Br Tyeis met the parents shortly afterwards in the Brothers’ residence. Mr Murphy was angry, and he and his wife were seeking an apology in writing from Br Dacian. They did not propose to take legal action because they feared that the publicity would not be good for their son. They were unclear as to the details of the abuse but they suspected that anal intercourse might have taken place.
The Provincial did not meet the Murphys until some five weeks after the matter was originally reported. At this meeting with the Provincial, Br Travis, and the Superior, Br Tyeis, Mr Murphy complained about the delay, and expressed his annoyance at Br Travis’s failure to contact them. He had found it very hard to get the Provincial’s phone number. Br Travis explained that the Provincial headquarters in Marino was undergoing major renovations, which was why they had got no response from someone who could help them. He then explained that he himself had not contacted them because he had been told that Mr Murphy had stated that he did not trust the Brothers and was certain that they would want to cover up for Br Dacian and do nothing about the allegations.
Br Travis told the Murphys that he appreciated that they were very upset, as were the Brothers. They were shocked by the allegations. He said that Br Dacian was very upset. Mrs Murphy became angry at the mention of Br Dacian being upset and said that he was ‘cute and intelligent’ in the way he operated. The Provincial pointed out that he had interrupted his schedule and postponed appointments to come to the meeting and that he wanted to hear the allegations from them first hand. The Brothers questioned the Murphys about the origins of rumours in the locality and also about media coverage, following which the Provincial sought details about the complaints. The Murphys related how the matter came to their attention. They said that they still did not have an admission from Tom that Br Dacian had had anal intercourse with him, and they explained why they were suspicious that that had happened.
Mr Murphy said that he and his wife wanted three things immediately and they did not want the inquiry dragging on. They were: (1) a written apology from Br Dacian; (2) an assurance that Br Dacian would not return to the area and would not be in a position to deal with children; and (3) payment for psychological and psychiatric treatment for Tom. Mr Murphy proposed to send the bills to the Brothers, mentioning that he was at that time out of pocket in the amount of £100. The Provincial reiterated that the investigation would have to move to its conclusion before these points could be considered.
Two days later, Mr Murphy had another conversation with Br Tyeis, at which he reported information that he had received from a friend in Dublin, that there was a serious complaint about Br Dacian’s involvement with a boy at a primary school where the Brother had previously been Principal. He also referred to other suspicions. The Superior elicited from Mr Murphy his evaluation of the meeting two days previously. Mr Murphy repeated that he did not want to make a formal complaint to the Gardaí. The Superior emphasised that the Brothers wished justice to be done for both Tom and Br Dacian, and that there would not be a cover-up. He commented that the investigations would take time to complete. Mr Murphy asked whether Br Dacian would be back in the School and the Superior replied that, while it was not for him to say, ‘Given the serious nature of the rumours and allegations I didn’t think that the Provincial would ask him to return’. Again, the Superior withheld the information about Br Dacian’s admissions, and treated the case as involving ‘rumours and allegations’.
The Superior’s record of this meeting concluded with a note directed to the Provincial, in which he made three points. He referred to one of the Brothers in his Community whom he had consulted on the day that he received the complaint, and recorded that that Brother confirmed that Br Dacian frequently inquired about Tom Murphy’s attendance at school. The other points recorded a teacher’s denial that he had spoken about Br Dacian’s activities, as Mr Murphy had alleged, and the Primary School Vice-Principal’s statement that the Murphys were out to get money.
In his first meeting with the Provincial and the Superior, Mr Murphy stated that interference with boys was going on in the School for many years, going back 25 or 30 years, and mentioned a Br Nathaniel.23 The Provincial recorded that he and the Superior said they knew nothing about it, and noted that Br Nathaniel was a Christian Brother in the Community in the early 1950s who had later left the Congregation. The story of Br Nathaniel, as revealed in the Congregation’s Rome Files, was that, in the mid-1960s, he sought and obtained a dispensation from his vows because of his trouble with the vow of chastity, although the record did not confirm that his sexual interest was in boys. The Brother had informed his Superiors that he had not been able to keep the vow of chastity for years. He was proposing to seek a job as a teacher in England. The authorities were keen to facilitate the Brother and, because ‘it would make matters too pointed if he was now taken off’ a course that he was to do, it was proposed to move him to the O’Brien Institute and have the dispensation executed from there.