Br Jeannot was sent to Glin as a young Brother in the late 1940s where he remained for more than five years. In the early 1950s, the mother of two boys resident in Glin made a complaint regarding severe punishments her sons had received at the hands of Br Jeannot. There was no proper investigation.
The two brothers had been committed to Glin a number of years previously, following the separation of their parents. The older of the two, described by the Superior as ‘a big hefty fellow’, was regarded as troublesome. On one occasion when his mother came to visit, he complained to her that he had been punished excessively by Br Jeannot. He alleged that he had been beaten with a stick and kicked by him. The mother demanded that her boys be released into her care, alleging that both had been ill-treated by Br Jeannot. The Superior explained to her that the Minister for Education would have to make an order for their release. She then wrote to the Superior General, perhaps thinking that he could direct the releases, and the Provincial Council therefore became aware of the matter. The Provincial wrote to the Superior of Glin, seeking information on the incident.
The Superior responded by letter and explained that, one evening, Br Jeannot was in charge and reprimanded the boy for misconduct but he still continued to be impertinent. Br Jeannot then called him into the play hall and struck him on the cheek before administering the leather. The Superior was convinced, as a result of his investigation, that Br Jeannot had not beaten the boy with a stick or kicked him. He was also satisfied that the younger brother of the boy had never been punished by Br Jeannot. He chastised Br Jeannot for not bringing the boy to him to be dealt with. The Superior was suspicious that the mother had exaggerated the incident so that she could secure the release of her sons. The Provincial was satisfied, as a result of the information provided by the Superior of Glin, that ‘it is quite clear the chief difficulty in the case concerns the home circumstances of the children. It is well however that the Brothers gave no serious reason for complaint in connection with their treatment of the boy’.
It would appear that he reached this conclusion without the parents or boys being interviewed, and was quite happy to accept at face value the version proffered by Br Jeannot and the Superior. Complaint by Mr Dubois,17 night watchman