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

RYAN COMMISSION 2005 (excerpt)


QUESTION: With regard to [the issue of resources], you say: "The root of this problem lay in the poor condition of the school and partly in underfunding which made it impossible to hire staff for the wider education and training programme." When did the poor condition of the school develop, I am talking now relative to the period of 1940 when it was described by Dr. McCabe?

ANSWER . I would have to say that for the reasons I have already explained living conditions for both staff and for pupils were quite difficult from 1940 until that plan was fully implemented by 1957 or thereabouts, because the dormitories and so on were inadequate, as I say, the washing facilities were also inadequate. Of course the heating, the hot water remained a problem right throughout the period, there was never hot water there on a regular basis from 1940 to 1973, there was just a geyser, I suppose you call it, for warming the showers when they were needed. Those were some of the things. The other thing is that having built that new block which contained the dormitories and other facilities after the war, all the time of course the other buildings were deteriorating. The fabric of the old main part of the building which was 200 years old was deteriorating very very considerably beyond repair and this becomes very evident when you look at the Department file on the matter. That is what I am referring to when I say that.

QUESTION: We know from the Kennedy Report that the buildings eventually got to the stage when the Kennedy Committee visited Daingean they recommended that it be closed down immediately, this was around 1970?

ANSWER. That's right. They visited Daingean in February 1968 and they did not report until some time in 1970. Now I would agree fully that when they visited in 1968 the condition of the school was such that it could not be tolerated really. This had already of course, prior to the Kennedy visit, been brought to the attention of the State in very strong terms on many occasions. It wasn't news to the State that was brought by the Kennedy Daingean was in the desperate state.

QUESTION: Had it been that way for many years?

ANSWER. At least in the 1960s, that's the period we know most about because the documentation is best from that period.


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