Explore the Ryan Report

Chapter 4 — Greenmount

Show Contents

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.


Br Carlito continued: I am very surprised as I was extra good to him. I even gave him money now and then ... I gave him £2 or £3 pounds now and then. I even sent him money after I left ... but I have not seen or heard from him since. Why did he wait so long? I cannot remember interfering with him.


When it was explained to him that such a time lapse in coming forward was common, that people felt ashamed and guilty about what had happened, and that it took a lot of courage to tell their story, Br Carlito said ‘If I did it to him I must be inclined to do it to others’.


When asked whether he remembered feeling attracted to do this with boys, he replied ‘I can’t remember this attraction’.


He said that the boy could have been in his room, but not for that purpose. Br Carlito said that he was ‘flabbergasted and dumbfounded. This knocks me back altogether. There is nothing for me now but Ahadoe [graveyard] and the sooner the better. I can now understand how easy suicide is’.


Br Hilario met with Br Carlito a few days later, when Br Carlito made a statement maintaining: I am not saying it did not take place but I have no recollection of it happening. I think it is better for all concerned if I don’t deny it completely.

  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.
  10. This is a pseudonym.
  11. This is a pseudonym.
  12. This is a pseudonym.
  13. Report on Reformatory and Industrial Schools, 1936.
  14. This is a pseudonym.
  15. This is a pseudonym.
  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. This is a pseudonym.
  24. This is a pseudonym..
  25. This is a pseudonym.
  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. This is a pseudonym.
  37. This is a pseudonym.
  38. This is a pseudonym.
  39. This is a pseudonym.