Fr Brian D'Arcy
In programme four of the series Gerry talks to Father Brian D'Arcy.
When Fr. Brian first entered a Passionist Monastery in 1962, the regime was extremely harsh. It was one in which, he says "thinking and individualism were discouraged". From an early age, Brian was greatly interested in pop music, and, during his early years as a priest, it was music, he says, that "kept him sane".
Brian's aptitude for popular journalism soon led him to write for Ireland's music press: initially, under a pseudonym - since even reading newspapers was still forbidden by his religious Order. By 1975, he was openly writing his "Little Bit of Religion" column for the Sunday World - still running 32 years later. He became a well-known figure in Irish broadcasting and showbiz circles, and was wickedly caricatured as Fr. Trendy by the late Dermot Morgan.
Brian was deeply affected by the sex scandals which rocked the Church in Ireland in the 1990s. Perhaps, the greatest shock concerned his close friend Fr. Michael Cleary. Brian was one of the very last to accept that the rumours about Fr. Cleary's private life were actually true. At that point, he says, "something died inside me".
Since then, he claims never to "have trusted anyone - not even close friends." The sexual abuse of children by clerics has particularly appalled Brian - and he talks candidly about his own experience of being abused by a priest when he was just 10 years old. Finally, he speaks of his hope for the future re-birth of the Church - which he now believes, as it presently stands, is clearly a "dying institution".