In the mid-1990s, a number of the boys stated that their House Parent, Mr Moore14 was rough and cruel and slapped them. These allegations were made in the course of an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against Mr Moore.
In the early 1990s, a pupil, Brian15 complained to a pastoral care teacher, Sr Clarke16 about his House Parent Mr Moore, who was in charge of one of the residential homes at St Joseph’s Cabra. Brian also complained to Mr Hogan,17 Assistant House Parent, that Mr Moore showed ‘blue movies’ to the boys, and was constantly engaging in sex talk. Mr Hogan noted these complaints and reported them to Mr Gallagher, Director of Residential Care.
Brian, who had witnessed the incident, was also seen by the assessment team. He informed them that Mr Moore had shown him on many occasions how to masturbate, and he named two other boys who had been similarly instructed. He also informed the team that Mr Moore used to show adult-blue movies to the boys. A case conference took place between the St Clare’s team, members of the Eastern Health Board and Br Grissel, where it was decided that an initial screening process should be undertaken of all children in both residential houses where Mr Moore had worked. In addition, staff of St Joseph’s were to be informed of the situation, and the parents of the boys named were to be contacted with a view to having their children assessed.
Arrangements were for the screening and assessment of pupils at St Joseph’s who it was felt could have been the subject of sexual abuse by Mr Moore. This was a slow and lengthy process. At the same time, the Eastern Health Board conducted an inquiry into the allegations, and a Garda investigation was also underway which continued early into the next year. Approximately two months after the investigations commenced, Mr Moore was dismissed from his employment.
There was a delay in actually commencing the screening process of past and present pupils at St Joseph’s, which was to be conducted by the social workers of the Eastern Health Board together with a member of staff at Cabra. The St Clare’s team had stressed the need to begin the screening process quickly. However, the minutes of a case conference held following the dismissal of Mr Moore noted that the screening process had not begun and parents had not even been informed at that stage, some five months after the initial complaint of sexual abuse had been made. The screening process began shortly after this case conference. Initially, 17 boys were screened. However, further screenings took place and were expanded to include past and present pupils of the School, which resulted in 70 boys being screened.