The Black Bitch and other Tales – Clerical Errors by Geoff Cronin

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Clerical Errors

An Irish priest, stationed in London, was charged with the job of looking out for Irish lads who were coming to England for work and ended up on building sites.

His priestly duty was to see that these lads were kept on the ‘straight and narrow’ and introduced into good Catholic environments. To this end the priest had cultivated a network of builder’s foremen, whom he visited regularly, and these men would tell him of any new recruits from the Emerald Isle.

On one such visit he learned that one Jack Murphy had started work that week and he asked the foreman if he could meet Murphy.

“Hold on for a minute Father and I’ll see where he is and I’ll get him for you,” said the foreman.

The priest followed him out onto the site and the foreman looked up.

“There he is father, on the platform…

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