A MAN who was abused in the notorious Letterfrack Industrial School says justice has been done, after a former Christian Brother was jailed for two years for sexually assaulting him.
Victim Gerard Thomas Carroll was sentenced to four years detention in Letterfrack when he was nine years old, after stealing a bicycle from outside a church, which he later returned to his local garda station.
When he told his mother about the abuse meted out by Robert Doherty, a Christian Brother at the industrial school, "she didn't believe me and beat the s**t out of me with a poker".
"It took 48 years for me to get justice," he said as he thanked the gardai for their work and support.
Doherty (73), with an address at Glenwood Estate, Dundalk, was sentenced yesterday. He was found guilty in March this year, following a trial at Galway Circuit Court, of six counts of indecent assault on the boy at the Connemara school between August 1965 and April 1967.
Speaking outside the court after sentencing, Mr Carroll waived his right to anonymity and said: "Now all my family know the truth. I want my name to come out. I want my family to know I was not telling lies.
"I was telling the truth and I want them to know I wasn't this crazy little brother they thought they had – that I wasn't a little liar all these years.
"I am 60, nearly 61, and I grew up hating this man. Most of that hatred is gone because it only made me sick. I don't want to see an old man like him die in prison. I wanted justice."
In his victim impact statement, which was read at the sentencing hearing in Dundalk Circuit Court yesterday, Garda Michael Mannion told the court that the abuse took place in Brother Doherty's bedroom which was above St Michael's dormitory.
Passing sentence Judge Rory McCabe said the abuse of power and authority by Doherty "was of a despicable and cowardly kind" and there was still no sign of a scintilla of Christian concern for "a young defenceless child" who had been placed in his care.
The judge said it was "almost beyond contemplation" that such "wickedness and perversion" was allowed to happen.
He also said the purpose of sending children there was meant to be a mix of punishment and rehabilitation.
But the victim impact statement indicated that it had instead been an experience of "degradation" and "contributed to a significant degree to a sad and broken life".