In the early 1950s, a complaint of sexual abuse was made against Br Gaillard, who was then teaching in a north Dublin primary school. This Brother had taught in Artane in the mid-1940s. There is no documentary evidence of complaints against this Brother in Artane, although he did apply for a transfer from there due to ‘conscientious reasons’.
The complaint was made by the father of a boy who reported to the Superior that this Brother was abusing his son and up to 12 other boys in the primary school. The abuse took place in the Brother’s private room, where he sat the boys on his lap and fondled their private parts. Br Gaillard received a Canonical Warning and was transferred to another Christian Brothers’ primary school, where he remained for three years. In the mid-1950s, he wrote to the Superior General, voluntarily seeking a dispensation from his vows on the basis that he was unable to prevent himself from interfering with boys. In this letter he wrote: I received a Canonical Warning for interfering with boys. I cannot overcome it. I have tried it for three years and it is worse I am getting. I just find it impossible to stand in front of a class as a Christian Brother.
Br Gaillard was granted a dispensation a month later, and shortly thereafter took up a teaching post at another school, where he stayed for two and a half years.
In the late 1950s, the Provincial of the Christian Brothers wrote to the manager of another school in the west of Ireland who had sought a reference in respect of Mr Gaillard. The Provincial was frank about his history of sexual abuse. He referred to his ‘interference (morally) with boys’ and felt that he could not write a reference for him. Notwithstanding this setback, Mr Gaillard was still able to continue teaching until his retirement in the mid-1980s. He did two short periods of teaching in rural schools, both of which commenced and ended in the middle of school terms, which is unusual and which might imply removal for misconduct. Br Laurent, who was on the staff of Artane at the time, told the Investigation Committee that he knew Br Gaillard, but had never heard of him having any involvement with abuse in Artane.
In conclusion: Br Gaillard was transferred within the Congregation, notwithstanding a history of abuse. His letter seeking dispensation could not be clearer in underlining the danger he posed to children. By being granted a dispensation from vows, he left the Congregation apparently in good standing. He was able to move into a teaching job immediately on leaving the Congregation. The Provincial, when asked directly for a reference, was not afraid to identify him as a danger to children, but there is no evidence that he took steps to notify other schools or the Department of Education. Despite the employment pattern of this man prior to 1960, there are no known complaints about his later career.