Six months after the reporting of the alleged abuse, it was decided by the school authorities that the boy should be sent to a psychiatrist, Dr Byrne, for counselling. A few weeks later, the school authorities received legal advice regarding the setting-up of an internal inquiry to investigate the allegations. It was mooted that Dr Byrne should head up this inquiry, but he declined to do so on the basis that he had a conflict of interest. Dr Byrne had had two counselling sessions with the boy and he felt that it was not necessary for him to see the boy again.
The Christian Brothers in their Submission claimed that ‘following this allegation immediate steps were taken to undertake a full and formal investigation by outside experts in this matter’. The documents revealed that this was not the case. Contrary to what the Brothers say, ‘immediate steps’ were not taken to undertake ‘a full and formal investigation by outside experts’. Six months elapsed before the idea of convening a small committee of inquiry was even mooted. It was then decided not to proceed with the inquiry without any clear reasons given. No decisive action was taken regarding the setting-up of an inquiry, as a letter stated ‘things were in an “on-off” situation for a long time’. It may have been due to the fact that Dr Byrne felt that the boy had improved and there was no need to pursue the matter further. The Christian Brothers in their Submission stated that ‘the investigation did not proceed because of the lack of any further information’.
In the mid-1980s, a 16-year-old pupil was a cause of concern to the school authorities and he was referred to Dr Byrne because of his ‘anti-social behaviour, which has included outbursts of temper and violence, and more important, because of attacks of a homo-sexual nature on peers’. Dr Byrne advised that his behaviour should be monitored daily. Some months later, the boy was involved in a ‘homosexual/assault episode’ and he was again referred to Dr Byrne, who advised Br Ames not to let the boy return to School until he ‘had satisfied himself that he posed no homosexual risk to the school population’. But it is not clear how the Brother was to achieve this state of knowledge.