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St Stanislaus' Old Boys Rally To Defend School

Added to on September 20, 2008

Western Advocate (Australia) by Terry Jones 16 September 2008

OLD Boys of St Stanislaus' College were yesterday rallying behind the school, including a Bathurst solicitor who told the media outside Bathurst Court House he saw nothing during his time as a student there.

Mark Ireland joined with Sydney barrister Greg Walsh in saying the allegations against former college chaplain Brian Joseph Spillane, former college bursar John Francis Gaven and former college president Peter William Dwyer were a "witch hunt".

After Mr Walsh said allegations against teachers at St Stanislaus' had wider ramifications for the Bathurst community, he went on to say "this has polarised the wider Bathurst community".

"What's been reported in papers, radio and TV has seen students who attended St Stanislaus' vilified," Mr Walsh said.

"They cannot walk main streets of Bathurst. This should not be tolerated.

"Seeing what's reported in the media should be of concern."

In 30 years as a criminal lawyer defending similar cases, Mr Walsh said repressed memory evidence still alive in 2008 has been discredited in other countries.

"These men are innocent. The way this has been handled is bizarre," he said

Solicitor Mark Ireland identified himself as one St Stanislaus' old boy who was not behind a petition to have the Vincentian Order removed from the college.

"Old boys are supporting the college right through this," Mr Ireland said.

"We're not taking one side or the other, not dissenting from others who can have a point of view."

Mr Ireland attended St Stanislaus' saying: "Nothing happened at St Stanislaus' over various eras at the school.

"I was there, I didn't see it. I'm disappointed. I can come forward to say I haven't seen it. We support it hasn't happened because we haven't seen it."