Saturday 22 July 2017

School let Brother teach after sex attacks on 19 boys

Barry Duggan

A FORMER Christian Brother who indecently assaulted 19 boys aged between seven and nine was moved to another school after a principal was informed of one of the crimes, a court was told yesterday.

Sean John Drummond (61) remained silent in Limerick Circuit Criminal Court yesterday as Judge Carroll Moran heard harrowing evidence of the abuse he inflicted upon the second class pupils at a national school between between July 1 1967 and July 31 1968.

Many of Drummond's former pupils were in court and provided testimony of the impact he had had upon their lives.

Drummond admitted to 36 separate charges relating to indecently assaulting 19 boys at Creagh Lane national school (also known as Gerald Griffin Memorial School) in Bridge Street, Limerick.

The children who he indecently assaulted later suffered from alcohol problems, drug-abuse, poor education, and emotional difficulties including problems with marriage and sexual relations, the court heard.

One student recalled how he was picked on by his classmates and called a "teacher's pet" for the amount of times he was summoned to go behind Drummond's desk where he was indecently assaulted.

Several victim impact statements were read out and some of the victims travelled from abroad to face their assailant.

One student said he didn't receive a proper education as a result of the assaults and suffered difficulties later with reading and writing.

Some of the victims did not tell their wives or families of the abuse they suffered by Drummond until the garda investigation began in recent years.

The court heard the investigation started after two of Drummond's victims met in 1999 and recalled the assaults they suffered. A formal complaint was made to gardai in 2002 and officers subsequently contacted a number of past pupils at the school.

Drummond, with an address at Broadford Drive, Ballinteer, Dublin, was responsible for the education of 55 second class pupils in the school. Aged in his late teens, he assaulted more than a third of them.

Judge Moran ordered that the victims were not to be identified and silence filled the courtroom as the litany of assaults was read out.

One victim told gardai that on numerous occasions he was ordered up to Drummond's desk on the pretext of having his homework checked. His classmates could not see him when he was behind the desk where Drummond would molest him.

Another former pupil told how Drummond would drop a coin inside his clothes and would place his hands inside his clothing to look for the coin.

One young victim was warned "he would not go to heaven" if he told anyone about the assaults. Another informed the school principal of the abuse, but the principal became angry at the mention of it and the matter was not pursued.

One of the assaults took place at the Feile Luimnigh festival at a Limerick city theatre where the second class pupils were due to sing.

One boy reported the abuse to his father who immediately took the matter up with the school principal. As a result, Drummond was moved onto a higher class and was moved to another school in August 1969. He left the Christian Brothers in 1970.

Married

Originally from Walkinstown, Dublin, Drummond later married and has five children. He was made redundant from Fiat in the 1980s and also worked as a library assistant at the James Joyce library in UCD.

He is now retired. A senior psychologist at the Granada Institute, Fergal Rooney, carried out a physical and risk assessment on the accused. Mr Rooney said Drummond was open and forthright about his life. He joined the Christian Brothers as a teenager for financial reasons and as a result, his development was stunted throughout his adolescence.

He was also introduced to the practice of self-flagellation and given a strap to do so. The judge was told Drummond was at low risk of reoffending and apologised for his crimes. He already had his name placed on the sex offenders register.

Sentencing was adjourned until next month.

Irish Independent

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