[I came across this article recently while researching something else. In April 2002 Gerry Kelly accosted the Papal Nuncio at a meeting of the bishops in Maynooth and physically accosted Bishop Martin Drennan. This extraordinary episode was reported uncritically in the Irish Independent on 9 April.
Gerry Kelly is the man who told Louis Lentin in the TV documentary "Our Boys" that he attended the funerals of boys in Artane and implied that they had died following beatings administered by the Christian Brothers. "Our Boys" was originally broadcast in October 1999 and repeated in November 2000.
In a letter to the Irish Times on 25 November 2000, Brother J. K. Mullan pointed out that no boy died while Gerry Kelly was in Artane. (A copy of Brother Mullan's letter is included in the following article that was published on www.alliancesupport.org last year).
"Victim demands answers" is the title of the Independent article in April 2002. Why was Gerry Kelly not asked a few questions himself - for example the names of the boys whose funerals he said he attended?
13 May 2007]
Victim Demands Answers
Irish Independent, 9 April 2002 by Kathy Donaghy
Gerard Kelly grapples with Auxilary Bishop of Dublin Martin Drennan outside Maynooth College yesterday.
A VICTIM of sex abuse yesterday confronted the Vatican's representative in Ireland and three bishops, demanding answers from the Catholic Church over its handling of his case.
As the country's bishops met in crisis in Maynooth, Waterford man Gerard Kelly (44), who claims he was abused while in Artane Industrial School, run by the Christian Brothers in Dublin, faced down the bishops.
As the Papal Nuncio Guiseppe Lazarotto left a specially convened meeting, Mr Kelly tried to stop him getting into his car, demanded to know his name and asked what the bishops had talked about at their meeting.
The Papal Nuncio responded by saying the bishops were all working together to find the truth.
But when a visibly uncomfortable Archbishop Lazarotto said he understood Mr Kelly's pain, the Waterford man said: "How could you? You weren't sexually abused when you were 10. I was committed through the courts at six-months-old. I was sexually, physically and emotionally abused."
Mr Kelly told the Papal Nuncio he had been warned by the Brothers he'd end up in the gutters on the streets of Dublin. "I didn't end up in the gutters."
Mr Kelly also demanded answers from Bishop Martin Drennan, auxiliary bishop of Dublin, claiming he had been stonewalled by the State whenever he sought answers.
He said he would not leave Maynooth until granted a meeting with Cardinal Connell.
GERRY KELLY AND THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS.
1. "OUR BOYS" by LOUIS LENTIN ON TV3
Louis Lentin's programme "Our Boys" was first transmitted by TV3 in October 1999 and was repeated on 12 November 2000. The first transmission was in the same year that Mary Raftery's "States of Fear"series was broadcast by RTE (April/May 1999). It was also shortly after Nora Wall and Pablo McCabe were falsely convicted of raping a child. This verdict was reversed by the Court of Criminal Appeal in July 1999 but neither Lentin nor Raftery learned anything from this debacle.
One of the chief "witnesses" in "Our Boys" is Gerald Joseph Kelly who was in Artane from 1966-69 and was 9 years old when he entered. He claims that he was sexually abused by one of the Brothers and complained to the Brother Superior. He says that the Superior demanded that Gerald say the allegation was false and trashed him for hours until Gerald said that he had lied. Gerry Kelly goes on to tell Louis Lentin: "I know Louis, I was one of the lucky ones. I got away that evening. Cause I know there were some kids who made complaints who never got away. I ATTENDED THEIR FUNERALS." [my emphasis]
2. CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AT ARTANE - letter to Irish Times, 25 November 2000
On Sunday, November 12th, TV3 broadcast a one-hour documentary entitled "Stolen Lives: Our Boys" which had first been shown on the station in October 1999. The programme repeated a number of serious allegations against members of the Christian Brothers by former pupils of industrial schools.
One particular past pupil claimed that he had attended the funerals of boys who had died while in Artane. It was further implied that these boys had died following beatings administered by the Brothers. This allegation is completely untrue. THE RECORDS SHOW THAT NO BOY DIED IN ARTANE DURING THIS PERSON'S TIME THERE. [my emphasis] This is a matter of verifiable fact.
In addition, this same past pupil claimed that a particular Brother who allegedly had been abusing him made certain lewd comments during Mass, as a result of which the pupil fainted and had to be transferred to the infirmary. Versions of this story have been repeated elsewhere, to the extent that the Brother is easily identifiable. However, the record shows that the Brother was not teaching in Artane at the time in question. That is also a matter of verifiable fact.
Elsewhere in "Stolen Lives", certain comments, said to have been made on radio, were attributed to a named spokesperson for the Christian Brothers, claiming that the Brothers rejected all allegations made against them. Such comments were never made.
This most recent airing of a programme containing unfounded, uncorroborated allegations is a matter of great concern to the Christian Brothers. It is deeply worrying that a national broadcaster chooses to deal with very sensitive matters in such a way.
Br J. K. Mullan
Christian Brothers Provincialate,
North Circular Road
MY COMMENT: In the Middle Ages Jews were sometimes accused of murdering Christian Boys for ritual reasons. These accusations are called "Blood Libels" by historians. The accusers aimed for a minimal level of credibility and usually focused on a boy who had died suddenly (or disappeared). They then blamed the Jews.
In the 21st Century we have become more "progressive". A number of leading members of Victims' groups have accused the Christian Brothers of murdering boys AT TIMES WHEN NO BOY DIED OF ANY CAUSE. I refer to these as "Murder of the Undead" allegations. "Victimless Murders" is another possible description.
10 August 2006