The Oblates and Abuse
Father Useless refused to describe beatings on the bare buttocks with a strap as 'abuse'
Father Useless stated the sexual abuse allegations were "totally and completely denied" by the Oblates.
Father Useless said the Oblate Order was "surprised" at the numerous complaints of physical abuse received by the commission.
No punishment books - required by law - had survived from Daingean. He didn't know what happened to them.
Father Useless said the Oblates denied there was "shameful neglect" of the boys' education and that they were being made use of as labourers.
Father Useless said the Oblates denied the boys were "dirty and unkempt" and that the showers at Daingean were "rusted and disintegrating" through lack of use, or that toilets were "dirty and unsanitary"
Father Useless said The Oblates admitted that strapping of the bare buttocks of boys had occurred.
Father Useless said that the strapping of the bare buttocks of boys was carried out "in good faith"
Father Useless said that people at the time "didn't think strapping boys on the bare buttocks was abuse".
Father Useless conceded that the punishment could be "very, very severe",
Father Useless said he would be "doing an injustice to the men of that time to say it was abuse".
Father Useless said that men under such stress "might snap and become abusive"
Father Useless was aware of concerns of members of the Kennedy committee, which inspected Daingean in 1968, at the administration of corporal punishment to the boys over the bare buttocks and that the then resident manager there, Fr McGonagle, appeared to accept the value of such punishment as "more humiliating". Fr McGonagle, he said, denied saying he accepted the added value of such humiliation, though he had not denied the boys so punished were naked or had their shirts pulled up.