By November 1939, it appears that Fr Giuseppe had enlisted the help and support of Mr Eamon DeValera, the then Taoiseach and acting Minister for Education: Dev. is taking up the matter of our school. I am informed that he has been convinced that we have been unfairly discriminated against in the way of transfers and committals and we are told to expect results soon.
The third type of material about the Schools that occasionally appeared was human interest stories. For instance, an account of the visit of a dignitary (as when, in 1935, Eamon De Valera visited Artane and spent two hours in the School ‘and was treated to a performance by the famous Artane Boys Band’). Another similar report described a fund-raising carnival held at the Lenaboy Industrial School in Galway city.
With the necessity of finding a replacement for Glencree, various options were investigated and, finally, a meeting was held on 17th November 1939, attended by the Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera (who was also the Minister for Education), the Provincial of the Oblates, the Manager of Glencree and the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education. Fr Giancarlo,2 the Resident Manager of Glencree, put a temporary solution forward that was to become a permanent one, which was that accommodation might be found at Daingean, if other provision could be made for the students there at present. Daingean was held by the Oblates on a 99-year lease from the Government. The surrounding farm was owned outright by the Congregation. Fr Giancarlo explained that the buildings at Daingean had been considerably improved and the former dormitory accommodation remained. Since the premises at present housed about 170 students and staff, he thought that should be sufficient for the Reformatory for a time.
Mr Eamon De Valera, who was both An Taoiseach and Minister for Education from September 1939 to June 1940, visited the buildings in November 1939, and the decision to move from Glencree to Daingean was made.
The separation from family was described by one witness, who said he was deeply affected by the fact that he was sent 160 miles away from his family. He got no visits and only recently became aware that his father had extensive correspondence with the authorities, seeking to have him transferred to Artane or to an Institution nearer the family home. His mother even wrote to President De Valera at the time. His mother died in 1957, and she had been buried by the time he was told about it, despite the fact that his father telephoned and tried to have him released in time for the funeral.