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The following is an extract from SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN by Mary Raftery and Eoin O’Sullivan (1999). The relevant section is entitled “Barney’s Story, Artane Industrial School (Christian Brothers), 1949-1958”.

“………Brother Joseph O’Connor died about ten years ago. Because of his activities with the Artane Boys Band, he was a well known figure in Ireland. He had been frequently interviewed on RTE television and in 1976 the Trom Agus Eadrom programme, presented by Liam O’Murchu, featured a special tribute to him and his work with the band. One of his victims has described how, when he heard that Brother O’Connor was dying in Dublin’s Mater Hospital, he went down and waited around the hospital until O’Connor was dead. He then went in to take a look at the body. He describes how he had an overwhelming need to actually see him dead. This man tells of being tied to a bed and raped at the age eleven. He testifies to having his head pushed into a drawer, and the drawer closed tight on his neck as he was being raped by Brother O’Connor. In account after account from survivors of Artane, Brother O’Connors name is one of those repeatedly mentioned in the context of sexual abuse. Barney’s experiences at his hands have scarred him for life.”…….

Extract from article by Breda O’Brien “Child Abuse Book: the facts and fictions” Sunday Business Post 28 Nov. 1999.
“...Similarly with regard to a Brother Joseph O’Connor against whom serious charges were levelled after his death, it is alleged that a man abused by him was so distraught by this abuse that he hung around the Mater Hospital for days when he heard that O’Connor was dying. He then went into the hospital mortuary to lift the sheet to confirm that O’Connor was dead. IN REALITY O’CONNOR DIED MILES AWAY IN A CHRISTIAN BROTHERS NURSING HOME IN BALDOYLE. Why was the place of death not independently confirmed?...”

Brother Joseph O’Connor was the leader of the Artane Boys Band. Sister Stanislaus Kennedy was responsible for the first childcare course to train lay people. Is this why Mary Raftery makes vicious allegations against them i.e. because they show the Catholic Church in a good light?


Rory Connor
20 March 2005