He then went on to make the revealing comment: In fact, a short time previously, [Brady] had been punished for breaking bounds and warned against going to [O’Reilly’s]. This punishment and warning was given to [Brady] by the Prefect, Bro. [Jaime]. Besides, [Brady] himself admitted to me that he had been in [O’Reilly’s].
He said that he had told Br Jaime to tell Mr Murphy ‘to be vigilant and more strict in his supervision of the boys in his charge’. He then proceeded to dismiss the complaint: Later, when I saw the statement made by [Brady] ... it struck me as being fantastic. His record and mentality inclined me towards that way of thinking ... We do not claim a 100% and sometimes we meet boys who are so vitiated and lacking in co-operation that their removal becomes a necessity in the interests of the other boys. [Brady] falls under that category. His statement strikes me as being fantastic and rather like the projection of a depraved mind with little if any bearing on reality. Still, because of the little bearing there might be on reality, I favoured a full investigation.
The Resident Manager knew that Michael Brady had been punished for going to Mr O’Reilly’s on a previous occasion but it appears that the Gardaí were not informed about that; otherwise, Mr O’Reilly’s house would have been searched. The Resident Manager actually gave the Gardaí an entirely different impression by telling the Sergeant that he was unaware of the boys’ habit of visiting the house. The Resident Manager undermined the possibility of prosecution of Mr O’Reilly by denigrating the boy in this case, in the full knowledge that the most serious allegations had been made by five other boys against this man. The circumstances in which a group of boys could visit this man’s house on numerous occasions over a period of five months, in the words of the contemporary comment of the investigating Garda, ‘displayed an attitude of indifference to the moral welfare’ of the boys in care. The Resident Manager’s readiness to dismiss complaints of serious misconduct in respect of boys in his care, which were under investigation by the Gardaí, indicated an irrational scepticism that cannot be ignored when considering how other reports of abuse might have been received. Notwithstanding the gravity of this episode involving: a criminal investigation in which boys and staff up to the Resident Manager were interviewed; a subsequent trial on indictment with a conviction on escape-related charges; and embarrassing and potentially damaging queries from the Department, no records of this appeared in the files of the Institution or the Congregation, and no information existed as to what was done for the other boys who were involved and who were still detained in the Reformatory.