On 8th April 1940, the Sub-Superior of Letterfrack, Br Vernay,3 by-passed the Superior and wrote a letter to the Provincial complaining about punishment in the School. The punishment of the boys in Letterfrack has for some time past been of such a character that without going into detail I feel constrained to call your attention to the matter. The thing has now become public property and the rehearsal of the acts are not creditable to the school nor to those concerned. The instruments used and the punishments inflicted are now obsolete even in criminal establishments. Were it not for the frequency of the acts I should not have troubled you. I expect that an insistence on the prescriptions of the Rule without further ado will go far towards putting matters right. I may mention that there are differences of opinion in the Community at the moment in respect of these punishment in which I do not wish to become involved.
Notwithstanding the reference in Br Vernay’s letter to the Provincial to the frequency of this punishment, later in the report the Visitor said: Boys appear to be happy and contented and I was assured that outside the case of severe punishment alluded to above there has been no excessive punishment.
The Sub-Superior, Br Vernay, replied on behalf of the Superior on 25th July 1939: I have known Russel for upwards of seven years and I know that whilst he was in the school as a pupil and that whilst he was out he bore an unblemished character all the time. He has possibly been guilty of a misdemeanour in his contact with the boys but this lapse would be due to an inadvertence rather than any serious notion of guilt on his part or on the part of the boys. The whole thing seems much exaggerated and points to a campaign against Russel rather than to a desire to correct an evil. Russel since being warned of the seriousness of the position, has become a member of the Sodality and was at Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the present month, Sodality Sunday.