However, shortly after the Visitation, Br Jose received some disturbing news about immoral practices amongst the boys, which he outlined in his report to the General Council: Some days after the completion of this Visitation I got a report from a member of another Community that immoral practices were being carried on between the boys themselves. The information came originally from a Missionary priest (Fr. Brendan25 I think) who had been Spiritual Director for a time to the Legion of Mary Praesidium at the Industrial School. On being questioned about this, the Superior admitted that he was aware of the fact, having been informed by Fr. Brendan himself. He knew the names of the four or five boys concerned, had them all placed in Dormitories that they could not easily contact each other, and giving special instructions to the Night Watchman without giving him any information or naming any boys.
It is not known why the bishop ordered his own investigation. However, Fr Andrew, the School chaplain when these investigations were carried out, recalled to Professor Keogh that a Mill Hill Father (he could not recall the name although it seems clear that the source of the allegations was Fr Brendan, the Mill Hill Father who had previously raised the issue of immorality amongst the boys) had made an allegation to the parish priest of the Lough, the parish in which the School was located, that two members of the Greenmount Community were involved in an abusive relationship with a number of the boys, and he reported the matter to the Bishop. Fr Andrew said that Bishop Lucey is believed to have visited the house of the senior curate in the Lough, Fr Charles,28 in order to interview a number of the Greenmount boys, and the bishop is believed to have conducted these interviews without revealing his identity. If that is what happened, it would explain why the bishop ordered the canonical investigation.
Fr Brendan, from Mill Hill, appears to have interviewed a number of boys who presumably made the allegations which led to the investigations. According to the notes made by Br Gomez, Br Carlito, the Resident Manager, assembled a number of boys including two with whom he had been accused of engaging in sexual activity. He questioned the two boys in front of the other boys as to the truth of the allegations. One denied the allegation and the other, who had since left the School, said that he was asked so many questions that he was confused. Br Carlito told him it was his duty to go to Fr Brendan and make the matter clear to him in writing.
There appears to have been a struggle going on between the Superior, who was seeking exculpation, and Fr Brendan, who had received some of the complaints and passed them on. The Superior General’s diary records: Fr Brendan told the boys 1.it would be a mortal sin to divulge the interview to the Brother 2.if they did they would have to go to the Bishop 3.they could be put to gaol.
The note continues: Superior Carlito assembled the boys interviewed by Fr. Brendan and told them that any words he was using were not in secret and could be used if they were ever interviewed – and that he was using no threats or bribes “if you think that what you have said is true stick to it but you must prove it. If you think what you said is untrue be honourable enough to admit it.” “He would follow this up [to] the very end ...”