Further information about Br Dacian had emerged some four months before the Murphys made their complaint about his conduct. A memorandum in the records of the Brothers contains an account of information given by a father as to Br Dacian’s offensive sexual activities with his son, Peter Brady,22 when the boy was in the Gaelteacht one summer in the mid-1980s. The matter came to light when the Principal of a Christian Brothers primary school in Dublin contacted Br Agrican and then another senior Brother, whose note recorded the information. The Principal heard the allegations from Mr Brady and thought it was important to notify the Congregation at senior level. He said that he was concerned about recommending groups of boys to go to the Gaelteacht in view of what Mr Brady had reported to him. He arranged for a meeting between Mr Brady and the senior Brother at Cluain Mhuire.
Mr Brady complained that, after Peter’s first two days in the Gaelteacht, Br Dacian, who was teaching there, brought him to his room every night and sat him on his lap and fondled and kissed him and stroked his penis. Br Dacian would arrive when all were asleep and shine a torch in Peter’s face and bring him to his room. One night, Peter tried to evade him by going to another bunk, but he was located by Br Dacian and brought away. Peter said that he was ‘scared stiff’ all during the holiday. Mr Brady had suggested to Peter that Br Dacian was very friendly and maybe that Peter was exaggerating, but Peter insisted on the details as described, and recalled another particular incident when boys were waiting for presents they had ordered and Peter asked Br Dacian when they were coming. The Brother brought him outside and asked him if he really wanted to see him about the presents or did he want to see him himself. Mr Brady said that Peter had written to the family saying that he wanted to go home. The Bradys visited him on two weekends and found Br Dacian very helpful and friendly, and Mr Brady brought cigarettes as a present for Br Dacian but Peter objected, which struck Mr Brady as strange, but he did not follow it up.
When Peter came home, he received a letter from Br Dacian inviting him to visit the Brother at his Dublin school, enclosing a map showing how to get there. His parents thought that Peter should accept the invitation, but he would only go if he was accompanied, and his mother went with him but Br Dacian was not there.
The story of Peter Brady emerged for the first time in that family when Peter’s brother had an unpleasant experience of a sexual nature with a teacher in his school and warned Peter about him, whereupon Peter revealed to his mother and brother the abuse that he had suffered at Br Dacian’s hands.
The second man was Peter Tade,21 who succeeded Mr Pleece as a care worker in St Joseph’s in 1976.
Sr Astrid denied that Donal Kavanagh had ever approached her previously about Peter Tade’s behaviour. The first she knew about it was when she got his letter of resignation.
Peter Tade used to take Richard,29 who was a boy in care in St Joseph’s, and Gerry on fishing trips and for spins in his car. Peter Tade took photographs of them. The Garda described what happened: the circumstances were that Peter Tade had taken photographs of Richard and Gerry. He used to take them fishing and took them for spins in his car. But Gerry’s mother discovered that Peter Tade’s face, he was in one of the photographs, had been scratched and pins driven through it and she suspected something was wrong. She spoke to him and he told her that Peter Tade did something to him. As far as I recall it was a bank holiday weekend and Peter Tade was off, he was on leave and he was in Dublin, Sr Astrid said she had to get rid of him or ask him to leave. I came to Dublin with her – or I came to Dublin and I met her in Dublin.
The Garda did not take a statement from Sr Astrid at the time, on the basis that there was no formal complaint from Gerry’s parents, despite the fact that he had an admission from Peter Tade himself. He also did not question any of the children who had been in the care of Peter Tade for the previous 10 months in St Joseph’s, and he did not think that Sr Astrid had done so either. As far as he was concerned, it was an isolated incident that had been dealt with. Peter Tade left for England, and there were no more complaints about him. He said he wrote a short report for his Superintendent that Peter Tade had been dismissed from St Joseph’s for an incident. He never saw that report again.
When Peter Tade was sentenced, the Sister of Charity issued a statement as follows: the first complaint we received about Peter Tade concerning sexual abuse was made on a weekend in June, 1977, when Peter Tade was away in Dublin. One of the children made a specific complaint of abuse against him to the sister in charge, she immediately called in a local Garda who was involved with St. Joseph’s in a voluntary capacity and they both travelled to Dublin to confront Peter Tade. This confrontation resulted in his immediate dismissal. Peter Tade never returned to St. Joseph’s.
Two volunteer workers who were in St Joseph’s during Thomas Pleece’s and Peter Tade’s time there said they had no idea that these men were abusing children.