This same former resident told the Investigation Committee that, apart from Br Lafayette and two other Brothers,15 ‘it was a lovely school’. He felt the rest of the Brothers did the best with what they had.
One other witness confirmed that Br Kalle ‘often used the leather and his fists’ and that he received both forms of punishment on a lot of occasions, mostly in class but once outside class. Boys were punished for getting questions wrong.19 It was done routinely, in second and third class. Once, he was punched for talking and his nose bled. He did not remember seeing the Brother punch other boys.
As was confirmed by one complainant, the situation improved in the mid-1950s with the appointment of a new Brother to the kitchens, Br Lafayette, and the Visitors and Department of Education Inspector were generally satisfied with the quantity of food provided.27 As the Committee has seen in other institutions, the Inspector who visited industrial schools in the 1940s and 1950s was not slow to criticise the diet if she felt that the food was inadequate. Similarly, the Visitation Reports have also commented on inadequate food when they found standards were low. For example, the 1953 Visitation Report recorded complaints by Br Kalle and Br Montaine that the boys were not getting enough to eat. The Resident Manager denied this was so.
Another complainant recalled that, because he was working on the farm, he received education only when the weather was inclement. He thinks he was about eight years of age when he was sent to work on the farm. He also said that the education he got in Tralee was not better that what he would otherwise have received. He said he went to school ‘the odd time’. He did, however, recall Br Kalle as being a good teacher.