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An example of Irish justice in the 1960's


louis bernard

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I have just read this on RTE breaking news. Just imagine, a 9 year old boy gets sentenced to 4 years in an abusive hell hole for stealing a bike (which he returned) and is consequently abused by a member of the so called “Christian “ Brothers. And this happened in the 1960’s not the 1920’s. What a horrible country. It’s about time this heinous organisation was abolished in this country.
Former Christian Brother found guilty of sex abuse - RTÉ News
 

Victor Meldrew

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I have just read this on RTE breaking news. Just imagine, a 9 year old boy gets sentenced to 4 years in an abusive hell hole for stealing a bike (which he returned) and is consequently abused by a member of the so called “Christian “ Brothers.
I was about to post this, however what struck me was that the abuser entered the order when he was 15, He was from the Falls road in Belfast.

When he was 24, he was given access to Letterfrack. Entering a "vocation" at 15 is effective incarceration as well. He may well have been coerced / manipulated into it.

I am in no way justifying / lessening the abuse of the victim by the "brother", however, when we look at it now, is it any wonder it ended up the way it did.

The Abuser left in 1976. so he would have been 35. Or, in other words, the age someone should be when they CONSIDER a vocation and life of celibacy.

This is an example of how repressed the catholic church was/is. And at 72, he would be "sprightly" for a member of the curia. (I know CB's are a totally different "vocation". The oppression still stands)

In essence, the church is run by people who have never been given an opportunity to experience an entire facet of human existance, and who then claim to be able to lecture / dictate on same.
 

Gerry Doyle

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I have just read this on RTE breaking news. Just imagine, a 9 year old boy gets sentenced to 4 years in an abusive hell hole for stealing a bike (which he returned) and is consequently abused by a member of the so called “Christian “ Brothers. And this happened in the 1960’s not the 1920’s. What a horrible country. It’s about time this heinous organisation was abolished in this country.
I couldn't agree more; the full spectrum (and essentially self serving) influence of the rcc in the ROI since it's inception has resulted in a pathological dysfunction so profound the vast majority of 'citizens' who were indoctrinated are unaware of it's continued effects today. Ireland, a proverbial goldmine of unrealized and underexploited talent and potential will never actualize until this is understood. This is of course as much a reason for optimism as it is for regret; time is however moving on fast and other erstwhile 'backwards' countries and societies are discovering their own potential.
 

Cruimh

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I was about to post this, however what struck me was that the abuser entered the order when he was 15, He was from the Falls road in Belfast.

When he was 24, he was given access to Letterfrack. Entering a "vocation" at 15 is effective incarceration as well. He may well have been coerced / manipulated into it.

I am in no way justifying / lessening the abuse of the victim by the "brother", however, when we look at it now, is it any wonder it ended up the way it did.

The Abuser left in 1976. so he would have been 35. Or, in other words, the age someone should be when they CONSIDER a vocation and life of celibacy.

This is an example of how repressed the catholic church was/is. And at 72, he would be "sprightly" for a member of the curia. (I know CB's are a totally different "vocation". The oppression still stands)

In essence, the church is run by people who have never been given an opportunity to experience an entire facet of human existance, and who then claim to be able to lecture / dictate on same.
I think the school leaving age was 15 in NI until the 1970s - presumably something similar in the ROI?
 

LamportsEdge

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Sounds like a classic case of a 15 year old boy marked down for clerical orders/priesthood at home. Diverted and inhibited social and psycho-sexual development firstly by the family and secondly by the philosophy of the church and its dogma and fear of women.

An unhealthy psychological cocktail which inadvertantly creates monsters out of some. Some sublimate their sexuality, some are essentially sexless, some take no notice of the celibacy and rules on adult sexual conduct and some are made into monsters for whom the gothic side of the dogma of the church lends creativity to the confusion of social power 'from god' and the power that status had back in the day.

I would be interested to hear what checks and balances exist in seminaries and orders today to weed out the potentially dangerous candidates.
 

b.a. baracus

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I think the school leaving age was 15 in NI until the 1970s - presumably something similar in the ROI?
Far younger, if not in law then in practice. My father left school at 13 as did 4 of his brothers. This is late 50's - mid 60's time. They were certainly never hounded by any truancy officers. I believe it was ok to leave once you had completed primary education.
 

Franzoni

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Anyone unlucky enough like myself to attend the Christian Bros(and i use that term loosely) in the 70's and early 80's if they were lucky or smart enough to avoid the kiddy fiddlers they still more than likely would of got a good hiding every now and again for little or nothing/very minor transgressions...i was given the 'leather' for the most spurious of reasons..one was for being left handed and another when they found out i played soccer and wouldn't play hurling for the school team.......

Even some of the lay teachers were little better than superstitious peasants.......

In essence, the church is run by people who have never been given an opportunity to experience an entire facet of human existance, and who then claim to be able to lecture / dictate on same.
Well said Victor
 

Franzoni

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Far younger, if not in law then in practice. My father left school at 13 as did 4 of his brothers. This is late 50's - mid 60's time. They were certainly never hounded by any truancy officers. I believe it was ok to leave once you had completed primary education.
Yep...my Dad left at 12 and went to work..........
 

Cruimh

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Far younger, if not in law then in practice. My father left school at 13 as did 4 of his brothers. This is late 50's - mid 60's time. They were certainly never hounded by any truancy officers. I believe it was ok to leave once you had completed primary education.
What I find surprising is that he was teaching if he left school that early.
 

wombat

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What I find surprising is that he was teaching if he left school that early.
A lot of people joined the CB to get an education - a friend of mine was put into the CB by his mother as she could not afford to put him through secondary school - as soon as he did his leaving cert, he went to college and did engineering. A brother I had in school, left as soon as his mother died and later got married. At one time, anyone with a LC could teach in a national school and the CB had some teacher training from the time they joined.
 

Gerry Doyle

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My own father lost HIS father at the age of 14. Almost immediately he was targeted for a prolonged period of regularly occurring, unjustifiable beatings by 'Christian' Brother teachers; my grandmother clearly was a less intimidating defender of her child to them.

Unfathomably, my father became profoundly devout as an adult and is a caretaker/keyholder of his local church today. Sadly, the damage has stayed with him throughout his life and to the present though.
 

louis bernard

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This filthy pervert was on the one o’ clock news trying to hide under an umbrella. He was released on bail until sentencing. Awful pity he was not locked up in the joy until then. All these retired so called “Christian” brothers should be tracked down and hounded, the (very few) members who did not abuse children in their care were well aware of what their “brothers” were up to and so are guilty for staying quiet.
 

b.a. baracus

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What I find surprising is that he was teaching if he left school that early.
One would assume the Christian Brothers paid for or more likely provided him with further education. Then again this was the Chriostian brothers and since they ran the school themselves they could probably get away with employing an unqualified member of their own order.

The idea of beginning a vocation at 15 is abhorrent. I would guess he was pushed in there by his family, not that this in any way excuses his actions of course.
 

louis bernard

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Apart from the fact that this unfortunate chap was abused (par for the course in Irelands children’s prisons at the time) A judge sent a 9 year old child to prison for 4 years, for stealing a bike which he returned later the same day, unbelievable.
 

Andrew49

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I have just read this on RTE breaking news. Just imagine, a 9 year old boy gets sentenced to 4 years in an abusive hell hole for stealing a bike (which he returned) and is consequently abused by a member of the so called “Christian “ Brothers. And this happened in the 1960’s not the 1920’s. What a horrible country. It’s about time this heinous organisation was abolished in this country.
Former Christian Brother found guilty of sex abuse - RTÉ News
Another example:

In 1962, a 10-year-old boy was committed to Letterfrack until his 16th birthday for stealing a purse from a parked car. He gave the purse and its contents to his mother. She received a three-month suspended sentence. It was the child’s first offence. Solicitors for the child and his father lodged an appeal against the severity of the sentence, and the boy was released pending the hearing of the appeal in mid-1962. The appeal was not successful and, in 1963, the boy’s father wrote a number of letters to public representatives explaining why the appeal had failed. It appeared that, during the time when he was at home pending appeal, he was playing football with some friends and the ball went into a neighbour’s garden, who reported the matter to the police and the boy was implicated in this incident. When the matter came before the court on appeal, the Garda Sergeant told the court that they had received a complaint but did not tell the Judge the nature of the complaint. In his letter to Mr Haughey, the Minister for Education, the father explained why he wanted his son home:

I should think that after 6 years he will be a complete stranger in the family, as the rest of his brothers and sisters will probably have gone away from home to some employment, what chance has he of becoming acquainted with them ... I give you a guarantee he will never get into any kind of trouble again, as that 12 months has learned him a lesson, it would mean a lot to me if he were released, it is for his mothers sake I took the opportunity of writing to you, as she is constantly crying and talking about him, it grieves me so much to see her in such a state for the past 12 months.
The application was refused by the Department on the grounds that parental control in the family was poor, as manifested by the boy in question and by two other members of the family. It was felt that the mother had given a poor example in the past, and the boy’s school attendance was only fair. He was making good progress with his studies in Letterfrack and it would not be in his best interests to release him.

The father wrote to the President of Ireland in September 1963, pleading with him to have his son released. He stated that the boy had developed psoriasis from worry and anxiety that had required hospitalisation. He stated that the boy was medically fit going to Letterfrack and
‘as God forgave us all our transgressions why should there not be forgiveness for a child’.
The letter was passed to the Department of Education by the Office of the President. The boy remained in Letterfrack. Three years later, in 1966, his mother wrote to the Minister for Education, stating that her son had now served four and a half years of a six-year sentence and requested his release so that he could assist his father in his newly started timber business.

The School report recommended his release on a supervision certificate. A Garda report was sought, which stated that the family were in poor circumstances and the father and mother were not suitable persons to be entrusted with the custody of their son. The Department official reviewing the case stated:

In the boy’s favour it must be said that he was committed for his first offence, he was only 10 years of age at committal, has spent 4½ years in the school and his conduct there has been satisfactory. He has completed the primary school programme. Even though his parents are not to be recommended I think it would be only fair to the boy to let him take his chance and release him.
A more senior official recommended to the Secretary of the Department that the mother be informed that, if she could get him a job other than working with his father, they would be prepared to discharge him, having stated that:
this boy has undoubtedly been detained too long for a single offence. In addition he is evidently of good intelligence and well conducted.
It took his mother another eight months to get him a suitable job and, following another letter of representation, he was released in December 1967, three months before his due date in 1968.
 

Eoin Coir

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That was an era when the Catholic Church and Fianna Fail had mass support, and you questioned either at your peril.
 

Andrew49

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That was an era when the Catholic Church and Fianna Fail had mass support, and you questioned either at your peril.
There was cases of resistance though - a woman and her family in Galway LINK helped women to escape from the Magdalene laundry.

A community in Limerick put their bodies in the way of the Gardai and the State to protect a boy who had absconded after he was flogged naked by the Christian Brothers - LINK2 - the Gardai and the State backed down.
 

Deep Blue

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There was cases of resistance though - a woman and her family in Galway LINK helped women to escape from the Magdalene laundry.

A community in Limerick put their bodies in the way of the Gardai and the State to protect a boy who had absconded after he was flogged naked by the Christian Brothers - LINK2 - the Gardai and the State backed down.
Courageous people, especially for that era.

I heard a radio interview with the widow of a doctor who tried to highlight the abuses in the Industrial Schools.
She told of how his career was ruined by the Church and State, he was ostracised by colleagues, and he died virtually a broken man;
having tried and failed to challenge the powers-that-be and the prevailing thinking of the time.
 

Shpake

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There was cases of resistance though - a woman and her family in Galway LINK helped women to escape from the Magdalene laundry.

A community in Limerick put their bodies in the way of the Gardai and the State to protect a boy who had absconded after he was flogged naked by the Christian Brothers - LINK2 - the Gardai and the State backed down.
Quoting from your LINK1
Ena McEntee, from New Road in the city, was one of a few locals paid to work alongside the woman who were held against their will in the Forster Street laundry. Ms McEntee witnessed daily women of all ages suffering brutality and beatings.

Her three teenage sons also witnessed the suffering of the women, and between them they hatched a plan to free some of the women. The family then hid them in their three-bedroom house in Mervue for weeks after, nobody apart from immediate neighbours suspected anything
Now square this with the dentist and physicist McAleese's report saying that corporal punishment in the laundries was rare. He could mention of course that the Galway files had been somehow mislaid. Has the country changed all that much?
 
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