The Christian Brothers no longer have a copy of the Canonical Warning issued to this Brother, but its ineffectiveness soon became apparent. Less than nine months after the Canonical Warning, the Superior had to report further transgression. He wrote to the Brother Consultor: My v dear Brother Consultor, Br Marceau is again in trouble. Last night, a [parent] called on me. He charged Br Marceau with pulling hair out of his son’s head. I brought Br Marceau to see the son and hear the charge. Br Marceau denied it and [the parent] called him a “liar”, and said he believes his son, who on being questioned would not admit the Brother did it until he was assured there would be no fear of consequences on telling the truth! [The parent] said on leaving, he would take his own action next time it happened – he would not go to the Superior or [text illegible] into Br Marceau’s room and deal with him, not with “Kid gloves” either. I intended investigating this matter to-day (Sat), but had not time, as Monsignor O’Byrne called in. I am inclined to believe [the parent]. I may be wrong, of course. Anyway Br Marceau told me to-day the two ... boys in his class should be put out until such time as their father apologises! I had reason a month or so ago to talk to Br Marceau on another matter and he accused me rather passionately of exaggerating things last year to you and the Br Provincial. In all, he is the “innocent” one, and we are all against him. He believes this and though he has zeal and works hard, he has no common sense. I mentioned some time ago when writing you, that I have still to face angry parents and submit to insults. I am not going to interview another parent who comes to complain about Br Marceau. I am sick and tired of it all. Please do not write to him on the matter. He will deny everything. And I shall appear a “greater” enemy in his eyes.
The Brother Consultor’s reply was also despondent and gave no expectation of prompt action. He wrote: My very dear Brother Superior, We are indeed sorry to learn that Br Marceau has occasioned more trouble for you. At your request, I shall not write to Br Marceau about the matter for the present. You are requested, however, to try to get, if possible, the correct version of the incident that caused the complaint. The matter can then be raised at Visitation time or before then if necessary.
Unable to deal with Br Marceau, the Superior’s one hope was to get the Visitor to take action. By return of post, he protested that he had already got the truth of the matter, and he gave further details. He went on to implore the Brother Consultor to remove Br Marceau from the School: My v. dear Brother Consultor, I thank you for your letter received to-day. I was indeed sorry to have to write you again about Br Marceau, but I could not help it. He will never learn his lesson. I interviewed this young boy ... aged nine, today. He states Br Marceau pulled hair out of his head, for doing the wrong sums. I asked him about other boys probably seeing it and he said that they may have. I don’t want to question other boys in Br Marceau’s class. I asked this young boy too if he was asked since Friday – the day it happened, about the matter. He told me Br Marceau said that he [the boy] was telling lies and he admitted it, but it was true that Br Marceau pulled his hair out, as he did in June, when his mother complained. Why should this boy make up the story or why should his father come here in such a violent temper? Br Marceau still maintains he did not pull his hair out, and wants me to take some action against the father of the boy for his “threats”! Incidentally, I warned Br Marceau not to talk to the boy about the incident and yet I have it from the boy as also from Br Marceau that he questioned him again yesterday. After this incident of punishing last year, the then Br. Provincial wrote me that he contemplated sending Br Marceau to Waterpark but there were difficulties. In view of the past history; I expected Br Marceau would be transferred in Summer. I wrote you on this matter since Summer. Believe me, there is nothing personal in this. I am writing in the interests of the School, as well as in Br Marceau’s interest. He would not make a good impression if there was a Court Case. I have forbidden Br Marceau to use a leather and it possible he is using his hands now. I heard him at times shouting at these unfortunate children. He has done a lot of harm to the School by his severity. He really is not responsible; for, his IQ is that of a young child. In conclusion; this is the fourth complaint and I hope the last here; but I doubt it. If there is another, I am not meeting the people concerned. They may go where they like with the complaint. I suggest transferring Br Marceau at Christmas; it may be easier then. If you have no Brother, I could try and get a lady teacher. Please do not take me as dictating to you, but I see no Solution except a transfer. You could ask Br Reymond or any Brother here about Br Marceau. Br Reymond also agrees with me that this Brother is not responsible. He is a bit mental. As I stated already, your writing Br Marceau will not help. He is denying everything; so it is his word against a boy’s. As regards the mark in the head of [the boy]. I examined it and it is about the size of a sixpenny piece. It is not noticeable with the rest of the hair pulled over it.
The letter was unrelenting in its criticism of Br Marceau. The Superior made it clear that the violence would continue, and that he had seen the physical evidence of the violence – the bald patch on the boy’s head where the hair had been pulled out. The facts were overwhelming. He implored that the Brother be speedily transferred. The Brother Consultor’s reply offered no quick solution: My very dear Br Superior, Thanks for your letter re. Br Marceau, received this morning. The whole matter will have to come before this Council in due time. There are only two here at present, Br Tavin and myself. Br Marceau did get a canonical warning early in the year and apparently there has been a recurrence of the fault. I suggest that for the present you should point out to Br Marceau the seriousness of his position at present. That may be a restraint on him. You mentioned his being removed at Christmas. You ought to investigate the possibility of getting a lady-teacher for the junior classes. Would Miss O’Neill5 be able for that work? When you learn of a satisfactory solution to the difficulty – without, however, making any definite arrangement – please communicate with us and there may then be the possibility of changing Br Marceau. ... I am hoping that you will be able to get a suitable person to look after the young children. That seems to be the best solution to the trouble.
The Brother Consultor could not remove a physically abusive teacher without having replacement staff. This fact suggested the harm and injury being inflicted on young children was secondary to the staffing problem. The dilemma of where to put Br Marceau, to avoid the wrath of parents and the threat of litigation, was solved when he was moved to an industrial school. Br Marceau was transferred to Tralee less than two months after the Brother Consultor wrote the above letter. There was no evidence to suggest that the Superior there was warned about him before he arrived.
Because he had admitted his guilt, the Br Consultor did not feel that it was necessary to investigate the matter further, which saved him the ‘disagreeable duty’ of seeing those who had made the charges, and saved Br Herve and the School ’from talk that would arise if an investigation were to be made by me’. He recommended Br Herve’s immediate removal because: His actions are a constant source of talk and criticism among the boys and their parents. It may be taken for granted that he is much talked of [in the area] and being one who is loose in morals, and one who should not have charge of boys.