‘Nun spat in my face on the street’
SIMON BROUDER email@example.com
May 27 2009 08:19 AM
WHISTLEBLOWER John Prior, whose allegations of abuse in a Tralee industrial school helped lift the lid on a hidden culture of rape and brutality in the Catholic Church, has revealed the torment he suffered for daring to tell the truth.
John Prior, who spent 14 years in St Joseph’s Industrial School in Tralee and was the longest serving inmate of any industrial school in the county, was the first victim of institutional abuse to come forward and tell his story to the authorities.
Though his bravery prompted hundreds more to come forward it led to years of misery for John who was vilified for challenging the reputation of the church.
Prior was abused in the street and shunned by friends, he received threatening phonecalls and his children were bullied.
John Prior described the ordeal of facing the Christian Brothers in Court as “four days of hell”.
“The government say the commission was non-confrontational but they treated me like a dog in there,” he said. “They called me a fraud and said they’d fight me to the very end. They had millions to spend to bring me down. Money was no object because if they beat me they could frighten all the others from coming forward. They fought me and fought me and ripped me to shreds.
“Our only way of dealing with what happened to us is to talk about it and all I wanted was for someone to say they believed me. I was abused on the street, people crossed the road away from me. I had a nun spit into my face and say ‘do you realise what you’re doing to the church?'” John Prior said.
“The orders should be closed and their assets taken from them,” he said. “I want to see these men in court. They’re paedophiles and they deserve to face the full rigours of the law.”
Referring to Bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy’s statement on institutional abuse Mr Prior said.
“That letter isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Why couldn’t he have just written to us years ago and said sorry. That’s all we wanted. What he said is too little, too late.”
John Prior has called on the diocese of Kerry to hold a special mass at the gave of children who died at St Joseph’s in Tralee’s Rath Cemetery.
Four Christian Brothers charged with sex offences
Four Christian Brothers who worked at St Joseph’s Industrial School, Tralee, appeared in Tralee District Court yesterday charged.
Thu, Jun 17, 1999, 01:00
Four Christian Brothers who worked at St Joseph’s Industrial School, Tralee, appeared in Tralee District Court yesterday charged with a number of sex offences against boys in their care during the 1950s and 1960s.
The accused men are Brother Denis Boyhan (69), of the CBS Monastery, Kilkenny; Brother Dan Doheny (59), of CBS Synge Street, Dublin; Brother Conor Lane (82), of CBS, North Monastery, Cork; and Brother John Dermot O’Kelly, of CBS House, Binn Bain, Dingle.
There were 43 charges against Brother Boyhan of indecent assault and gross indecency; eight similar charges against Brother Doheny; two charges of gross and indecent assaults plus a further charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Brother Lane and one charge of indecent assault against Brother O’Kelly.
State solicitor Mr Edward O’Sullivan applied to have the matter adjourned until September 22nd for the service of the books of evidence and that the accused men be remanded on their own bonds.
Mr Ronnie Lynham, solicitor, suggested the case be held in camera and the names of the accused mbt be published in any form which could lead to their identification by members of the public.
Mr O’Sullivan said people involved in the case were all adults and it was a matter for the court to decide.
Mr Lynham submitted that the court had a discretion for the absolute prohibition of the publication of any matter which could lead to the identity of the accused persons becoming known.
Mr O’Sullivan said the crimes with which the accused men were charged occurred 30, 40 or more years ago and the protection of the court was required, not in relation to the identities of the accused men, but so that the victims would not be identified.
Judge Finn ruled that only the names of the victims in the cases not be published.
The four accused persons entered into their own bonds of £200 each and the case was adjourned until September 22nd.
A statement issued by the Congregation of the Irish Christian Brothers stated: “We want to make it very clear that we are co-operating fully with the Garda investigations being carried out as a result of complaints that they have received. The brothers deeply regret the hurt that may have been caused in any school or institution with which they are or have been associated.”
Sr Stan: no recollection of abuse claim
May 27 2009 08:21 AM
KERRY born campaigner for the homeless Sr Stanislaus Kennedy has confirmed she is the nun given the pseudonym Sr Wilma in the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report but she has insisted she did not know about child abuse at a Kilkenny industrial school.
The commission’s report contains a claim by a voluntary worker who told the commission that he had reported incidents of sexual abuse to Sr Stanislaus.
During their investigations the commission investigated reports of abuse at St Joseph’s Industrial School, Kilkenny and found that the school employed “two dangerous sexual abusers” during the 1970s.
The Sisters of Charity nun, who is originally from Lispole and went on to found Focus Ireland, lived in the convent in the grounds of the school in the 1970s when she worked in the community and ran a childcare course.
According to the commission report, a voluntary worker identified only by the pseudonym ‘Patrick McGovern’ said he had been told that a boy was being molested in the industrial school, in or about 1974.
He claimed he called to the convent one night to tell someone and was “relieved” when ‘Sr Wilma’ came to the door because he knew her.
‘Mr McGovern’ told the commission that when he made the claim, Sr Wilma told him there was a history of boys and girls making up stories to gain attention.
In statements to the media and the commission Sr Stanislaus has said she had no recollection of the incident referred to in the report and was entirely unaware of any physical or sexual abuse taking place at the school.
58 replies on “MORE – IRISH CHRISTIAN BROTHER AND NUN ABUSE.”
“…. the brothers deeply regret the hurt that may have been caused in ‘any’ school or institution with which they are or have been associated.”
‘Any’ should be replaced with ‘every.’ The dirty dogs.
What else does Sister Stan claim she was “entirely unaware” of? She is reported to have said that children in that school and similar institutions often made up stories in order to gain attention. That, I am afraid, is classic nun-speak for having colluded in the system.
Historical abuse and recent Maynooth abuse. Pat what happened even within the last 10 years in Maynooth there was systematic sexual abuse led by seminary staff. Why would a Maynooth Priest enage in the conduct of sexually abuse against a young seminarian.
Two reasons, pleasure as a means of punishment. .
A smear campaign against Sr. Stan no doubt!! Buck boy you’ll never ever get close to the quality of this great woman, ever, a woman who is respected, loved and admired by our country. I guess you just enjoy breaking good religious and clergy apart. You have not allowed the RESSURRECTED CHRIST bring any light to your life. The hatred you have for the Catholic Church and its oersinnel is as boundless as Magna’s, your puppet. Yes, there were some nasty and abusuve religious, but may God bless all the hundreds of good Religious.
The truth can’t ‘smear’ anyone.
What are you afraid of?😕
Pat’s puppet and mouthpiece to the rescue
If that’s true, then whose ‘mouthpiece and puppet’ are you?
Sister Stan’s and the institutional Church’s?😕
8:18 am & 9:07 am
I have to burst your bubble buddies by telling you all of the above plus far more is in the public domain for years. Your conspiracy theory of a smear campaign is sheer nonsense.
Here’s another fact, homelessness or working with those out of home is a business.
There are lots of visionary social innovators in Ireland. See www. social innovation.ie
The volunteer worker thought he could trust Sister Stan, who today describes herself self-admiringly on her own website as “visionary and social innovator” . That was a mistake. Is she setting herself up for her own future canonisation as Mother Teresa did who would say as a matter of fact, “I’m glad you can see Jesus in me”?
8.42:: You’ll never destroy Sr. Stan. Hater. You are all so wise in hindsight, hypo rites. What an amazing woman is Sister Stan.
Having encountered Sr. Stan through fund raising projects in our parish after she shared an evening speaking to our Justice Group and parishioners, I can attest to the absolute sincerity of this woman. I watched an RTE programme recently in tribute to her and what a wonderful insight we got from people who worked with her. Each person expressed their admiration for this visionary nun. And all praise was deserved, though the humble Sr. never allowed such acoldes place her on a pedestal. I have worked with many retired Sisters of Charity. Likewise their zeal, dedication and Christ like living is an inspiration. Let’s not tatter the integrity of these amazing women.
Yet the adjectives used in the CICA report to describe the extent of the abuse were particularly chilling: “systemic, pervasive, chronic, excessive, arbitrary, endemic.”
Fortunately for the witch, the CICA report was not allowed to include calls for the prosecution or sanction of any of the parties involved.
Yes. Yes. Yes. All well and good. I’m sure even God couldn’t imitate her innate goodness and her Irish charm.
But what about the other stuff, hmm? You know, the kids she let down? The kids whose lives were made an unnecessary hell, because she closed ranks with the clerical system to protect it.
What about all of THAT stuff!
Or don’t you give a damn?😕
MaggieTroll take a wee stroll along the pier and clear your head of the Brandy and Benedictine
10.05: I care about survivors. You, Magna, don’t. I am involved with a survivors group, out of my own experience of abuse. You, Magna, couldn’t care. Never did. The truth is simple..You, Mags, usebthis blog simply to vent buckets of faux outrage at all Catholic personnel. It’s your trademark of absolute crazy and bizarre And weird dysfunctionality. Psychologically, I actually believe you get a sexual satisfaction by your bullying, perverted, twisted and vicious judgments. There are screwballs like you in life. Dangerous. You, horrid creature, will never, ever emulate the smallest of Christ like living of Sr. Stan. Just wondering if your goid parents (unfortunately) or you yourself, ever opened your mouths in the knowledge of the happenings behind high walls?? Or, did all of you pass by on the other side, which I presume you continue to do this day? I, at least, am part of healing programmes for survivors. And, despite you rubbishing the amazing Sr. Stan, look to your own heart and soul…much filth there to be confronted and cleaned out.
Oh! I see.😄 You’re the Romanist who says he was abused by a farmer when he was a teenager, and is never done telling anyone who’ll listen about it.
If any of us is deriving the ‘sexual satisfaction’ you mentioned, I’d say it was you, priest, what with all those unnecessary trips down memory lane.
Now THERE’S psychological dysfunctionality.😅
What she meant by being “entirely unaware” is she was the only one at Kilkenny industrial school that did not offend against children.
Very nasty comment.
I think you get off on this stuff
9.20: Pat’s anti Catholicism is a virus, incurable, poisonous. It’s like a drug he keeps coming back for…..disgusting and shameful.
If my anti Catholic institution is a virus – I was infected by a faily long line of clerical bastardos that I met between 1970 and 1986 – and the ones who have hurt people I’ve met ever since.
What a grim and forbidding picture, Bp Pat, when would that roughly been taken?
1860s. These were the three that brought the “Christian” Brothers to Australia.
One witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia described the Christian Brothers as “This evil corporation needs to be delisted, all over the world. No children or vulnerable people are safe while this corrupt and filthy organisation exists.”
I was educated in the 60s and 70s by priests, who by and large were decent men, dedicated and motivated. However, they were the product of a Church culture and theology that was rigid, hardline, black and white, muscular macho christianity. There was little nuance or subtlety, little ability to deal with grey and in-between. I don’t blame these men personally, it was the way they were formed by the Church. Add in to that mix a clerical culture and way of life that had at its roots the widely accepted dysfunction of celibacy and you have a toxic mix. We are well aware of this from what we know of abusive behaviour amongst the ranks of the clergy and religious, such as is the subject of today’s blog post by + Pat.
In these days we are hearing a great deal about what life will be like once we are through the current Covid 19 pandemic. People are saying that much will change in the way we live our lives, in the attitudes we have, what things we value. There will, I hope, be a reassessment of how important and valued are key workers in our society that keep things going and moving, everybody from health care workers, to delivery people, to supermarket workers, to cleaners and the bin men. I hope. Likewise, we should be asking ourselves the question about what the Church should be like after the pandemic of abuse and dysfunction that we know has inhabited our Church for so long. We have seen the damage that has been done after wave after wave of abuse ripped through our Church, for all sorts of reasons, and I would like to hear what we are going to value and change for the future to make sure that this does not happen again. I don’t really hear people talking so much about that. I hear stories of the abuse of the past, and that is necessary to inform our minds about what has and can go wrong, but I don’t hear a great deal about the future and a way forward. What do we need to do to inoculate ourselves from a Church culture and clericalism that is evidently harmful, particularly to the most vulnerable ? What changes need to be brought about in order for this to happen. My own view is that ‘key workers’ in the Church need to be identified and valued and given sway. And that is not clergy. It is the laity, those who are the backbone of the Church, good, solid, ordinary men and women who pray, go to Mass, bring up their children in Gospel ways and have a grounded experience of living a Christian life. So, much more lay facilitation and involvement. So many of these will be women, so the voice of women and the ministry of women in a renewed Church is going to be fundamental. That will mean an executive role as well as a ministerial role, including priesthood. The ending of hierarchical means of organising and running ourselves will also be important, a return to the early Church where the community was paramount rather than a clique of individuals. Something has to happen or we will consign ourselves to wave after wave of the abuse and corruption pandemic that we have seen too much of in the Church.
I suggest reading retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson’s book;
“For Christ’s Sake- End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church….for Good.”
In the book, Bishop Robinson pulls no punches in his effort to go beyond merely ‘managing’ sexual abuse in the Church. He leads up to a call for nothing less than a Council of the whole Church to confront the issues raised in the book, within which he insists that the laity must play a major role. Its available on Amazon as a kindle book.
Here’s a good starter for ten from Bishop Geoffrey Robinson concerning the sorts of issues we should be talking about at a Council of the Church. Seems along the right lines to me, and touches many of the issues I want to talk about. And, please, the Cathbots, and the Traddies, and the black and white inflexible loonies, spare us your solution of just being faithful and sticking to a recipe or to something that has done us so much harm.
The continuing influence of the idea of an angry God
The immaturity that arises from passive obedience in adults
The teaching of the Church on sexual morality
The part played in abuse by celibacy, especially obligatory celibacy
The lack of a strong feminine influence in every aspect of the Church
The idea that through ordination the priest is taken above other people (clericalism)
The lack of professionalism in the life of priest s and religious
The unhealthy situations in which many priests and religious are required to live
The constant placing of right beliefs before right actions
The passion for secrecy and the hiding of faults within the Church, especially in the Vatican
The ways in which the protection of papal authority has been put before the eradication of sexual abuse
The provision of structures to make a reality of the ‘sense of faith’ (sensus fidei) of all Catholic people
The need for each Conference of Bishops to have the authority to compel individual bishops to follow common decisions in this matter.
Alvin he say: Our loyalty should be to each other (and should be behind the back of any organisation more than by trying to take it over). The most important vocation has always been layman & laywoman. But it doesn’t say that on the posters! I even think God is trying to “drop a subtle” hint about spiritual communion. Readings and a solid sermon were supposed to be a very good thing in themselves. (Hoping this isn’t too “radical” for Pat! 🙂 )
A absolutely not 😀
Organisations, institutions, companies, businesses…pretty much everything over time changes and responds to new circumstances and challenged. We have seen something like that to a degree with the Church over the centuries when there have been challenged, and the usual response is a Council. There just seems to be a doltish stupidness to the situation nowadays, when the Church is evidently presented with an existential threat to its existence as it is presently found, but the response is just more of the same. Just like organisations and businesses, if the Church does not change and reform it will in time be out of business. That is not to suggest that it needs to change its fundamental beliefs, but pretty much anything else around that should be up for discussion and for change in pursuit of following the fundamentals. Nothing should get in the way of that. There is too much vested interest in those who have a voice and authority in the Church to delay, to deny, to be blind to the needs of reform. So, it will have to be the laity who will bring this on. There will come a time, if it is not already here, when the laity will simply tell the clerics to piss off, and take control themselves. It will happen.
You’ve probably caused the aforementioned in your post indigestion, if not emesis!
Fr Mullaney’s great purge of heterosexuals within the seminary. The purge was a coordinated effort to break anyone who did not submit.
There was no heterosexuals to purge you idiot.
That why it as known as Gaynooth
The current situation is perhaps teaching all of us that good things happen locally on the ground wherever there is openness and goodwill – call it what you will: the common good, subsidiarity, or even “church”. Just as the Church has been bedevilled by clericalism and a culture of saints and “visionaries” who are agents of the corporation they serve, so secular society seeks to idolise its own representatives. In the UK we had a culture of soldiers as heroes, possibly to compensate them for having been sent to a misconceived and morally dubious military conflict. Yes, we all think the NHS is wonderful, but it received greatly increased funding and much improved pay during the last Labour government, and that that has not been continued is entirely down to political choice. Rather than create cults, we should develop our own resources, value who we are and what each of us can contribute to the common good. I’d suggest for example that a lot of people have received a valuable experience this Easter by realising that they don’t have to go to a church at all – even less fund it! Liberation maybe?
How do you know
Hi Pat. Do you know the result of the 1999 trial ? I can’t find any reference to the verdict on Google. I also tried to search for the people who were on trial.
Boyhan – died 2013 still a Christian Brother.
Doheny – In court again in 2005 on abuse charges regarding James Ryan. No trial result available.
Lane – mentioned in several sources as having died before being brought to trial
O’Kelly – I found a Br Jack Dermot O’Kelly who died in 2008, still a Christian Brother.
Did these guys all get off?
It’s not surprising you couldn’t find any record of the verdicts.
All four of these men made the front pages of several newspapers when the allegations were made.
Not one of the cases stood up in court. All were acquitted.
But there was no media attention for that eventuality.
Maybe the media doubted their innocence.😕
The search for a ‘good’ religious hits exactly the same problem as the search for a ‘good’ priest, which is that the relatively ‘good’ ones claim to have been totally unaware while the actions of the relatively ‘bad’ ones were going on under their very noses.
As is the case with priests this reality means there are no good ones.
It is interesting when people fling around names of priests and religious on here as examples of Christ-like virtue or charity. I will just sit here and wait until the public reputation they have built up falls apart. In fact this inflating of reputations is one of the church’s many rackets, because actually having a Saint in your order is a money-spinner.
We must also be very wary of the ability of psychopathic people to come across as very saintly.
Very true @3:39pm! There are far too many useful idiots around who swallow and promote all the hype. What is even more remarkable is that people such as John Paul II ( Protector of Abusers ) and Mother Teresa ( Hell’s Angel ) still get themselves canonised and fêted even after the damage they did has been documented.
You can always trust a Romanist to use a global crisis for grandstanding. His Oiliness, Pope Francis, has expressed his wish that once the Coronavirus Pandemic has passed, humanity will have formed ‘antibodies of justice, charity’.
Justice? Will this include His Oiliness’ personally responding to the complaints of abuse survivors in Argentina after repeated refusals by him to do so?
And if his own church’s ‘charity’ duing the Pandemic is anything to go by, none of us will have to try hard to meet his, er, ‘exacting’ standard.😕
4.00: A broken, scratched record of hatred….get a life. God bless Pope Francis.
Yes, you’d rather bury the truth about the hypocrisy and lies, of both your Roman ‘papa’ and of your corrupt church, wouldn’t you, Romanist parasite?😅
6.28: Another broken scratched record of Mag’s hate speech. A specimen worse than uselessness. Instead of the constant vomit, pray, tell us O Blessed One, what you have done – ever – outside your wee world to effect good of any kind. Your vomit of words here indicate nothing of worth. God bless Pope Francis – a beacon of light and hope. Marge, what’s your cave like during isolation? Can you keep your distance from the snakes?
6.28: You’re a laugh Missie Cartwheel. Same old, same old record. Your script is so predictable. Who changes your nappy and cleans the rash?? Wash your hands should read – Wash your mouth…wash your mouth…🎀🎀🎀🎀🎀..Still we love you.
I want to be that shaft of light which enters the hearts of those who may have become complacent over the resurrection; I want YOU, too, to experience the love and forgiveness of the crucified Lord.
I want to receive the same confirmation of accompaniment in paradise, together with protection from the devil, and his disciples! Not just for me, but for all His children.
We are an EASTER people – And ALLELUIA is our song ! 🐣 🐥🥰🤪 x
Like the Christian Brothers, the Sister of Charity were in the thick of it, Bp Pat, the foul fiends.
8.28: Tes, the Sisters of Charity were in the “thick of it” – providing education, health care and social services when the Irish State was unable to do so. While some of their members were cruel, these women have left a great legacy overall. Just look at their history today at home and in their missionary projects abroad. Let’s see all narratives.
7.00: Lottie, how do you tolerate Mag’s? Must be like hell. The poor auld bitch is a gonner…Looney bin stuff. Keep sane, Lots..
There’s a general acknowledgment that the religious sisters in this country have contributed positively to health, education and social outreach. Their legacy in these areas are indisputable. History and well researched documents and studies have validated this. Many retired religious are now involved in outreach projects for socially disadvantaged people, work with traveller communities, care for migrants, care for the homeless, are hospital and prison chaplains, parish sisters, visit the sick, run support programmes for women and provide education for those who did not have the opportunity in their lives. However, some orders had some horrendous abusers. This too has been documented. It is regrettable that any person acting in the name of Christ should have committed the crime of sexual, physical or emotional abuse. They deserve the judgment of civil law. In 1970 at the age of 15 I entered an order as a prospective candidate. I stayed 6 months only as I was unhappy about aspects of formation, the “open faults” Sunday morning sessions being horrible. Yet, 18 months later I returned to the same order (not the CB’s) and found everything totally changed for the better. The formators were wonderful and kind and very caring. A new programme was initiated and I was positively influenced by my experiences. The next 3 years were years of great education and learning. I took 1st vows but after a year of teaching I changed my mind and studied for the priesthood. I look back to those years in the 70’s and decades before when orders accepted teenagers as aspirants. I can imagine the harshness, discipline and bad human and spiritual formation given to all, a formation that destroyed the human, emotional and sexual integrity of many. I did encounter older brothers who were super but some were very destructive in attitude and behaviour. Likewise as a teenager I witnessed some wonderful nuns in the convent where my sisters were educated in the 60’s and 70’s. Sadly, a system that enforced harsh, self denial and crazy, demeaning spirituality and gave poor human formation was a recipe for sexual and emotional frustration. This is just an observation out of my experiences and not an apology for any abuse. The church while having given many of us an education, albeit oppressive at times, also has a legacy of sexual abuse, which, for the rest of my lifetime will haunt me. But I try my best and I will always be grateful for the very dedicated brothers, nuns, religious and clergy who inspired me and who, when my mother was widowed at a young age were kind, caring and helpful in every way, including financial support, more than any neighbour could do.
The Friend’s of Maynooth trust fund. They can’t all cover their tracks, Hugh is an idiot. Pat would all the millions be returned to help the survivors pay for the legal action against McCarrick.
Blood money indeed. Hugh used McCarrick’s network to receive charity funds for Maynooth. Where did Msgr Hugh place all the millions, some say used as hush money for those who would dare to challenge Seminary Council in Court.
Pat how did Stephen Wilson pass the Maynooth psychological test, especially the section ‘have you ever engaged is unusual sexual behavior ‘.