Exclusive – Named and shamed

We reveal 11 people given pseudonyms who are criticised in the abuse report
John Downes, News Investigations Correspondent Sunday Tribune.

The Sunday Tribune today publishes the names of 11 people given anonymous identities in the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. All of those identified are criticised either for administering physical or sexual abuse, or for failing to prevent it happening to the children in their care.

The list of names includes two former managers of schools who were appointed Provincials of their religious orders, and a nun, Sister Xaviera (Severia), who famously defended her record on Prime Time after revelations of abuse emerged in the 1996 Dear Daughter documentary about Goldenbridge. She is given the pseudonym ‘Sr Alida’ and is accused of beating children and for letting her enthusiasm for the making of rosary beads at Goldenbridge become an “obsession”.

Former Rosminian Provincial Fr Patrick Pierce, who managed the now infamous Ferryhouse school in Clonmel from 1975 to 1991, is given the pseudonym ‘Fr Stefano’.

It notes that he failed to report the activities of a ‘Br Bruno’ – who is in fact the notorious sexual predator Sean Barry – to the gardaí until the mid-1990s. This was despite the fact that his “activities as a perpetrator of sexual abuse in Ferryhouse came to light in the late 1970s, following which he was dismissed from the order,” it states.

The late Fr William McGonagle, former Provincial of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Ireland, is ‘Fr Luca’ in the report. He ran St Conleth’s reformatory school in Daingean, Co Offaly, from the mid-1960s until the early 1970s.

“Fr Luca’s procedure would have tended to suppress rather than encourage allegations of sexual abuse in Daingean,” the report states.

Sr Joseph Conception, who is now in her 80s, was resident manager of St Joseph’s in Kilkenny until 1986.

She is given the name ‘Sr Astrid’ and receives criticism for her failure to act to reduce the risk to children from two care workers who were subsequently convicted for abuse: ‘Thomas Pleece’ who is David Murray and who was provided with a reference by Sr Conception, and his successor, ‘Peter Tade’, who is the late convicted abuser Myles Brady.

“[Sr Conception] eventually removed [Murray] and, later, [Brady] after complaints were made to her about them. However, she did not face up to what had happened to the children,” the report states.

James Kelly, the notorious Brother Ambrose, is identified as ‘Brother Dieter’. He was jailed for his crimes at Our Lady of Good Counsel school in Lota, Co Cork, in 1999, but was released after serving just three years. In 2004, James Redmond, or Brother Eunan, was also given a three-year suspended sentence for abusing boys at Lota. In the report, he is identified only as ‘Br Guthrie’.

Christian Brother Maurice Tobin was sentenced in November 2003 after he pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of 25 boys at Letterfrack Industrial School. He is referred to as ‘Brother Dax’ in the report.

A Mercy nun who ruled St Michael’s in Cappoquin with an iron fist from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s, referred to only as ‘Resident Manager’ in the report, was Sr Mary Teresa Doran. Her name can be added to a growing list of people who are given pseudonyms in the report but whose identities have now become public. They include ‘Sister Calida’, who this newspaper last week revealed is the former Mercy sister Nora Wall, who had her 1999 conviction for the rape of a child quashed. The report said she beat children in her care and that she exposed them to “additional risk” by allowing male outsiders to stay overnight at St Michael’s home in Cappoquin, Co Waterford.

‘Sr Wilma’, referred to in the report’s chapter on St Joseph’s Kilkenny, is the prominent homeless campaigner Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, while ‘John Brander’ is the convicted abuser Donal Dunne. Sr Stanislaus last week strenuously denied that she knew about child abuse at the orphanage.

The publication of the names comes as preparations are made for a ‘March of Solidarity’ with survivors of the abuse detailed in the Ryan Report, which will take place on 10 June. The march is being organised by Survivors of Institutional Abuse Ireland (SOIAI).

Last week, President Mary McAleese said she believes there should be criminal prosecutions as a result of the commission’s report.

The Sunday Tribune understands gardaí are using the report as a “source of intelligence” and will approach victims to give new statements about sexual and physical abuse. They will then pursue criminal convictions where possible.

May 31, 2009

  1. Can I have a copy of the ‘Test’?

    I must say the media have, for the most part, really gotten a hold of this Report and, unlike some politicians, read the Report in depth. Fair play to them. Now if only the media of the 20th. century had …….

  2. Named and shamed. One cannot shame people who have no shame.

  3. Martha. Your “Test” worked. Paddy

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