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Added to on August 10, 2006

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

A chara,
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.

Yours etc.

Br J. K. Mullan
Province Leader
Christian Brothers Provincialate,
Cluain Mhuire,
North Circular Road
Dublin 7.

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.

Rory Connor
10 August 2006