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Chapter 7 — Artane

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Sexual abuse


Br Lancelin came under suspicion of sexual involvement with boys while he was in Artane in 1944 and was transferred to Carriglea. His personal card stated: Suspicion had been aroused by a tendency to particular friendship with a boy in Artane.


In Carriglea, sexual abuse was disclosed and several boys furnished written statements accusing Br Lancelin of ‘immoral conduct’. (These allegations are dealt with in more detail in the Carriglea chapter.) The complaints were investigated by the Brother Provincial, who referred the matter to the General Council. When the case came to trial before the General Council, Br Lancelin admitted to the offences and pleaded guilty. The personal card made reference to one of the offences committed saying, ‘One offence occurred on Xmas. day 1944, though he made vows on Xmas. morning’.


The General Council voted unanimously to dismiss him from the Congregation in 1945. Again, this Brother was not a finally professed member but rather a temporarily professed Brother and so dispensation from vows was not an issue.


Br Laurent said that he recalled Br Lancelin leaving Artane, but he did not know the reason for his transfer and had not heard his name mentioned in connection with child abuse. The Department of Education records indicated that Carriglea was this Brother’s last teaching post.


In the early 1950s, a complaint of sexual abuse was made against Br Gaillard, who was then teaching in a north Dublin primary school. This Brother had taught in Artane in the mid-1940s. There is no documentary evidence of complaints against this Brother in Artane, although he did apply for a transfer from there due to ‘conscientious reasons’.


The complaint was made by the father of a boy who reported to the Superior that this Brother was abusing his son and up to 12 other boys in the primary school. The abuse took place in the Brother’s private room, where he sat the boys on his lap and fondled their private parts. Br Gaillard received a Canonical Warning and was transferred to another Christian Brothers’ primary school, where he remained for three years. In the mid-1950s, he wrote to the Superior General, voluntarily seeking a dispensation from his vows on the basis that he was unable to prevent himself from interfering with boys. In this letter he wrote: I received a Canonical Warning for interfering with boys. I cannot overcome it. I have tried it for three years and it is worse I am getting. I just find it impossible to stand in front of a class as a Christian Brother.


Br Gaillard was granted a dispensation a month later, and shortly thereafter took up a teaching post at another school, where he stayed for two and a half years.


In the late 1950s, the Provincial of the Christian Brothers wrote to the manager of another school in the west of Ireland who had sought a reference in respect of Mr Gaillard. The Provincial was frank about his history of sexual abuse. He referred to his ‘interference (morally) with boys’ and felt that he could not write a reference for him. Notwithstanding this setback, Mr Gaillard was still able to continue teaching until his retirement in the mid-1980s. He did two short periods of teaching in rural schools, both of which commenced and ended in the middle of school terms, which is unusual and which might imply removal for misconduct. Br Laurent, who was on the staff of Artane at the time, told the Investigation Committee that he knew Br Gaillard, but had never heard of him having any involvement with abuse in Artane.


In conclusion: Br Gaillard was transferred within the Congregation, notwithstanding a history of abuse. His letter seeking dispensation could not be clearer in underlining the danger he posed to children. By being granted a dispensation from vows, he left the Congregation apparently in good standing. He was able to move into a teaching job immediately on leaving the Congregation. The Provincial, when asked directly for a reference, was not afraid to identify him as a danger to children, but there is no evidence that he took steps to notify other schools or the Department of Education. Despite the employment pattern of this man prior to 1960, there are no known complaints about his later career.


Br Fremont taught in Artane in the early 1950s, and was later found to have sexually abused boys in a Christian Brothers’ school in the Midlands. In the late 1950s, the mother of a boy in the School made a complaint about Br Fremont to the Superior of the School. From a report written by the Superior to the Provincial Council, it appears that Br Fremont got boys to expose their private parts and he also exposed himself to them. The Superior questioned him about these incidents, and he admitted that they were true.


The Superior referred the matter to the Provincial Council of St Mary’s Province. A member of the Provincial Council then interviewed Br Fremont. In the course of this interview, the Brother, when questioned about whether he had abused boys in Artane, admitted that he had once interfered with a boy in Artane, and that in another school where he had been teaching there had also been an incident. He further admitted that the sexual abuse in the Midlands school had taken place. This case was considered so bad that the unanimous decision of the Council was to dismiss him, but he was given the option of voluntarily seeking a dispensation from his vows, which he exercised. The dispensation was accordingly granted.


The Department of Education records indicate that he ceased teaching within the State system at that time.


Br Ricard, who taught in Artane in the mid-1950s, sexually abused boys in a Christian Brothers’ school in Waterford in the late 1950s. There is no documentary evidence of complaints about him during his time in Artane. His earlier abuse came to light when one of the boys abused in Waterford became a pupil at a private secondary school run by another Religious Community. Br Ricard wrote a ‘sordid and immoral letter’ to the boy which was intercepted by the Superior of the College, who informed a member of the Christian Brothers Provincial Council. The Brother’s personal card states that he ‘admitted accusations of having interfered immodestly with at least one 12 year old pupil’.


A meeting of the General Council was held, at which he admitted the charges. Both the Provincial and General Councils at the time considered his case to be the worst of its kind that they had ever come across and voted unanimously for his immediate dismissal. Nevertheless, he was given leave to apply for a dispensation from his vows, which he did. His departure was immediate and was obviously considered very serious, as he was put on a boat and sent to England.


A letter sent the following day to the Brother Procurator General, regarding the dispensation from perpetual vows of Br Ricard, reveals the anxiety felt by the Brothers about this case: This is one of the worst cases we have had in my experience. It is so bad that we have voted unanimously in both Provincial and General Councils that he be granted a dispensation ...

  1. Report on Artane Industrial School for the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse by Ciaran Fahy, Consulting Engineer (see Appendix 1).
  2. Rules and Regulations of Industrial Schools 1885.
  3. Commission of Inquiry into the Reformatory and Industrial School System 1934-1936 chaired by Justice Cussen.
  4. Dr McQuaid and Fr Henry Moore.
  5. This is a pseudonym.
  6. This is a pseudonym. See also the Tralee chapter.
  7. This is a pseudonym.
  8. This is a pseudonym.
  9. Br Beaufort had previously also worked in Carriglea in the early 1930s.
  10. This is a pseudonym.
  11. This is a pseudonym.
  12. This is a pseudonym.
  13. This is a pseudonym.
  14. This is a pseudonym.
  15. This is a pseudonym. See also the Carriglea chapter.
  16. This is a pseudonym.
  17. This is a pseudonym.
  18. This is a pseudonym.
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  20. This is a pseudonym.
  21. This is a pseudonym.
  22. This is a pseudonym.
  23. From the infirmary register it appears that while the boy was not confined in hospital he was due for a check up the day his mother called to see the superior so he may well not have been in the Institution when his mother called.
  24. Dr Anna McCabe was the Department of Education Inspector for most of the relevant period.
  25. It was in fact the Minister for Education who used those words. See paragraph 7.117 .
  26. This is a pseudonym.
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  36. The same incident is referred to in the Department’s inspection into the matter as ‘a shaking’.
  37. This is a pseudonym.
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  42. This is a pseudonym.
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  44. This is a pseudonym.
  45. This is a pseudonym.
  46. This is a pseudonym.
  47. This is a pseudonym.
  48. This is a pseudonym.
  49. Dr Anna McCabe (Medical Inspector), Mr Seamus Mac Uaid (Higher Executive Officer) and Mr MacDáibhid (Assistant Principal Officer and Inspector in Charge of Industrial Schools).
  50. This is a pseudonym.
  51. This is a pseudonym.
  52. This is a pseudonym.
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  76. This is a pseudonym.
  77. This is a pseudonym.
  78. This is a pseudonym.
  79. See General Chapter on the Christian Brothers at para ???.
  80. He went there after many years in Artane.
  81. Dr Charles Lysaght was commissioned by the Department of Education to conduct general and medical inspections of the industrial and reformatory schools in 1966 in the absence of a replacement for Dr McCabe since her retirement the previous year. He inspected Artane on 8th September 1966.
  82. See Department of Education and Science Chapter, One-off Inspections.
  83. The fact that they were tired is noted in many Visitation Reports.
  84. Council for Education, Recruitment and Training.
  85. This is a pseudonym.
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  87. This is a pseudonym.