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Chapter 4 — Greenmount

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Sexual abuse


The note continues: Superior Carlito assembled the boys interviewed by Fr. Brendan and told them that any words he was using were not in secret and could be used if they were ever interviewed – and that he was using no threats or bribes “if you think that what you have said is true stick to it but you must prove it. If you think what you said is untrue be honourable enough to admit it.” “He would follow this up [to] the very end ...”


On 27th December, Br Carlito resigned as Resident Manager but remained a member of the Congregation. The Synopsis of his Service History provided by the Department of Education indicates that he taught in a number of different schools until he reached retirement. He died at an advanced age before the Committee began its hearings into Greenmount.


Br Garcia furnished medical evidence that he was incapable of testifying before the Committee, but he did provide a statement dealing with these events: I learned of these allegations in circumstances when I was walking along the corridor in Greenmount Industrial School and Br Allente approached me and told me that I and another Brother were to go to the Bishop’s Palace to speak to Bishop Cornelius Lucey who was then the Bishop of Cork ... At this remove in time I have difficulty recalling the precise allegations as related to me by Bishop Lucey. In general terms the allegations were to the effect that children were being abused in the school and that I was being blamed. I immediately denied those allegations to the Bishop and I inquired as to who had made these allegations against me. Bishop Lucey would not provide these names. I also inquired as to what individual had made the complaint and I did not get that name either. I was then told to leave. Some time later I was invited again to the Bishop’s Palace and had a discussion again with the Bishop about alleged sexual abuse in which I was allegedly involved. I immediately denied any such involvement in this type of activity. I was invited back again on a third separate occasion and I inquired of the Bishop as to when all of this was going to end and I was told by the Bishop “that there was no smoke without fire”. I became extremely upset about the way in which this matter was being handled and took the view that if this was the way that matters were being dealt with that I would be better off out of the Presentation Brothers.


He continued teaching in the School until his dispensation was granted in February 1956: I remember leaving Greenmount on a Friday and commencing teaching at Waterford on the following Monday where I had secured a post.


Fr Andrew was chaplain to the School from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. In a letter dated 29th December 2005, he stated: I wish to state clearly that during my years as chaplain, I saw no evidence whatever of physical or sexual abuse.


However, he said that he had heard rumours about abuse in the School. He stressed that this was clearly hearsay, but he was ‘happy to pass it on ... as it may help to clarify some aspects of the Commission’s enquiries’: Much of what I heard about enquiries into abuse in Greenmount came from young Mill Hill community priests who were studying for the Higher Diploma in education in University College, Cork ... Some information may also have come from Fr. Charles ... It was probably he who informed me that I was being excluded from the enquiries because I was hearing Confessions in Greenmount. I believe that there were altogether three distinct enquiries into abuse in Greenmount while I was chaplain there. The only one of which I was aware at the time was under the care of Rev. Charles, curate in the Lough Parish (long since deceased.) I believe that this enquiry was a formal Canonical Visitation, done by V. Rev. Mons. David.. I never saw him while he was in Cork.


He did not know what action, if any, the Diocese took as a result of the inquiry, but he believed that a number of Brothers either left the Congregation or were transferred elsewhere. When Fr Andrew heard of ‘possible problems in Greenmount’ many years later, he informed the Diocesan authorities of the Canon David investigation, but was told that there was no Canon David report on file.


Fr Andrew stated that he later heard from Sr Vita,29 who had been in charge of the Boy’s Junior Industrial School at Passage West, a feeder school for Greenmount and Upton, that Bishop Lucey had visited her and directed her not to transfer boys to the two senior schools mentioned, thus contributing to the closure of those schools.


In the late 1990s, an individual approached the Presentation Brothers with allegations that Br Carlito had sexually abused him during the 1970s, while he was a resident at an orphanage run by another Congregation and attended the nearby monastery school. Br Carlito was teaching at the school. Br Carlito taught in this school from the mid-1960s until the mid-1970s.


The man making this allegation met with the Superior of the monastery and told him that Br Carlito had abused him. The Superior then met the Regional Leader, Br Hilario,30 to whom he gave the following two-page report: He told me he had been in an Orphanage in the local ... Convent. Bro C. used to visit often. One day a boy broke his leg in the yard and was in ... hospital. Bro C took on a motorbike to see him. That the first time abuse started. Then Bro C used to bring to the monastery and take him up to his own room. Brought him to see Leeds v Sunderland Cup Final on T.V. in monastery – then abuse. Usually gave him 2/-. Stopped around the time the Orphanage closed ... Is undergoing Counselling. To see me & tell me was part of the healing process ...


Br Hilario recorded these events in a memorandum. Following his meeting with the Superior, Br Hilario telephoned the man: I assured him that I believed his story and that I would be quite prepared to listen to him if he so wished.


They subsequently met and the man repeated the allegations: Brother Carlito was a regular visitor to the Orphanage. He took the boys on cycling trips ... at weekends. When he was in 3rd or 4th class the abuse began. “A lot of grooming had taken place before it started.” Another boy from the Orphanage broke his leg and was in hospital ... Brother Carlito took him on a motorbike to visit him. “This was the start of the abuse” [the man] gave no indication as to the nature of the abuse or where it took place. He was vague on dates. When questioned he said he was eleven or twelve at the time. (It seemed to me that eleven or twelve was old for a boy in 3rd or 4th class but I did not comment on this.) [the man] said he had been abused on four occasions ... Brother Carlito would take him to his bedroom and “take down my pants” He remembers going to the monastery to view the Cup Final between Leeds and Sunderland; He then went on to talk about further abuse. “Brother Carlito lay on the bed and placed me on his belly. I got frightened and so did he, I think.”


The man told Br Hilario that he did not want to report the matter to the Gardaí. He did not see any benefit in putting an old man in gaol – that would not be any good to him. When asked how he felt the Presentation Brothers could be of help to him, he replied ‘compensation, I suppose’.


A representative of the Congregation met Br Carlito subsequently in relation to this complaint, and recorded the outcome of the meeting in a note prepared for the Congregation’s legal representatives. He told Br Carlito of the allegation: He did not interrupt or comment while I was relating the story. When I finished he said “This is terrible just when I was recovering this pushes me back down again.” ... I told him the Gardai were not approached.


Br Carlito recalled the man as a pupil, although he had not taught him. He said that he had been good to him and that he couldn’t remember any abuse taking place.

  1. Dermot Keogh, ‘St Joseph’s Industrial School, Greenmount, Cork’ (Report prepared for the Presentation Brothers, May 2001 and submitted to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse 19 May 2004), pp 187–188.
  2. For the greater glory of God.
  3. Fratrium Presentionis Mariae.
  4. Keogh, p 54.
  5. Keogh, p 57.
  6. Cork Examiner, 28 March 1874, cited in Dermot Keogh, ‘St Joseph’s Industrial School, Greenmount, Cork’ May 2001.
  7. Cork Examiner, 30 March 1874, cited by Keogh, May 2001, p 41.
  8. Cork Examiner, 30 March 1874, cited by Keogh, May 2001, pp 41–2.
  9. Cork Examiner, 24 March 1874.
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  13. Report on Reformatory and Industrial Schools, 1936.
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