on holidays now?’ ‘Yes. I’m on my way home.’ ‘You don’t live here then?’ ‘No, down the country.’ ‘And is it the convent that drives you to drink?’ he asked with an air of unshakable gravity. ‘Well,’ she replied archly, ‘you know what nuns are.’ ‘I do,’ he agreed in a mournful