Part 6 in my series of interviews with Father Pat Moloney at Bonitas House on East 9th Street in the East Village. Here he discusses his 44 months in Federal Prison. He was convicted in connection with the 7 million dollar robbery of the Brink’s depot in Rochester, NY in 1993. He maintains his innocence to this day. He describes: “living like a monk” and “killing them with kindness”.
In this part of the interview, Father Pat describes how he got on in prison, with other inmates and the authorities. He describes “circuit therapy”, where prisoners are flown all over the prison system, away from press and family and the practice of “Black Boxing”. He tells how he worked the system in order to get his vestments and the other necessities for saying the mass. And he describes how, when all else is taken away, religion is the last resort of the prisoner.
You will notice that this episode has many edits, this was done to present the stories sequentially and by location.
You should view the previous episode Brink’s Arrest to fully understand the circumstances in this episode. The next episode will be more about life in prison and what it was like when he got out.
January 5, 1993 a Brink’s Depot in Rochester was robbed of 7 million dollars. Father Pat was arrested in connection with money tied to that robbery. He tells his story.
Father Pat Interviews
Father Pat, Rev. Patrick Moloney, a Melkite Greek Catholic priest, who has been an advocate for the poor and displaced in the East Village and a political gadfly for many years, has many stories to tell.
Accused and arrested in Ireland for gun-running in 1981, he was detained for two months, only to have the state withdraw charges at last moment when they realized they had the wrong guy. They thought they had captured the underground general, known as the Pimpernel, or Il Padre. He was only too happy for them to entertain themselves in their own folly.
Father Pat, Rev. Patrick Moloney, a Melkite Greek Catholic priest, who has been an advocate for the poor and displaced in the East Village and a political gadfly for many years, has many stories to tell. In part two of my interview he describes growing up in Limerick City, Ireland in the 30′s. He describes it as being similar to the story Told in Frank Mcourt’s Angela’s Ashes.
Father Pat, Rev. Patrick Moloney, a Melkite Greek Catholic priest, who has been an advocate for the poor and displaced in the East Village and a political gadfly for many years, has many stories to tell. Here in part 1 of my interview he talks about Bonitas House, the differences between the Easter and Western Church and the pros and cons of for celibacy in the priesthood.
I met Father Pat while wandering around photographing my East Village neighborhood shortly before Christmas. He was out in front of Bonitas House on East 9th Street, near Tompkins Square Park, contemplating the Nativity scene he had placed there. I remarked to him how unusual it was to see a manger in this neighborhood. It didn’t take much to get him spinning amazing stories about the neighborhood. I told him that I had to come back and record his version of East Village history. Yesterday I spent 3 hours recording him non-stop. And I plan to go back for more some time soon. We didn’t even get into what I originally wanted: stories about the Christadora House, the Tompkins Square Park riot of 1988 and the gang warfare of the 1980′s. But we did cover his childhood in Limerick Ireland and his four-year imprisonment in the 90′s for involvement in a 7 million dollar Brinks robbery, supposedly in support of the IRA (which he totally denies).