Following his departure from Castlecomer, Mr Brander took up a teaching post in the all-girls secondary school in Tullamore. Sr Ines18 was principal at the time. She is now elderly and gave evidence to the Committee of her recollection of Mr Brander. In a letter to the Department of Education in the mid-1970s, she advised of the appointment of Mr Brander as a teacher in the School and stated that he was moving to the School for family reasons.
However, in evidence before the Investigation Committee, when asked whether she recalled pupils complaining about his discipline, Sr Ines replied: ‘Not really no, I never got serious complaints’. She further said that she did not recall any parents coming to the School to complain. Sr Ines accepted that the statement quoted above must be correct but she had no recollection of the matters stated therein. She could not recollect recording complaints made by parents or whether she would have done so: It was a very busy school. You couldn’t be taking complaints all day. I just did what I was expected to do and did the best I could in a big school.
A room in the School was set aside to operate as a shop. Mr Brander supervised the shop during break time. On the occasion in question, he arrived late and a large number of children had congregated in the room. There appears to have been a regulation that only a set number of children could be in the room at one time. He shouted at the children to get out of the room and form a queue outside.Taina appears not to have departed as instructed. At this point the statements made by the various witnesses diverge. What is clear is that there was an altercation between Mr Brander and Taina. The school principal, Sr Ines, was absent at the time. The vice-principal, in her Garda statement described how she met Taina in the corridor. Taina was very upset. She said that Mr Brander had struck her twice in the chest.
The School’s public statement quoted above refers to reports that contact was made with the school in the early 1980s, alerting the authorities there about Mr Brander’s previous history. Sr Ines denied any record or recollection of receiving such information. She testified that she learned about this after her retirement in the mid-1980s, when she was advised by a senior teacher that Mr Brander was a paedophile.