Tuesday 16 July 2019

'Protected' predator terrorised pupils for 30 years

Fergus Black

A SERIAL sexual predator waged a reign of terror against his victims for years -- working his way through half a dozen schools before being finally caught and convicted in the 1980s.

In an entire chapter on the abuser "John Brander", the report reveals how he was persistently protected by diocesan and school authorities and complaints to the Department of Education were ignored.

Brander began his career as a Christian Brother and after three separate incidents of sexual abuse of boys in his classroom he was granted dispensation from his vows.

He then went on to work in six different schools in counties Longford, Laois, Dublin, Offaly and Kilkenny between 1957 and 1985, where he physically terrorised and sexually abused children in his classroom.


"At various times, during his career, parents attempted to challenge his behaviour but he was persistently protected by diocesan and school authorities and moved from school to school," said the report.

"By permitting Mr Brander to be eased out of the congregation, the Christian Brothers did nothing to prevent him continuing in a career of teaching, despite his repeated sexual interference with children and knowledge as to the danger he represented to them," the report said.

In the mid-1990s Brander was placed on probation for the sexual assault of a boy to whom he had been giving private tuition.

Almost two years later, he pleaded guilty to numerous sample charges of indecent assault at Naomh Mhuire NS, Walsh Island, Co Offaly, during the 1960s.

In the period between conviction and sentencing, more individuals came forward with complaints. In sentencing him to a term of imprisonment, the court took into account further assaults perpetrated at Presentation Convent secondary school in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.

Following a third trial, Brander received a further conviction of assaulting another pupil at the same school.

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