3 entries for Br RaingerBack
Br Rainger was a teacher in Letterfrack in the late 1960s. He said that he was wholly unprepared for life there and found that he simply could not apply the teaching methods he had learned in Marino to the boys at Letterfrack. His duties also included supervision and he would often be required to supervise a group of over 100 boys because staffing levels did not allow smaller groups. This meant that a military-style discipline was necessary to keep order. He accepted that, as a result of this, Letterfrack was a harsh place but he stressed it was harsh for the Brothers too. Initially, he said he was quite aloof as an aid to maintaining discipline, although he mellowed after a while. However, he never trusted the boys: No, I wouldn’t trust them, I had been told that the boys had come to Letterfrack through the court.
Br Rainger admitted that he did not confine himself to the strap when he punished children but also used his hands. He denied that bed-wetters were physically chastised. He recalled that they tied knots at the ends of their beds to identify themselves to the night watchman: Just to clarify the thing on the bed-wetters, when I would take over the dormitory in the morning from the night watchman the custom at that time was if they were bed-wetters they tied a towel over the end of the bed and the bed was stripped so that it could dry out during the day. There was definitely no verbal humiliation or even physical punishment for bed-wetting. That is not true.
Br Rainger, who was there around the same time, said that he found teaching in the school quite frustrating as he was unable to apply the methods he had been taught in training college because of the low standard of education possessed by the boys: Probably one of my frustrations in Letterfrack was frustration in the classroom, that I couldn’t apply the teaching methods that would have been applied, if you don’t mind me using the phrase, to normal children, because a lot of these people would have been educationally deprived, lack of reading ability and so on and so forth, and I found teaching in Letterfrack challenging, to say the least.