In 1799 he was the most active informer passing on information on the United Irishmen, he usually ended his evil letters to his handler by signing, “..remaining with sincerity and fidelity, your honours, ever most obliged and most humble servant, James Matthew MacCary, R.C. P.P. of Carrickfergus ”.
Sergeant John Lee of Carrickfergus wrote to Cooke, 2nd July 1796, “ I have this day prevailed on the Rev. James MacCary, Parish Priest who is a tenant of mine, he promises to be exceedingly useful should he be amply rewarded, he bound me to the most profound secrecy and wished me to acquaint no person only your honour, but I am intending to move to America, I immediately acquainted Captain Mac Nevin who I am sure will advise you of the utility that may arise from this Revd. Father who is perfectly acquainted with the ****able business that has been carrying on in the County’s Antrim and Down..”
A few days later Capt. MacNevin gleefully wrote to Cooke that he was able to get Fr. MacCary to go to Dublin and relate his information personally to Cooke, this indicates how important MacCarys information was deemed. Mac MacNevin wrote to Cooke, “I have already taken the liberty of master of his character and I can only add that not withstanding his Priestcraft he would go to Hell for money...I am sure he has not slept a night in his own bed or any other bed these ten days past, but attending all the (rebel) meetings within twenty miles of this town in order to make himself perfect Master of the present transactions.”
The priest made many more visits to Dublin where he stayed at a Mr. Tuckers, Rings End. On the 8th October 1798, he wrote from that address to Cooke, saying of how he was terrified and living in fear of the rebels who were out to kill him, he said , “..the very great dread I at present am in for my personal safety and life.. as on my journey here and like wise since I arrived in the city I could see and hear many individuals menacing immediate death to me” in a short time his paranoia took over his life and by 1807 he fled to Belfast where he began “Buckle Beggaring” for a living, that is, carrying out unauthorised weddings for poor couples, which the church found distasteful and so he was kicked out of the Church for bringing disgrace on it.
Unfortunately, that is the curse of human nature, MONEY.
Keep it Lit Joe
In God We Trust?.
With today's technology its even worse, people have got to the stage now that they have no idea if they are speaking to a tout or not. Nothing has changed.