You'd hear the younger ones screaming during the night, the twelve and thirteen year olds. There was a night watchman who used to patrol the dormitories with an ash plant on his shoulder. You'd see him constantly bringing down that stick onto a boy in a bed with his full force, about five or six times. There were an awful lot of priests and brothers there in my time. The priests were unimpeachable, they beat the boys with complete impunity. No one ever interfered.

Location: Ireland

The Ryan Report I hold fast to the view that there must be no more deals, secret or otherwise done between Religious orders and the Government of Ireland without indepth consultation with people who were abused while in the care of religious orders or the state.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Daingean (Dail Archives February 1966)

Dáil Éireann - Volume 220 - 16 February, 1966

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: There is one other point to which I should like to make reference. I am prompted to refer to it by Deputy O'Leary's speech this afternoon. He gave notice to all concerned that he intends shortly to raise the question of the care, management and general code of behaviour in reformatory schools and such places. Deputy O'Leary said he was not at all too pleased or satisfied with the manner in which the inmates of these schools are treated. I do not know what he has in mind or what schools he has in mind, but before Deputy O'Leary proceeds to develop this matter further, I have certain things to say. I am sure we shall hear more about it when he raises the matter but I want to assure this House, the Minister and Deputy O'Leary that if he has in mind the reformatory in Daingean, County Offaly, it is managed, controlled and conducted by the Oblate Fathers. I can safely say that it is one of the finest and one of the best-managed institutions in this State today.

Mr. Crowley: Hear, hear.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: From my experience of over 20 years, I know that the work the Oblate Fathers carry out for those placed under their care and charge in Daingean is of the highest value. Many of those discharged from that institution have written back very gratifying letters to the Oblate Fathers expressing their thanks. Many of them, also, when leaving the institution, express their sorrow at having to leave and many of them express their heartfelt thanks for the special care and attention, the medical care and the medical attention, and the manner in which the Oblate Fathers took them unto themselves as if they were members of their own family, and particularly for the high standard of educational and sporting facilities which are all there for them in Daingean.

If Deputy O'Leary has any doubts in relation to that matter, I have no hesitation in saying that the Superior in Saint Conleth's, Daingean, would welcome a visit by him and would bring him around the institution to let him see the fine, airy conditions and the very high standard of education and training which prevail there. On such a visit, Deputy O'Leary would have an opportunity of observing the noble efforts of the Superior and of his Fathers and Brothers who work so strenuously and so earnestly in the interest of those who are placed under their care. Many children have been sent to that institution. They can be described as juvenile delinquents or as children who were allowed a free hand without any control by their parents. They were not too long in Daingean until they were moulded into a new way of life. The priests of Daingean took complete charge of the development of their character. There are now amongst us today many fine, honourable citizens who would not be such a credit to their country were it not for the generous care, help and attention they received from the Oblate Fathers in their school in Daingean. I am sure Deputy O'Leary's fears in relation to reformatories are unfounded so far as St. Conleth's, Daingean, is concerned.

I am sure it is not one of those institutions which he has under observation. I can allay all his fears in that regard as I am quite satisfied that he need have no fear or worry in that respect. I shall discuss the matter with the Deputy some time —he is not in the House at present— so as to allay his fears and lest he might have false illusions about the general conduct and administration of that fine school which is a credit to this country, to the county in which it is located, to the Oblate Fathers and to everybody concerned. I have nothing but the highest of praise for it. Certainly, I know intimately everybody connected with it and they deserve nothing but the sincere gratitude, appreciation and thanks of every section of our people.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for providing this page on Daingean. the men in black should never be allowed to hold any position of authority over children. i was there and i do not forgive them. they were not men theyy were the scum of the earth.

6:48 PM  
Blogger The Knitter said...

...and despite what's been heard at the Ryan Commission - not even one tenth of what happened there has surfaced.

In any other walk of life or profession the group, and its members would be permanently banned from working with vulnerable communities.

These religious orders are still in positions of authority with vulnerable communities.

9:48 AM  

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