Email Us My Blog



Brothers Criticise Archbishop

Added to on August 26, 2007

The Irish Times, 25 August 2007 by Paul Cullen

The Christian Brothers say they have been "left hanging" by the release by the Archbishop of Dublin of a 45-year-old report that is highly critical of its operation of Artane industrial school.

Paul Cullen reports.

The decision by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to release the report to a former resident of Artane "prejudices our position in the public eye", said Br Edmund Garvey, communications director of the Christian Brothers.

The brothers say they are "shocked and dismayed" by Archbishop Martin's decision to release the 1962 report written by Fr Henry Moore, a chaplain at Artane. "The Christian Brothers consider it unconscionable that any body, other than the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and prior to its findings being made public, would release a single document, which is currently under the consideration to the commission.

"We would have expected the Archbishop might have contacted us with advance notice if he was going to take such a step," said Br Garvey. Archbishop Martin released the document last month in response to a request from Jim Beresford, a leading member of Survivors of Child Abuse.

He first gave a commitment to release the document three years ago but waited until the commission had finished its public hearings. Br Garvey told The Irish Times that the criticisms of Artane in Fr Moore's report (see panel) were "comprehensively refuted" by a subsequent investigation by Department of Education inspectors.

He denied claims that the brothers knew in advance about the inspectors' visit to Artane. However, Mr Beresford said the inspectors' report was a "whitewash" designed to exonerate the brothers. "They were caught on the hop by Moore and were determined to discredit everything he said."

He described the release of Fr Moore's report as "a start" and said he has asked for 16 more documents dating back as far as the 1870s. "There's a huge archive on Artane in the Archbishop's Palace and I intend to get my hands on it."

Br Garvey said the Christian Brothers had asked the commission for permission to publish the inspectors' report but had been told it could not do this for legal reasons. There was a danger of injustice being done through one document coming into the public domain when there were many more before the commission.

He questioned Fr Moore's level of information on Artane: "What was the extent of his knowledge of Artane at the time and what was it based on?" The commission is expected to issue a report early next year.

Release of Report was Fair-Minded, Not a Shock

Added to on August 24, 2007

Irish Independent, 24 August 2007

The statement was issued to 'The Irish Catholic' only, and the editor decided to lead yesterday's paper with the story.

Brother Garvey deplored the issuing of "any document" under consideration by the Commission on Child Abuse, despite the fact that many documents under consideration are already in the public domain, including newspaper reports on the charging of Father Moore with abuse.

Dr Diarmuid Martin's decision to release the report is consistent with his own view, expressed when he arrived in Ireland in the context of the crisis facing the Catholic Church over child abuse, that unless and until all documents are in the public arena, no conclusion will be found satisfactory to all sides.

Brother Garvey also claims in his press statement that the Christian Brothers were aware, since June 2005, of the Moore Report. He says they were made aware of the Report by the Commission and not by the Archbishop. In more than two years since then, what may be called "the other side", despite many requests for the same document, have been denied it until the Archbishop's decision to release it.

Brother Garvey says in his statement that "the Christian Brothers have been unable to obtain permission from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse to publish the report of the Inspectors."

The Commission does not control this report. It is a document in public ownership, specifically the Department of Education. That department of State has consistently refused to release the inspectors' report to the public or to the interested individuals who were at Artane and need to see what was said about their experiences there.

Brother Garvey claims that "the report of the inspectors, including the medical inspector, comprehensively deals with the criticisms of the chaplain." This implies that the Christian Brothers have obtained sight of another document that has been consistently held back from "the other side".

It also can mean only one thing, in respect of Father Moore, that his report is not truthful.

The content, published last Saturday in this newspaper, described Father Moore's fundamental and far-reaching judgments about every service intended for the inmates of Artane.

It found that the poor quality in almost every activity in Artane had not been changed since the Cussen Report, of 1936, itself a severe indictment of the industrial schools.

Moore's Report gave specific details of an appallingly harsh punishment regime. It condemned the education at Artane, saying that it did nothing for the boys imprisoned.

These are not matters amenable to reverse judgments on the basis of a two-day visit by Department of Education inspectors.

They could not have discovered the complete opposite to what Father Moore reported after working in the institution for many months.

Brother Garvey claims that the Christian Brothers "are not seeking to hide any information nor to disclose what is now properly with the Commission". Yet they criticise the Archbishop for the release of the report.

When the Archbishop, by releasing Moore's Report, made a worthwhile and fair-minded attempt to rectify this imbalance, two things happened: the Christian Brothers condemned what he had done and the Commission on Child Abuse said, as reported in 'The Irish Catholic, ' that "the Commission does not feel that publication of the report will prejudice the work of the Commission'.

This may be so, technically, because the Commission has finished hearing evidence. In the light of Tuesday's Christian Brother statement, as well as other issues such as the Taoiseach's unrectified conflict of evidence before the Commission, it could wisely reconsider that conclusion to its work.