There are now so many testimonials, threads and comments on this site about De La Salle Brothers in Ipswich, Beulah Hill and elsewhere it could be confusing for newcomers and for INVESTIGATORS to make sense of it. So I’ve done a quick SUMMARY which I can add to and improve as time goes on. The testimonials can all be found on this site.
I believe this Summary makes a strong case for the De La Salle (DLS) Order to be investigated, not only for the historic harm it’s done, but also because it is still in charge of many schools today. The transgenerational nature of some of these crimes means they are relevant today and children could still be at risk. Plus there’s the endless shocking cases against DLS schools elsewhere in Britain and Ireland.
Old Boys feel free to add anyone I’ve missed or add to this List.
MR TONY HARDY. Lay teacher St J’s Ipswich. Era 1986 – 1990. Sexual and physical violence. One testimony. To quote from it: ‘Took a cat-o-nine tails out of his drawer. He lashed me about 10 – 12 times with it till I was bleeding.’ This crime was covered up by St J’s, Ipswich with no reporting to the police.
JO HOMAN. De La Salle Brother, Ipswich, who then left DLS to establish BOYS’ TOWN in India. Maintaining links with DLS. While still a DLS Brother at Oak Hill (St J’s prep school) he committed a shocking sexual assault on a child. Full testimony. There are other testimonies of his physical violence. Possible connection with Brother Solomon who, from my researches, probably visited Boys Town as a sex tourist. Homan successfully sued media who made extensive allegations about his abuse and exploitation of children at Boys Town. Reported in Times, Mail and elsewhere. These media accounts have now been removed from the web. Glowing obituary by St J’s Old Boy MP and author Chris Mullin in Guardian does not refer to Homan’s crimes at St J’s or to his alleged crimes at Boys Town.
Boys Town charity is now under new management, new systems, new safety protocols, and a likely new name.
BROTHER JAMES RYAN. 1950s to 1980s approx. Endless testimonies of pathological violence. Strongly indicating this man was a dangerous psychopath. Four testimonies of sexual abuse. Teacher at St J’s Ipswich and later at Beulah Hill. Connected to St J’s DLS paedophile ring -see Knights of St Columba, survivor’s testimony. And author’s testimony.
MR KEARNEY. Lay teacher. Irish, spent time in South Africa. At St J’s Ipswich, 1950s – 1980s. Several testimonies of sadistic physical abuse. One describes how he punched a boy in face and was forced to apologise. Also described as a racist, burning a black or mixed race pupil, a claim disputed by a (white) Old Boy. Work still in progress by the author. Further allegations against Kearney likely to follow.
This man is commemorated with a ‘Mike Kearney Memorial Chemistry Prize’ by the current St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, proving they have not cut links with their school’s criminal past.
BROTHER KEVIN 1960s onwards. Several testimonies of physical abuse. More testimonies of sexual abuse. At Oakhill (St J’s prep school). St J’s Ipswich. St Peter’s Bournemouth. At least one Old Boy took police action against him. Kevin initially admitted, then denied charges. Other Old Boys were considering police action when we heard that he had been driven out of his village by local youths for abusing children. He went into an Ipswich home, suffering from dementia, and may now be dead. The Oakhill MATRON wrote to this site to strongly defend him. She herself has been accused of questionable behaviour by an Old Boy.
KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA. IPSWICH PROVINCE. The Knights appear to have funded the establishment of St J’s Ipswich in the 1940s and maintained a close connection with the school ever since. The main allegation against them is in ‘The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s.’ There is more information on this case available from the author. In summary, they covered up a violent physical and sexual assault by Brother James and provided London private hospital care. They paid for the boys’ school fees as compensation and for his silence. (They paid for my school fees and my brother’s for reasons I am still investigating.) The testimony indicates their ‘troubleshooting’ is not limited to Ipswich and dealing with such crimes has happened on more than one previous occasion. Possibly nationwide. The author has been informed that another province – today – has oversight on the lives of parishioners without proper safety protocols. I also have evidence that any negative report about them – e.g. a Colchester Knight sexual abuser given a long prison sentence – is either not reported or has been removed from the web. The Knights were provably connected with Jimmy Savile and that has not been investigated.
There is no evidence when the Knights stopped their connection with St J’s Ipswich. Theoretically they may still be involved today – e.g. governors, ‘troubleshooters’ etc.
BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES. Teacher at St J’s Ipswich in 1980s. He is currently HEAD of the DLS Order in UK and Ireland. Three testimonies of physical abuse against children.
One testimony where Hughes attacks a boy with a cricket bowler’s ‘run up’ is identical to Brother James’s attack on a boy witnessed and testified by the author.
Such extreme violence is often associated with other forms of abuse. Therefore this man should not be head of the DLS and should be removed as a matter of urgency.
In view of its importance, I’ll quote one of the survivor’s account here. He is referring to BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES
Does anybody remember the night of my beating by the C**t?
1980 2nd year boarder.
There were double doors into the TV room, he set up a chair on one side of the doorway, told me to bend over it & walked off holding a plimsole, he got to the back of his office and began his run. As he passed me he hit me with all his might and put his hands in front of him to cushion himself against the wall of the TV room – rather like those indoor 60m runners after they’ve crossed the line.
He did this to me 6 times. My colleagues, in bed, way down the corridor heard it all.
I could not sleep on my back for a week.
Now I feel sick and am shaking. I’m a 50 year old man… I was 13 when he did this – he was 32.
BROTHER LEO. Headmaster St J’s Ipswich. 1960s. Three testimonies sexual abuse. Known as a ‘nocturnal groper’.
PAEDOPHILE RING @ ST JOSEPH’S, IPSWICH. The evidence for this is primarily the Survivor’s post: ‘The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s’. On this blog. 1960s era. There are private follow ups to this post available to investigators from the author. This is clear evidence of ORGANISED CRIME and CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY. A physical and sexual assault by BROTHER JAMES. Sexual abuse by the HEADMASTER. Cover up by THE KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA and FATHER JOLLY, School Chaplain. There are two seperate testimonies of sexual abuse by Father Jolly.
Extensive academic research proves such school paedophile rings are TRANS-GENERATIONAL and therefore this cannot be ignored as ‘historic’. The era when it stopped at St J’s must be identified for safety reasons. See my post the Dark Network and https://eprints.qut.edu.au/132822/2/Sally_Muytjens_Thesis.pdf
ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE IPSWICH TODAY. The school has made it clear that it has no connection with the criminal DLS era. Yet it continues to ‘have its cake and eat it’ with prizes and proud references to its past and proclaiming on an external sign it is ‘IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION.’ Harvey Weinstein made some successful films and the DLS were successful teachers , so to survivors, like myself, that is like proudly saying ‘IN THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN TRADITION’.
That sign should be removed and all connections with the school’s criminal past confirmed as severed. Today’s school doubtless has records from the criminal era which ended late 1980s, possibly early 1990s, that should be available to investigators.
BROTHER SOLOMON aka MIKE MERCADO aka SWINGING MONK. 1950s – 1980s. Endless testimonies of extreme physical and sexual abuse at Ipswich and St J’s Beulah Hill. Started off as Brother Solomon in Ipswich. After abuse charges transferred to Beulah Hill. Had to leave after more abuse charges. Had short pop career in 1960s. May have been a ‘sex tourist’ to Joe Homan’s Boys Town in India. Returned to St J’s Ipswich as Mike Mercado lay teacher. More abuse followed. Left under questionable circumstances 1980s.His resignation letter threatens to ‘spill the beans’ and tell all about the DLS. He appears to have been paid off by St J’s College, Ipswich.
I only defended Br Kevin from my time at Oakhill and know nothing of his past at all. He lived in the same town from 1990 until he went into a Home in 2013.
Kevin Tracey was a lay teacher in late 50s. He would cut bamboo canes from behind the 55 wing and would think nothing of caning the whole class. He taught Spanish and Geography. He once caned a boy on the backside 3 time during one lesson. After he left Birkfield he ran off with a boy from the school he went to.He was a religious zealot and formed a religious boys movement called Crusaders which was based on a Spanish original.There is an entry about his kidnapping can be found if searched under his name
Thanks, Paul. I may have covered him on an earlier post. My brother told me the same story about the bamboo canes. He was in Tracey’s class.I have a vague feeling Tracey may have run off with a boy from St J’s first before he moved on and abducted that boy and they made national headlines going to Europe. This is because I remember reading about an Ipswich abduction in the local paper EADT which seems a little unlikely and my mother saying he was a ‘silly man’ for being enticed by a boy. (Blame it on the victim). I can’t find anything that proves my recollection, so maybe I got confused with the European story. Anyway, astonishing story! I saw the photos and the kid was totally under Tracey’s spell.
Thank you for this Pat. My brother and I could add two more lay teachers to this list. His abuser recently died but that’s his story to tell if he chooses. My abuser is still around and, like you, further testimony may be forthcoming as and when. I don’t expect or even need an apology from the current set up but just some acknowledgement I think might help to lighten the load, I think HALF A CENTURY is probably long enough to carry the terrible consequences of child abuse (don’t you St Joseph’s?) I could even do their PR for them and suggest they added the ‘Fides (fidelity)’ to the school motto as acknowledgment of/distancing from De La Salle failings.