Christian Brothers Denied Abuse Until Two Weeks Ago

The Christian Brothers, whose systematic abuse of children was revealed in the recent Ryan Report, were continuing to deny the abuse occurred right up until the publication of the document two weeks ago.

Reports this morning have revealed the Brothers repeatedly insisted no abuse had taken place in letters sent to the Residential Institutions Redress Board between July last year and May 15 this year.

A letter sent by the Christian Brothers and now published on the Irish Times website shows their response just five days before the Child Abuse Commission's report revealed widespread physical, sexual and emotional abuse at facilities run by the Brothers.

The letter dated May 15 said: "The Applicant refers to use of corporal punishment in the institution. The only form of punishment allowed by the Congregation was moderate slapping on the palms of the hands with the approved leather strap (some 12 ins long approx…)"

This morning's reports say Br Kevin Mullan, who was involved in the CORI team that negotiated the controversial indemnity agreement with the State in 2002, signed all the letters.

The Ryan report, published on May 20th, concluded of the institutions it investigated, including those for boys run by the Christian Brothers, that "a climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from".


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