In addition to oral evidence, the Investigation Committee considered documentary discovery material received from a number of sources, namely the Christian Brothers, the Department of Education and Science, An Garda Síochána, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Archbishop of Dublin and the Health Service Executive.
The material available to the Investigation Committee in considering this issue included: The evidence of former residents and members of staff. The evidence of Dr Paul McQuaid, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, who did some work and research in Artane. The report written by Fr Henry Moore in 1962, together with his evidence to the Investigation Committee. Department of Education discovery. Garda Síochána discovery. Contemporary documents including the Visitation Reports compiled by the Christian Brothers during the period under review. Letters on the subject of corporal punishment provided by the Christian Brothers.
In addition to oral evidence, the Committee considered documentary discovery material received from the Christian Brothers, the Department of Education and Science, An Garda Síochána, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Archbishop of Tuam and the Health Service Executive (formerly the Western Health Board).
The Investigation Committee obtained discovery of documents from the Christian Brothers, the Department of Education and Science, the Archdiocese of Kerry, An Garda Síochána, and the Health Service Executive (Southern Area). In addition, former members of staff and former residents furnished documentation and statements.
The Investigation Committee had at its disposal discovery documentation furnished by the Department of Education and Science, the Department of Justice, Garda Discovery, Bishop’s Discovery and the Rosminians.
There have been six separate investigations by An Garda Síochána into allegations of sexual abuse of the residents by members of staff of Lota.
Documentation was furnished as part of the discovery process from a number of sources, namely the Sisters of Mercy, the Department of Education and Science, An Garda Síochána, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Archbishop of Dublin, and the medical records of some complainants.
In addition to oral evidence, the Investigation Committee considered documents received from the Christian Brothers, the Department of Education and Science, An Garda Síochána and the Archbishop of Dublin.
They also conceded that complaints of sexual abuse were not reported to the Gardaí. This they justified on the basis that at the time ‘an incident of sexual abuse was considered more of a failure in morality than a criminal act and therefore the idea of reporting to the Garda was not considered to be usual practice’.
The conditions that led to the re-establishment of Daingean was not a decision that was taken without considerable debate, since the move involved taking some 200 boys under Garda escort to a new residence nearly 60 miles away, and much further from the boys’ own homes.
On Tuesday 6th August 1940, Garda Transport Authorities transported 205 boys from Glencree to Daingean. The Garda escort was in civilian clothes. The mattresses and bedclothes were transported in a large open truck on the same day. Fr Giancarlo had sought tarpaulin covers from the Gardaí to cover the trucks but this could not be provided. We are not told if the sun shone down on this unusual convoy.
In addition to oral evidence, the Investigation Committee considered documents received from the Oblates, the Department of Education and Science, An Garda Síochana, the Department of Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.
The letter continued: Articles like this have done much harm to Industrial Schools and they are most embarrassing to the staff and the hundreds of past pupils who are upright and honest citizens of the state. It is also to be regretted that a semi-state controlled organization like R.T.E. should invite [this journalist] to appear on a programme to cause more annoyance to the teaching authorities. [... a television journalist ...] interviewed a former pupil of Artane School. This boy gave a completely false picture of the school as it is to-day and many people, who knew the conditions here, telephoned to ask why some Brother wasn’t in the studio to state the facts. On the same programme when false allegations were made about the Gardaí, a Garda was present to give his side of the story, the true story; but we were not asked by the R.T.E. authorities to state our case. It is hard to blame [the journalist in question] and other members of the journalistic profession from across the water for launching their unjust attacks on Irish schools since there is much unfair and unjust criticism from so-called responsible sources here in Ireland. Not a voice is raised in defence of those who have dedicated their lives to this difficult task.
The sources of information were: the evidence of former pupils; the evidence of staff members; the evidence of respondents; and the records in relation to the School which were furnished to the Commission on foot of discovery directions to the Department of Education, Sisters of Charity, Diocese of Ossory and An Garda Síochána.
An unwelcome consequence of this Garda investigation for the School management was the renewed attention of the Department of Education. The Superintendent of Bandon Gardaí informed the Inspector of the Department of Education in 1944 of the charges being brought against the three boys. An internal enquiry was mooted by the Department of Education, but it was decided that there was no point in writing to the Resident Manager of Upton to ask him ‘to explain how these acts went undetected until it had been proved that they took place’, i.e. until after the court cases. Such an enquiry never went ahead, presumably because there were no prosecutions.