Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let Them Know His Name

Paul Gordon served eight years for killing his father. He's been ostracized by the community for the murder, but now he would like everyone to know why he did it.

Only by sitting in a cell could Mr. Gordon get his thoughts together. It was possibly the first time since he was nine years old that he was sober.

His father was a boozer and Mr. Gordon bore the brunt of the old man's tirades. An altogether wretched childhood, but that isn't the reason why Mr. Gordon ended his father's life.

Coming from a background of alcoholism and abuse, Paul Gordon was a vulnerable little boy, in need of an adult to look out for his welfare. In stepped Brother Gregory of the Marist Order, a predator who recognized an opportunity in the lost child.

Martin Meaney was known as Brother Gregory when he was a cleric, but he's laity now. He's about to serve some time, after being sentenced for the repeated sexual abuse of Paul Gordon. As a teacher in County Roscommon, the Marist Brother committed somewhere in the vicinity of 100 assaults, which earned him twelve years in prison back in 1992. He confessed to abusing the eight-year-old Gordon lad maybe twenty or thirty times in the mid-1970's when Mr. Meaney was teaching at a school in Sligo.

Mr. Meaney is the third Brother from the Sligo school to be charged with indecent assault. He readily admitted in court that he selected the unloved and the uncared for, the weak little lads who were vulnerable to his cynical sympathy. He apologized to Mr. Gordon, thirty-five years too late.

Paul Gordon would like everyone to know that he killed his father for a variety of reasons. The fact that his father took money from another Marist Brother to turn a blind eye to the abuse that Mr. Gordon was enduring must have played a large part in Mr. Gordon's decision to put his father in the ground.

Sometimes you hear things like this and you nod your head, understanding completely how a man could be driven to commit patricide.

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