An allegation of excessive corporal punishment was referred to in one of the reports of a special inspection carried out by three officials49 of the Department of Education in December 1962. This inspection followed the appearance by Fr Henry Moore, the chaplain to Artane, before an Inter-Departmental Committee where he expressed his concerns about the way Artane was run. In particular, he commented on the excessive discipline and overuse of corporal punishment. It was in this context that the reference to discipline appeared in the principal report of the group, which was written by Mr MacUaid. The relevant part stated: Complaints about the treatment of children in industrial schools are not infrequent but from experience I would say that the majority are exaggerated and some even untrue. For example, you will recall the case where a mother brought her child to the hall and alleged that he had been beaten on the head and on the buttocks by a Br Javier50 in Artane. Fortunately, Dr McCabe was in the office the same day and on uncovering the bandaged head she diagnosed the “injury” as ringworm. The child had bruises on his body but in the subsequent investigation Br Javier claimed that they had been made in a rough and tumble fight with other boys and the balance of the evidence favoured the Brother’s case. Because Br Javier is the Dean of Discipline in Artane he was interviewed specially, away from the Superior and Bursar, on his duties Br Javier is a vigorous young man in his late twenties with six years teaching experience. His duties as Disciplinarian do not allow him to teach at present but he hopes to be relieved of his appointment this summer and re-assigned to the classroom. His policy of deprivation of privileges because of misconduct and acquainting the culprit of the reason is basically sound but he explained that successful application of this policy was not always possible owing to the ages of the boys, some of whom did not care if, say, the privilege of watching television or going home for a few hours on Sunday was withdrawn. He felt that, having withdrawn privileges and still being faced with insubordination, he had no alternative but to punish moderately with the leather on the hands in certain cases. He stated that he probably used the leather about twice a week. Br Javier is Dean of Discipline for 400 odd boys and, I believe, fills this demanding position with sincerity and firmness but without harshness. The only criticism offered is that he is too young for an exacting job that requires maturity and had little experience of the city type prior to his appointment as Disciplinarian. In a subsequent discussion, the Superior whole-heartedly supported the work of Br Javier. In response to the suggestion that a course in psychology in U.C.D. would help in an office of this important nature, he replied that the question had never been examined by the Order but that Br Javier would probably return to teaching next September.
Facing the wall meant having to stand in the dormitory, wearing only a nightshirt, when the other boys had gone to bed. Boys remained facing the wall for one or two hours before being allowed to get into bed.