He is already facing allegations of financial and sexual impropriety. Now it has emerged that Mike Meegan, (here) the Kenya-based founder of Icross, an Irish-African charity, dressed as a priest while working with orphans and Aids victims in Africa during the early 1980s, despite having never taken religious vows.
A photograph taken of Meegan in Kenya in the early 1980s in Kajiado, in the Rift Valley Province, shows the charity worker wearing a priest’s uniform. Meegan has previously dismissed suggestions that he passed himself off as a member of the clergy while working in Kenya, claiming that he may have been “perceived” as a priest because of the Irish missionary tradition in Africa.
But a series of letters written to Meegan in 1981 indicate that the Jesuits and Irish Missionary Union were concerned about claims emanating from Kenya that the charity worker was portraying himself as a priest. Joseph Dargan, the then Provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland, wrote to Meegan in September 1981, requesting that he did not “give the impression that [he is] a member of the Society of Jesus or a Jesuit brother”. The letter was prompted by accusations from missionaries that Meegan was “presenting himself” as a Jesuit brother. “I do not know how true this is,”
Dargan wrote, “but it has been brought to my attention from so many different quarters that I feel I should let you know about it.”
The missionary union later circulated Dargan’s letter to its members. Some had requested clarification about Meegan’s status as a priest. Brendan O’Reilly, who was the executive secretary/director of the union, later wrote to Meegan justifying his decision to distribute the clarification from the Jesuits to his members, after a complaint from the charity worker.
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