Q. Yes. Can I ask you to move on then to the next area which I went to discuss with you which are deaths in Letterfrack. I know the Christian Brothers have some things to say about suggestions surrounding deaths in Letterfrack. Maybe you would like to deal with that issue?
"I have never spoken like friendly to a teacher before, it's hard to get used to. I hated teachers, all my mates did too. It's different here. If they saw me they would wonderwhat happened to me. They would probably think I had gone soft."
Another one said:
"Boys where I come from don't understand about Letterfrack, you have to act differently here. The worst part of life in Letterfrack is when you feel like doing a bunk andeveryone says 'to have sense, cop yourself on'."
The inter-Departmental visit in 1962, which was a significant visit, said:
"The boys seemed happy and not at all cowed and there appeared to be a good relationship between them and the brothers. The manager seems a sensible, humane man."
The visitation records where the brothers visited Letterfrack on an annual basis commented on the good natured quality of the boys and on the generalatmosphere of the place. One visitor said:
It is true that in the early 40's no such comments exist.
"The four brothers in charge of the school are earnest and efficient and treat the boys with kindness and sympathy so that a cheerful happy atmosphere pervades the classrooms."
He talked about the boys being cheerful and bright. It says:
"The pupils are well taught and receive a very sympathetic treatment from all the brothers."
Q. I don't want to cut you short. I mean it's clear there are other quotes there which are positive and rather than going through them individually what you are saying to the Commission is that there were reports indicatinga good relationship between the brothers and the boys?
"There is no evidence that any violent act caused or contributed to his death."
Then there were a lot of allegations about the tragic death of a former pupil in Letterfrack where he died as a result of an accident?
"Which spread to the brain causing encephalitis or a cerebral abscess which, if untreated, would have ledThen the following appears:
"This would have been painful and he would have complained of sore neck, earache and headaches."
Is there anything in the medical records to show that a boy was being treated for painful ...
A. I would have to check that from the medical record, I just haven't got that information here, but I would just have to check that. It could well be thatthere was, I don't know.
Q. I see. Would you like to go on then?
Q. The author of this article that's attached to your submission states the records of the Christian Brothers do not show that Martin Cahill was ever apupil in St. Joseph's school Letterfrack?
Ireland's Child Care Institutions during the 20th. Century. Fo'T: The most vivid and passionate stories - banished babies, cruel orphanages, old abuses of power - have concerned things that went unnoticed, or at least unarticulated, at the time. News has often had to be redefined, not as the latest sensation but as that which everybody knew all along yet could not say.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Letterfrack Hearings - Dead Children
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