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Chapter 7 — Artane

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Sexual abuse


Br Lamar, who had taught in Artane in the early 1960s, applied for dispensation from vows in the early 1970s, stating that he was unable to keep his vow of chastity and that his record in relation to chastity had not been good. A document relating to the application, signed by the Provincial, stated: ‘He is known to have interfered with boys in his class’. It does not specifically state what class or what school this was in. Although there is no document indicating that he abused boys in Artane, at the time of his departure from Artane the Provincial wrote to the Superior General and referred to Br Lamar as someone ‘who did not turn out too well in Artane’.


Witnesses recalled the sudden departure of Br Lamar, one of whom, Br Davet, said: All I remember was that at prayers one morning he just got up and stormed out, and that was it. I thought he had some sort of a nervous breakdown or something ...


Br Davet said that he did not ask any questions about this departure, believing that the man was not well.


Br Adrien, who worked in Artane in the early 1960s, was removed as a result of a complaint that was made to the chaplain, Fr Henry Moore, and passed on by him to the Superior and to the Provincial.


Prior to serving in Artane, Br Adrien had served in Letterfrack, and was acknowledged as being a danger to boys there. The Resident Manager of Letterfrack wrote of this Brother in 1959: I hope you will forgive my candour in saying that I would prefer to have no one at all for the boys’ kitchen than to have the constant strain of watching and worrying about him. It is impossible to keep one’s eye on him. Every time he gets my back turned he is in the kitchen and goodness knows, there are enough difficulties and worries to contend with, without having to think of him every minute and hour of the day. The position regarding the Monastery kitchen is regrettable but unfortunately he has not got proper control in the boys’ department either. In my opinion he is not suitable at all to handle young boys and it is positively dangerous, especially in these times, to have him looking after them. A weakness in discipline in this important department will have a very detrimental effect on the boys’ behaviour and will add to everyone’s difficulties and will seriously affect the tone of the school. Taking the above considerations into account and also your own personal knowledge of Br Adrien I ask you seriously to reflect on the harmful effect his staying here is bound to have, and I entreat you to permit the transfer to go through as originally arranged.


The Superior’s request was granted, but it was scarcely a satisfactory solution to move Br Adrien to St Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys in Cabra. He remained there for two years until he went to Artane and, despite the concerns expressed in the above letter, he was put in charge of the boys’ kitchen.


Some two years later, a letter to the Resident Manager following a Visitation referred to Br Adrien as follows: I am sorry about Br Adrien and I only hope that we will hear no more about such cases. Rather there will be no such case to hear about.


No further information was provided, and it is unclear what type of ‘case’ was being referred to. The Visitation Report does not give any clearer indication as to what was being alluded to in respect of this Brother and, in fact, the Visitor commended him on his excellent cooking and his improvement of the food for the boys.


The Committee heard evidence from one complainant who made allegations of sexual abuse against Br Adrien. His evidence was unusual in that it was corroborated by the chaplain, Fr Moore. The complainant in this case was 11 or 12 when he went to work in the refectory of Artane. Within a short while, a grooming process was commenced by Br Adrien: [He] used to take me into his confidence and give me sweets and an apple or an orange or whatever. He used to show me a bit of affection. Obviously, not getting any affection that I used to have from my grandmother, it was lovely to have. I used to look forward to the treats that I used to get—and after a period of time, slowly but surely—not realising what was happening, I was being given sweets and all of a sudden my hand was taken and it was placed on – what we called at the time, we committed badness, but my hand was taken and put on his penis. Being an innocent child, I didn’t realise what was happening, or whatever. I was being shown what to do with my hand and this, that and the other and I was being given sweets.


This went on for a period of time and became more frequent. Br Adrien would often make a point of beating him in the refectory in front of all the boys if he committed any slight infraction: ‘I was being shown who was in charge here, “you do what I tell you to do”’.


Br Adrien had an office at the back of the refectory and, when the complainant was brought there, the same pattern of behaviour continued. The door was locked and he was made to masturbate the Brother in return for sweets and treats. He also alleged that, on one occasion, Br Adrien anally raped him. The second time he tried to do this, the boy resisted by kicking out. In return, he was badly beaten and had no escape from the locked room.


The complainant went to Confession on a Friday in the mid-1960s and told the chaplain, Fr Moore, what had been happening with Br Adrien. He was shocked and asked the boy to repeat what he said outside of the confessional. The boy did so and then the priest reported the matter to the Superior, Br Ourson.


The following Monday, Br Ourson and a large number of the teaching Brothers came out to the pre-school assembly in the yard, and the complainant was summoned to Br Ourson’s office. There, he was asked to repeat exactly what he had told the chaplain. When asked what Br Ourson’s reaction was, he said, ‘I can’t say what his reaction was. All I know is that within 24 hours Br Adrien was gone out of Artane’.


The matter did not rest there. According to the witness, he was taken out of class the next day and was questioned about boys he had been ‘committing badness with’. He was beaten in the course of this questioning until he named boys. Those boys were in turn taken out of class and beaten until they gave names. He was taken out again over two or three days, and was beaten because of being named by other boys: It was just one vicious circle that kept going on for two – for three days. I had been taken out because other boys started giving my name back again. It was even said to me, but who said it I don’t know, “you should have kept your mouth shut and none of this would have happened”.


He went on to say that for three days he was systematically beaten: both outside classroom, in the dormitory, anywhere where I went within those environments. I was taken to a music room just off the corridor to the right of where the classes are and I had been beaten so much that I went to the toilet in a bin and another boy seen me and told a Brother that I had done that and I was taken back out and flogged again because I had done that. We weren’t allowed to go to the toilet, we were being punished for something that I had started.

  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.
  19. This is a pseudonym.
  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.
  27. This is a pseudonym.
  28. This is a pseudonym.
  29. This is a pseudonym.
  30. This is a pseudonym.
  31. This is a pseudonym.
  32. This is a pseudonym.
  33. This is a pseudonym.
  34. This is a pseudonym.
  35. This is a pseudonym.
  36. The same incident is referred to in the Department’s inspection into the matter as ‘a shaking’.
  37. This is a pseudonym.
  38. This is a pseudonym.
  39. This is a pseudonym.
  40. This is a pseudonym.
  41. This is a pseudonym.
  42. This is a pseudonym.
  43. This is a pseudonym.
  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.
  53. This is a pseudonym.
  54. This is a pseudonym.
  55. This is a pseudonym.
  56. This is a pseudonym.
  57. This is a pseudonym.
  58. This is a pseudonym.
  59. This is a pseudonym.
  60. This is a pseudonym.
  61. This is a pseudonym.
  62. This is a pseudonym.
  63. This is a pseudonym.
  64. This is a pseudonym.
  65. This is a pseudonym.
  66. This is a pseudonym.
  67. This is a pseudonym.
  68. This is a pseudonym.
  69. This is a pseudonym.
  70. This is a pseudonym.
  71. This is a pseudonym.
  72. This is a pseudonym.
  73. This is a pseudonym.
  74. This is a pseudonym.
  75. This is a pseudonym.
  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.
  86. This is a pseudonym.
  87. This is a pseudonym.