What The Oblates Have To Say
Oblates strongly rejected there were any incidents of buggery, rape and sodomy in Daingean.
Oblates "totally and completely denied" the sexual abuse allegations.
Oblates say: "immoral, impure conduct", strictly forbidden at the reformatory.
Oblates denied severe corporal punishment in Daingean was abuse.
Oblates were "surprised" at the numerous complaints of physical abuse.
Oblates " would contend [severe physical punishment] was done in good faith and that people at the time didn't think it was abusive."
Oblates agreed "the punishment was very, very severe but I feel it would be an injustice to the men of the time to say it was abuse."
Oblates 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". Oblates had not denied the boys so punished were naked or had their shirts pulled up.
Oblates accepted as "an honest statement of what was observed" a 1966 report which said corporal punishment at Daingean was "used frequently. When it is used it is very severe."
Oblates disputed complaints that the boys had not been fed properly.
Oblates disagreed with an internal Department of Education memo which said there was "shameful neglect" of the boys' education and that they were being made use of as labourers.
Oblates disputed findings by the Kennedy committee that the boys were "dirty and unkempt"
Oblatesdisputed that the showers at Daingean were "rusted and disintegrating" through lack of use,
Oblates disputed that toilets were "dirty and unsanitary".
Oblates disagreed with Justice Ryan that it seemed "eccentric" to accept the findings of one such report while rejecting that of the other.
Oblates admit that no punishment books - required by law - had survived from Daingean. Oblates don't know what happened to them.