Cooper: Father Ian Cooper

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Ian Cooper (Father Ian Cooper)

Irish-born priest. Ordained 1958.  Came to Canada immediately after ordination – incardinated in Diocese of Nelson, British Columbia.   CONVICTED 1993 charges included sex abuse of boys and girls – he sodomised a boy of 7 or 8 several times. Sent for rehab in New Mexico and England – deemed a continuing risk to society.  Sentenced to 4 years.  Moved to Ottawa Ontario at some point after his conviction and lived with the Oblate Community whom he assisted in caring for the elderly.  Died November 2008.


24 January 1994:  R. v. Ian Cooper (this suit was settled)


24 November 2008: died in Ottawa, Ontario.  Obituary on Whelan Funeral Home website:

COOPER, Father Ian

Fr. Ian Cooper, Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Nelson, BC. Peacefully at the Villa Marconi Residence on November 24, 2008 in his 76th year. Fr. Ian was born in Ireland and ordained a priest in 1958. He served many years, in several parishes, in the interior of British Columbia. After his retirement he came to Ottawa and lived with the Oblate Community where he assisted in the care of the elderly until he suffered a severe stroke. Besides his Oblate friends, Fr. Ian is survived by two sisters – Sr. Penny, a Franciscan Misssionary; Caroline (Andy) of England and their children Sarah, Kathleen, Caroline and Andrew; two brothers – Greg (Jill) and Willy. Special thanks to the staff of Villa Marconi and to Cleo Harvey and Joseph Bones who were faithful companions to Fr. Ian during his lengthy illness. Visitation on Tuesday evening at Canadian Martyrs Church, 100 Main Street, from 7 until 9 PM, and on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 from 9 am until celebration of Eucharist at 11:30 AM. Burial will follow at the St Theresa of Gallalee Oblate Cemetery, Arnprior, ON at 2:30 PM..


24 November 2008:  Died

The death has occurred of Fr. Ian COOPER of Canada, son of the late William and Josephine Cooper, Corbally, Limerick

In Ottawa, Canada. Funeral and Mass on November 26 in Ottawa.
Date published: Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Date of death: Monday, November 24, 2008

1995:  not listed  in Canadian Catholic Church directory

1994:  address s/a Nelson Diocese diocesan Centre

appeal if sentence denied by Supreme Court of British Columbia (L)

September 1993:  CONVICTED.  Sentenced to four years in jil

1990: allegations of sex abuse

1985:  St. Mary Parish, Cranbrook, B.C. and mission in Fort Steele

1973-74:  St. Rita’s Parish, Fruitvale, B.C.

1971-72:  St. Ann’s Parish, Osoyoos, B.C.

1963-64:  Osoyoos, BC (molested at least one child)

1960-1963:  Nakusp, BC (molesting children)

1958-1960:  Kelowna, BC (molesting children)

1958:  ORDAINED in Ireland.  Came to Canada

1933:  Born in Limerick, Ireland


The Toronto Star

21 September 1993

NELSON, B.C. (CP) – A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for sex-related offences against children. Fifteen offences involving Ian Cooper, 60, date back to a period from 1959 to 1964 in the B.C. communities of Nakusp, Osoyoos and Kelowna.


2nd chance for priest: Rehab plan for offender

The Vancouver Province

23 June 1993

NELSON – A Roman Catholic church order that rehabilitates wayward priests says it will take Father Ian Cooper for a second time.

“If you came back we’d start again from square one,” Benedict Livingstone, a member of the Servants of the Paraclete in Stroud, England, told Cooper’s sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court here yesterday.

Cooper had earlier pleaded guilty

to 14 counts of indecent assault

and was of one count of buggery

and one count of sexual assault.

The Servants of the Paraclete runs programs in England and New Mexico for priests who are sexual offenders and chemical abusers. Cooper attended both programs.

Because Cooper denied sodomy at his trial, Crown counsel Dana Urban asked Livingstone what he would do differently this time.

“We’d have to make a determination if there was an error in reality,” he replied. “We’d have to terminate treatment if we thought he was not telling the truth.

“We’d confront the accused with evidence from his trial.”

Forensic psychiatrist Shaberhan Lorhasbe told the court that Cooper – like a person involved in sado-masochistic fantasy – cannot be treated until he stops denying and distorting the facts.

“Despite that Mr. Cooper had the benefit of the treatment programs, he did not even reach what many consider an initial step – full responsibility for one’s actions,” Lorhasbe said.

The hearing was adjourned until Sept. 13 to allow defence lawyer Richard Peck to call psychiatric evidence.


Priest has told truth: lawyer

The Vancouver Province

11 June 1993

NELSON – A priest accused of sexually touching children has told the truth and withstood cross-examination, his lawyer told a court here yesterday.

Father Ian Cooper “came before this court and entered pleas of guilty to 14 counts,” Richard Peck told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Raymond Cooper.

“He spent the better part of 3 1/2 hours under rigorous cross examination and he withstood that test.

“That was his confessional on this day in this court.”

Cooper is on trial for one count of buggery and three counts of indecent assault involving alleged sexual touching of three boys and one girl.

He has pleaded guilty to spanking 13 kids on their bare bottoms in Nakusp, Kelowna and Osoyoos 30 years ago.

During the trial, he admitted to fantasizing sexually about the children he punished, but denied touching the children sexually.

Crown prosecutor Dana Urban said Cooper has been using the sacrament of confession to “take his one-way ticket to hell and substitute a one way ticket to heaven” for 30 years.

“He promised obedience to God. And he broke that promise many, many times to satisfy his sexual urges,” Urban said.

Peck told the judge the evidence given at a preliminary hearing by a woman in her 40s about allegations of abuse from when she was eight or nine is inconsistent.

But Urban said the details were not as important as the crime.

The judge will deliver his verdict today.


Priest confesses sex fantasies

The Vancouver Province

10 June 1993

NELSON – He punished the children, then he had sexual fantasies about them.

But even a rosary in his hand couldn’t help Father Ian Cooper beat the sexual urges, the 60-year-old priest told a B.C. Supreme Court judge at his trial here yesterday.

“At night when I would go back over events, my imagination would dwell on the particular child that had been punished and aroused me to sexual masturbation,” Cooper testified.

Cooper, on leave from Cranbrook since 1991, has pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault from 1959 to 1965 in Nakusp, Osoyoos and Kelowna where he served as a priest.

He spanked 13 kids with their pants down on his bed for mistakes like spilling the wine or forgetting a line in Latin. Once he had a child spank him.

But he has pleaded not guilty to one count of buggery and three counts of indecent assault.

When they heard of the spankings in 1963, Nakusp parents sent a petition to Bishop Emmett Doyle demanding Cooper be removed.

“Doyle called me in and said he was taking the parish from me,” Cooper testified. “He said I would have to look at some counselling.”

During the four-month counselling in Spokane, Cooper said he was able to shift his fantasies about children to adult females. “I deliberately set out to move away from children and picked up pornographic magazines,” he told the court.

He was transferred to Osoyoos where parents complained about his spankings in 1970. He was moved to Fruitvale, Westbank and Cranbrook.

In Cranbrook he became an alcoholic and began writing “naughty boy” stories, he said.

“Bend over the desk and wait for me . . . I will come and tie your legs to the legs of the desk . . . and mark target areas on your back and buttocks to be spanked . . .” read one story.

Cooper was sent to an intensive program for priests in New Mexico in 1990, and later to England.

“I went for treatment in relation to my drinking, sense of isolation, loneliness and sexual fantasies,” he told the court.

The trial continues.


Priest admits to beatings, not buggery

The Vancouver Sun

09 June 1993

A Catholic priest has pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court in Nelson to 14 counts of molesting young children.

The lawyer for Father Ian Cooper said his client admits to spanking the bare bottoms of young Catholics while serving at parishes in Nakusp, Osoyoos and Westbank during the 1960s.

However, Cooper, 61, pleaded not guilty to one count of buggery and another count of indecent assault involving children between ages seven and 14.

The trial involves the two remaining charges.

A witness testified Tuesday that Cooper committed buggery on him in the Nakusp Catholic church on 10 occasions when he was about nine-years-old.

Another witness testified Tuesday that Cooper committed buggery on him on one occasion.

A third witness said Cooper once touched his testicles.

Credit: VANSUN


Priest to stand trial for alleged sexual assaults

The Vancouver Sun

31 August 1992

NELSON – A Roman Catholic priest has been committed to stand trial in this southeastern B.C. community on 16 counts of sexual assault.

Ian Cooper was charged with offences allegedly involving young males and females between 1960 and 1990.

The incidents were alleged to have occurred while Cooper acted as priest in the communities of Osoyoos, Westbank and Nakusp.

Cooper left Canada for England after charges were laid in 1991, but returned last January and surrendered to police.


Priest faces 7 more charges

The Vancouver Province

01 September 1991

Cranbrook Roman Catholic priest Ian Cooper, who faced eight sex charges, has been charged with seven more.

The charges against Cooper, 59, date from the early 1960s and include indecent assault and gross indecency involving 13 boys and girls. Cooper is thought to be in England.

19 Responses to Cooper: Father Ian Cooper

  1. Sylvia says:

    I have just learned that Father Ian Cooper, a priest with the Diocese of Nelson, BC.  died in Ottawa 24 November 2008.

    Sometime after he had served his sentence Cooper, who had been deemed by psychiatrists to be a continued to risk to society, moved to Ottawa to live with the Oblate Community.  According to his obituary, Cooper assisted the Oblates “in the care of the elderly.” 

    We can see from the obituary that Cooper remained a priest until his death.

    I wonder if assisting the Oblates with the elderly entailed saying Mass and/or hearing confessions?  I am guessing it did.

    Thank you Sonni for passing along this information 🙂

  2. Pam Dyck says:

    Just wanted to pass on what I know of Father Cooper.   I was one of the children in his church. When his court case took place,  a family member phoned me to tell me about it. I called the court house in Nelson to find out more. I did not particpate in his trial, altho I did offer to come forward if needed. I was told they had enough evidence without my testimony, and that he would be going to jail.    It took me years to talk to someone, but I finally asked the local Catholic Priest to find out what had happened to him.  He did tell me that that Father Cooper  had been sent to Oblates and that he had remained a priest to the end, BUT he told me, that he wasn’t allowed to serve communion.  Apparently that’s  in some people’s opinions that’s punishment enough for someone who stole the childhood of so many children.  The priest I talked to apologized to me on behalf of the bishop…and said to me that  the Nelson Diosece had been  a dumping ground for priests with problems. Sad isn’t it? I think what bothered me the most was thinking of the years of counceling I went thru, that my husband had to pay for…knowing that Father Cooper on the other hand, had all his therapy, counceling and later comfort in old age, provided by the Church. Something just seems wrong with that picture.

  3. Leona says:

    Pam, I don’t think it’s too late to launch a civil suit against the archdiocese. Contact Megan Ellis of Stowe and Ellis in Vancouver, and she may be able to give you more information. The only way to get the church to truly confront this issue is to continually put pressure on them through the court system. 

    In my experience of how the oblates treated past offenders (I was a survivor of oblate Jack McCann), he would have had very few sanctions in Ottawa.

    I will be starting up a BC chapter of SNAP soon. 


  4. Sylvia says:

    Pam, I have added several articles since you posted your comment.  You mention elsewhere that he went back to Ireland after he was charged.  I see here and in R v Cooper that it is said he was in England  – according to R v Cooper he was receiving treatment with the Servants of the Paraclete and “cut short his rehabilitation program” to return to stand trial.  Can you tell us more about his time in Ireland during that spell?  or was that perhaps the story which was put out to cover the fact he was off at a treatment centre?

    Leona says she doesn’t think it is too late to sue.  I just checked and from what I can see there is no Statute of Limitations in BC on lawsuits related to sexual misconduct of a sexual nature.  Your husband paid his hard-earned dollars to cover the costs of your counselling – sue, at the very least, to get those monies back. 

  5. Larry says:

    Dec 24/13
    I was a victim of Cooper in Kelowna. I provided statements to the police prior to the trail but did not participate in the trail as they had enough evidence to convict.
    I see from comments above that perhaps some people are considering suing the Nelson Diosece. I am interested to learn if this is in fact happening and who to contact in this regard.
    Thank you

  6. Leona says:

    Larry, I am not a victim of Cooper, but of another Oblate priest in British Columbia. I don’t know the specifics of anyone considering a lawsuit in the Cooper case, but I’d be interested in speaking to you about the process. Sylvia has my contact information should you wish to contact me. I’m currently living in the Vancouver area. Are you still in B.C.?

    Sincerely, Leona

  7. PJ says:

    AS: You argue that only collars are getting the attention and not pervert teachers…that’s because this site is for pervert collars. You need to start your own website similar to this but for teachers who abuse. Why are you insulting us for not widening the circle to include teachers?…Not going to happen! We have enough pervert collars to expose and prosecute. Please leave us alone and quit harping about other groups of perverts…time for you to start your own site my man. God bless.

  8. JG says:

    A. Shame…
    Easier and simpler if you started, don’t you think?…You are using a very wide brush. I and many have heard victims on this site contribute their stories and have helped bring out other victims who were previously isolated. They then found support, understanding and some Peace of mind…
    Don’t blame the lack of “fervor” or empathy on anything but your lack of “sharing” and clarity…Maybe it is too early for you and everyone always respects that.
    If you want to be believable here and elsewhere you will have to get into more details…without naming names at this stage, the where, when, how ….would get you on your journey….

    …”when will the “hunt” for abusing molesting school teachers begin.” you asked above? Maybe that is for you to start, your own web site maybe, when you are ready to open the door more than a crack!
    This site deals with :
    “Blogging the sex abuse scandal and betrayals of trust in the Roman Catholic Church in Canada”.
    Sylvia may have enough on her plate as it is without the “teachers” file, the “hockey coach” file, the “neighbor” file, the “family file” ,etc.
    Even after your above attempt at being “insulted”, I don’t find you very convincing…
    You are welcome to try again…
    You have an audience and I will be the first one to admit I was wrong and to apologize…when the picture you want to paint becomes believable. Otherwise, I personally won’t find it necessary or very helpful to waste more time on this.


  9. Sylvia says:

    Anonymous Shame, I am not posting your most recent comment. I don’t see this discussion going in a direction which assists anyone. This thread is intended to be for comments regarding Father Ian Cooper. I don’t understand why you chose to start your comments here. It is terribly frustrating for those who are trying to glean information on Father Cooper to have to go through all of these posts which are totally irrelevant.

    I am bringing this discussion to a close.

    I understand your frustration A.S., however this site is not the forum for you. I wish you well.

    I will let these recent comments stand for one day and then – with apologies to all who blogged – will delete them so that the thread can be cleaned up. (I tried to find a simple way to transfer the comments to the the Dialogue page – can’t do. If I could I would let the exchange stand, but would still draw it to a close)

  10. Miecul says:

    A.S. I know of 1 teacher in my town who was a pedophile. Problem is he’s dead. I know the man who finally told someone about this abuse about a year ago, and after about 45 years. There are students coming forward now. The priests are getting the headlines because of their position and who they are. The teacher’s are right up there with the trust position. Anglican ministers and other religions have been in the same boat.

    A.S. maybe you could start your own Web Site about teacher sex abuse, like Sylvia has with priests. I bet there are former students out there looking for information and a place to go. Google this “historic teacher sex abuse Canada” and see how many there are here in Canada alone, and not just teachers, every walk of life. People are coming forward it just takes time.

    • Miecul says:

      Sorry PJ & JG I’m using a new laptop and didn’t see the already comments you two made about AS starting his own site. I guess we’re on the same page and mind set.

      • Miecul says:

        Sylvia I don’t have the Edit button on this new machine. Is it due to a glitch or is one of my plug-ins not working? I know you’re watching, you’re always watching lol.

        • Sylvia says:

          I’ll have to check Miecul. Is anyone else having trouble with the Edit button? Is ti still working for everyone? As operator I don;t use it, so if something goes amok with it I need to hear from you 🙂

          If I hear nothing form others I will check it out later today Miecul

        • Sylvia says:

          I decided I had to check to see what the problem might be 🙂 The “plugin” permitting the edit feature had been deactivated. I have not a clue how that happened – I certainly did not do it – computer gremlins are at it again 🙂 Anyway, the plugin has been re-activated and I do believe is up and running again.

        • Miecul says:


          It’s back on Sylvia.
          Thank you

  11. Sylvia says:

    The Anonymous Shame discussion has been copied and pasted to the Dialogue thread. Click here to access.

  12. Orchard boy says:

    the Catholic Church needs to change, we are humans. We are not God or Jesus, priests and nuns should be able to marry.
    I was an alter boy under Ian Cooper. I come from a very solid loving family, he had been to our house many times. He obviously preyed on the less fortunate family’s who needed the church for refuge, and look what he do, so sad

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