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2 entries for Br Colbert


In February 1963, Mrs McCarthy brought her grandson to Artane to discuss with the Superior his difficulty in keeping jobs and to see if he could help in finding employment. What happened in the course of this meeting is in dispute. The grandmother gave her version of what happened in a letter written later that month (26th February) to the Minister for Education: I could not believe my eyes, without word or warning the Superior, closed his fist + struck the boy a most brutal blow on the side of the jaw, saying to him why wont you work. He then said in the most deliberate tone to him, you are mental the boy said I am not. He said you are suffering from a mental dicease, this he repeated about five times; every drop of blood had left the boys face from the blow, which had sent him staggering to the other side of the Office, all the unfortunate boy could say was wh... and his voice went. I was so shocked and dazed from the scene. I was not much better than the boy. I could not think straight. However Bro Colbert34 happened to come in just then and the Superior said look who we have here. He then left the Office. I followed him outside the door and told him it was the yrs of ill treatment of that Kind had the boy the way he was, and told him to get the boy medical and mental treatment ... He was removed to St Brendan’s on The Sat evg 9th February.

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Mr Dunleavy commented on aftercare: The provision of after care was one of the statutory requirements of the industrial school system, and the School was supposed to have some regard to the welfare of its former pupils until they attained 18 years of age. In practice both archival records and interviews with Christian Brothers who worked at Artane indicate that aftercare, such as it was, was a very hit-or-miss affair. The Brother in charge of aftercare was responsible for trying to secure full or licensed employment for the boys and then monitoring their progress, usually for two years. In practice employers made representations to the Brother responsible for aftercare and if they were considered suitable, boys were assigned to work for them. Boys were often left unmonitored in their new positions and the only information the school had in relation to them was that provided by the boys themselves should they choose to write to the School during the early course of their employment. The low priority with which aftercare was regarded is indicated by the fact that of the two Brothers who were in charge for many years, Br. Colbert was quite an elderly man while Br. Leon was known to be an extreme eccentric, and neither man was even provided with the services of a motor car to attempt to visit the boys who were to be found in employment throughout the country.

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