A contemporary of Br Serge, Br Amaury,14 gave more details: The procedure for dealing with complaints would be that if any staff member or child in the school had a complaint he could bring that problem to the Superior/Manager, the sub superior, the school principal, the disciplinarian, or to the provincial or any one of his council. One such complaint was made during my year in Glin. It was made against one of the Brothers on the school staff. I do not know to what outside group or individual the complaint was made but the nature of it was that the man in question was over severe in having recourse to corporal punishment. None of the details of this complaint were made available to the community or staff in Glin. The boy who was named as the one who made the complaint was personally known to me and my impression of him was that he was a boy who would be very unlikely to do anything serious enough to merit severe corporal punishment. He was known to have been a close friend – a “masters pet” – one of the men who regularly did supervision in the school yard during recreation time. This does add more than a little likelihood to an opinion circulating at the time; that it was the “master” and not really the “pet” who caused the complaint to be made.
The procedure referred to by Br Amaury, ‘that if any staff member or child in the school had a complaint he could bring that problem to the Superior/Manager, the sub-superior, the school principal, the disciplinarian, or to the provincial or any one of his council’, was not used in this case of extreme violence. Instead, a letter of complaint was sent to an outsider, the School Inspector. There was no explanation in the documentation as to why this route was taken, but it was clearly deemed necessary or politic to avoid the Congregation’s management structures.
Br Amaury worked in St Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys, Cabra before moving to Glin where he spent a year during the 1940s. He made a bad impression during his brief period in Glin. During an annual Visitation, the Visitor was very critical of Br Amaury and recommended his transfer. Br Amaury was moved a few months later to a day school and did not teach in a residential school again. The Visitor made insightful observations on the vulnerability of boys in residential care: With the exception of Br Amaury all the other members of staff are capable and reliable. In punishing boys he sometimes loses control of himself. I would recommend his change in view of circumstances in the school. It would be better if Br Amaury was sent to a day school where boys would have a parent or relative to interpose between themselves and a cruel teacher. The industrial school boy has no redress but suffer on.