Just why he was removed from the post of Principal was not made explicit, but it may have been related to the concerns expressed in a letter that was sent by the Provincial Superior to Br Finn.16 It said: 21st May, 1975 Dear Brother Finn, Brother Guthrie In reference to the above named I am writing to confirm that it is absolutely imperative that he accept the necessary psychiatric treatment that his case requires. For the implementation of this treatment I hereby request that you make arrangements for him to transfer to Belmont Park where [a doctor] will interview him and prescribe the necessary medication. As this matter is most urgent would you please see Brother Eric17 [Superior of Lota] and explain the urgency of the matter and then, without delay, fix the day for him to travel to Waterford. The sooner he receives treatment the better as the matter could easily pass outside our control and this would be tragic. I shall see Br Guthrie myself the next time I am in Waterford. With every best wish, Sincerely in J.C.
In April 1984, Dr Noble,20 a Consultant Psychiatrist, wrote a letter to a number of people, including Br Eric the Superior of Lota in which he referred to an interview with Paraic during which ‘disturbing evidence’ came to his notice. He wrote: Paraic went on to tell me that he was very distressed and upset about incidents that happened on cycling trips. He described how he stayed with Bro. Guthrie on a number of occasions when on these cycling trips both in tents, and also in the same room, and sometimes in the same bed in a house when they would stop on the cycling trips. He told me that he had voluntarily told [the headmaster] about how Bro Guthrie interfered with him during their trips. He told [the headmaster] yesterday and felt much better over talking to him. He said that these incidents had happened on and off over the past three years in trips to [the South of Ireland]. He said the last time was in [the South East]. On that occasion he had travelled alone to [the South East] with Bro. Guthrie. He described in detail how he and Bro. Guthrie had engaged in mutual masturbation on these occasions. He also said that he was warned by Bro. Guthrie not to tell anyone that these homosexual incidents had occurred ... In view of the above history I feel this boy should not go on any further cycling trips or should go on any cycling trips until further notice.
A memorandum was sent from Dr Noble on 8th November 1984 to Br Eric, [the Hospital Administrator] and [the Medical Director] outlining the allegations so far, and how Br Guthrie had not stopped contact. He had telephoned Paraic’s house and once again visited Paraic’s parents to get permission to take Paraic on another trip. No abuse occurred on this trip but it was a strain on Paraic. Paraic did not want his parents informed of the situation. He stated that immediate steps should be taken so that this could not happen again, and a meeting should be set up with all professional persons involved to make sure that Br Guthrie could not have any contact with any pupils, past or present. He also questioned whether Br Guthrie should be in any way involved with disabled residents of any institution, and whether it would be better if he were removed to an administrative capacity elsewhere: Memo. To: — Bro. Eric, Superior, [Hospital Administrator] [Clinical Director] From: Dr. Noble Child & Family Clinic 8th November, 1984 Lota, Glanmire, Cork Telephone [redacted] On the 11th April, 1984 I wrote to the above regarding allegations made by a resident in [named school], Paraic. Paraic is an adolescent boy who is a resident in ... School. Paraic at that time was interviewed by Dr. Price and also by [the headmaster] who referred him on to me. Paraic told me that he had been interfered sexually on a number of occasions on cycling trips by Bro. Guthrie. He described these incidents in detail and they are documented in the report of 11th April, ’84.... Because of this very serious situation at that time the above people had to be notified that such allegations be investigated and if there was any suspicion they were to be discontinued. In l9.9.’84 I sent a second Memo regarding Bro. Guthrie and how despite being told by the Superior that he was not to go on any further cycling trips with the boys from [named school] he did so. This fact was reported to me by [the headmaster], who had been informed that some of the pupils had brought photos of a trip showing that Bro. Guthrie had resumed his cycling trips with [named school], even though he had left the Brothers of Charity Services in Cork at that time and was resident in Bawnmore, Limerick. I again wrote to the Superior, the Administrator and to the Clinical Director regarding my deep concern about what was going on. All the people involved and myself strongly felt at that time the situation could not be allowed to continue. Our views were communicated to Bro. Bert, Provincial Superior and we were told that all contact between Bro. Guthrie and the children and adolescents both past and present who were in the Brothers of Charity would cease immediately. Unfortunately this did not occur. I interviewed Paraic on 19.9.84 . He told me that Bro. Guthrie had phoned him at home and had asked him how the cycling had gone on when he was not present. He asked Paraic to phone him and to let him know a second cycling trip that he would not be participating in went on. Paraic did this and Bro. Guthrie informed Paraic that he was coming to see his parents. Bro.Br Guthrie arrived on 31.10 .’84. He talked to Paraic’s parents and he and Paraic went on a cycling trip. They stayed overnight in the house belonging to a Mr. Byron.21 Both slept in the same room in two separate beds. Paraic said, “It was a strain on me if anything went on”. However, he stated that Bro. Guthrie did not touch him on this occasion as he had in the past. Thus, apparently there was no sexual contact between Bro. Guthrie and the boy on this occasion. Again Paraic told me that he did not want parents to know anything about what had happened previously. He said that if they felt that this had happened that they would be very upset ....Paraic again repeated to me that he did not want his parents to be told about what had happened in the past as he felt that because of their age that they could not take it, and it would upset them and possibly kill them ... I am absolutely appalled that this situation has recurred again,...... Paraic told me that he would be quite happy to go on cycling trips provided Bro. Guthrie was not there. In view of what has happened I feel that immediate steps will have to be taken by the Superior of the Brothers of Charity in Lota and the Provincial Superior that this can never happen again. I also feel that there should be immediately a meeting between the professional people involved to make it absolutely impossible for Bro. Guthrie ever again to have any dealing whatsoever with any of the pupils either past or present from the Brothers of Charity Services in Cork. I feel that the Superior in Bawnmore should be made known of all the facts and that he should know of Bro. Guthrie’s whereabouts at all times. I am also very doubtful if Bro. Guthrie should be in a unit such as Bawnmore, I feel that he should perhaps be in an administrative position far removed from residents in any mentally handicapped service. Dr. Noble. Consultant Psychiatrist.
The records reveal the following: (1)In the “Historical Report” (The School Annal/Diary) for Renmore written in December 1970, the following is noted: 21st January Mr Parter, Inspector of Schools, spent all day in school 6th April, Mr Parter, Inspector of Schools, visited the school today. 3rd June Mr Parter, Inspector of Schools examined Br Alvin26 for Diploma, Brother passed. 12th June Brother Br Dieter transferred to Belmont Park. 1st September Mr Walman27 took up duties as Headmaster. (2)Records from the Brothers of Charity record the transfer of Br Dieter from Holy Family School in Galway to Belmont Park in Waterford on 14th June 1970. There are two separate records confirming this date. (3)A Report of the Provincial Council Meetings held at Dominican Retreat House in Cork from 13th to 16th April 1971 records at item 4 that Br Dieter was to be changed from Belmont Park to the UK, on 24th April 1971 (Br Baldwin chaired the meeting which was attended by Brs Kurt, Eric, Bruno28 and Carl).29 (4)Another report of the Provincial Council Meeting held at Triest House on 29th May 1971 records again at item 5 that Br Dieter is in the UK and is happily settled there (Again, Br Baldwin chaired this meeting attended by Brs Eric, Bruno, Claus30 and Franz31 with Brs Kurt and Carl absent). (5)Br Dieter appears on the annual report of the residential centre in the UK on 23rd April 1971: ‘We welcomed Bro. Br Dieter as teacher for our proposed new special school’. (6)24th May 1971: special school opened – 5 pupils, Teacher and Headmaster – Brother Dieter. (7)List of Brothers and their functions – 31/12/1971 – Brother Dieter – Teacher. (8)The annual report for the year ending 31st December 1972 shows Brother Dieter as a Student. (9)The annual report for the year ending 1974 records: (a)Brother Dieter, Certificate in Education Leeds University, April, 1st 1974, Department of Education Science. (b)Brother Dieter – Teaching out (the job was in St. Michaels Primary school and he was there until he retired in 1989).
In a letter dated 15th November 1989 from Br Eric (Manager) to the Provincial Superior, Br Eric said the following: Dear [Provincial Superior], It is with deep regret that I feel obliged to send you the enclosed report. I first was made aware of this incident by [the Clinical Director] when he came to my office at noon on Monday last, 13th November. Subsequently that day [the Hospital Administrator] gave me further details re the sequence of events and of how [name redacted] initially reported the matter to him and, at that stage, also handed me a preliminary unsigned report of the incident. The enclosed signed report was handed to me to-day Wednesday 15th November. You will doubtless comprehend that we are faced with a matter of extreme urgency – a matter patently calling for immediate psychiatric attention. I’m sure you will deal with this as a matter of urgency as it is obvious that Bro. Alaric needs urgent attention for his problem in an appropriate setting. With kindest regards and sincere regret to be burdening you with this unfortunate problem. Yours Sincerely Bro. Eric P.S. This incident occurred in a completely public area – anyone could have witnessed it. Fortunately, Mr Admas was the only staff member who went to the Activation Unit at that time, as far as I can ascertain. [He] is one of our more experienced and loyal employees who has been in the service of the Brothers of Charity for [many years] and whose loyalty and commitment is without question ... It is some consolation that he was the sole witness and I am fully confident that his loyalty to the Brothers will prevail in this matter. Bro. Eric.
The following is a report of a discussion between the Provincial and an unknown author (in the absence of Br Eric due to illness) which took place on 3rd January 1990: Topic: Alleged incident involving Bro Alaric. On the occasion of [the Provincial Superior’s] visit to Lota on the 3rd January, 1990, and in the absence of Bro Eric (Superior) due to illness, I asked him if any decision had been taken regarding the reported incident involving Bro Alaric and one of the residents. I said there was concern at all levels that some urgent action be taken to resolve the matter. A summary of the points made by [the Provincial Superior] are as follows: 1. Bro Alaric is a very old man, and, if not already senile is bordering on senility. 2. It is often the case that senility brings on an increased sexual awareness and activity. 3. The alleged incident has been viewed with the greatest concern and Br Provincial has had a lengthy discussion with Bro Alaric expressing this concern. The Provincial now believed that there will be no further incidents of this nature. 4. He has considered the options available to him: should he transfer Bro Alaric to an old people’s home or – given that he believes there will be no recurrence of the alleged incident – leave him in Lota where Bro has requested to stay. 5. He has decided that, for the immediate future anyway, to leave Bro Alaric in Lota. He will keep himself informed of progress and assess the situation on an on-going basis. 6. He anticipated that Bro Eric would be returning to Lota in the next week or so.
Br Eric was in charge of the Sancta Maria unit in Lota from 1954 to 1963, along with Br Guthrie and Br Dieter. Sancta Maria unit had 60 boys, divided into two dormitories with 30 boys in each. Their ages ranged between 13 and 18 years. The dormitories were divided in terms of age, Br Guthrie was in charge of one and Br Dieter was in charge of the other.
Br Eric admitted to an allegation contained in a Statement of Claim in High Court proceedings from a boy, resident in Lota from the mid 1950s. His counsel asked ‘Did you ever sexually abuse [this boy]’, to which Br Eric replied ‘Yes’. He was then asked to explain to the Committee the circumstances: 1953 was the year, September 1953, and Cork had won the all Ireland hurling final that year and the captain of the team ... about a fortnight after the match ... rang me and he said, "We would like to bring up the cup and have a bit of a party and a celebration for the boys" and I said very good. So, they came up, big number of the local team called Sarsfields, they were the Glanmire area. So they brought the cup up and we had a party and there was whiskey poured in, in plenty, into the cup and we had a good few drinks of the whiskey and the boys then were sent to bed after the party. It was about 10.30 . It was much later than the boys would normally go to bed and I was in my room and I left my door slightly open because the switches for the lights were on the wall outside and the boys were a bit excited, you know, being up late for this party. So I got ready for bed myself and just as I put on my pyjamas this boy ran into my room and he was naked apart from the – he had the top half of his pyjamas on him, so he started jumping up and down in front of me. I wasn’t used to drinking whiskey at the time, as I said it was 1953 and I pressed myself against him and then he went out.
When asked by his counsel, ‘is that the extent of what happened with [the boy]’, Br Eric replied ‘That was the extent of it yes’.