Feedback below from a De La Salle Old Boy regarding Brother Lawrence Hughes who is the head of the De La Salle Order in the UK.

The Old Boy’s concerns relate to physical violence by the De La Salles during the 1960s. 

He tried talking to the Diocese of Southwark and got a similar reaction to me when I tried talking to the Diocese for Ipswich some years ago. It’s why I gave up on Catholic Safeguarding.

There are currently four allegations by Old Boys against Brother Hughes of extreme physical violence against children during a later era : the 1980s. This is significantly more than standard corporal punishment which would be considered lawful for the times.

It seems to me entirely inappropriate that an alleged DLS physical abuser is investigating or responding to allegations of physical abuse by the DLS.   

And as a result being ‘less than helpful’.

Not to mention all the endless testimonies of  DLS survivors – see my recent summary page.  Testimonies which Hughes has not responded to.

This site is now read not just by various related Catholic organizations   but also by the new look, fresh start Catholic Safeguarding headed by Nazir Afzal

So my question is this:

What are you waiting for? How many allegations do we need  for you to take action?  If you are part of the solution, this matter needs your urgent attention. Today.

Or are you still part of the problem?


 I went to St Joseph’s Blackheath and am of the same generation as you. I also experienced most of what you did and I can tell you more if need be.

I wrote to the Diocese of Southwark about 5 years ago to make them aware of my experiences at the school. Initially they ignored me but I persisted and eventually one of the staff took me seriously and advised me to contact the police. I did not want to do that as most of the staff would now no longer be alive. They put me in touch with the head of the De La Salle order in the UK and we corresponded via email during the pandemic. He was not very helpful and he did not reply to my emails for ages and ages.

His name is Brother Lawrence Hughes! Our correspondence was less than helpful!

I then saw your WordPress article and then saw the name of the Head of the school, Brother Lawrence Hughes and then everything fell into place.


  1. Senator Sheehy Skeffington’s thinking was now being informed by letters from
    Peter Tyrrell, an ex-inmate of a Christian Brother industrial school near
    Letterfrack. Tyrrell wrote to Skeffington on 22 July 1958, telling the Senator that he had been detained in Letterfrack from 1924 to 1932, because of
    family poverty, and that he had ‘witnessed and suffered torture and severe
    beatings’ at the hands of the Christian Brothers who ran that institution.
    He said the beatings were ‘not for committing any offence against the
    school rules, but were normal routine’. Skeffington urged Tyrrell to write
    a detailed account of his time in the industrial school and that account
    was published posthumously four decades after Tyrrell’s burned body was
    found on London’s Hampstead Heath. He is believed to have committed
    suicide by setting himself on fire.
    In a piece that the editor of Tyrrell’s manuscript, Diarmuid Whelan,
    used as a foreword to the book, Tyrrell said he had started writing to the
    Christian Brothers in 1953 and then to government Ministers and Church
    authorities but had not received a single reply to letters describing the ‘criminal brutality, which in many cases reaches a degree of torture’. Describing
    education and training in Catholic schools as being ‘founded on fear, the
    fear of corporal punishment, and the fear of hell’, he warned ‘society against
    the child who has been hurt’ (Whelan 2006: xxix, xxxv, 1, 172–4).

  2. Yes..the plimsoll they carried in their cassock pocket for whacking you on the behind in front of the whole class or “ Bend over you moron. I’m going to give you 6!”The Brother who taught Spanish actually carried a sawn off chair leg in his cassock and rapped you on the knuckles if you didn’t know your verbs. I just can’t learn Spanish anymore. I remember him offering me a glass of altar wine once after school. The shell shocked mad brother who would suddenly lash out and hit you across the head. The roaring and screaming brothers going berserk at some poor pupil.The maths teacher who asked you to stay behind for extra tuition and put his hand down into your pocket! Br Solomon’s roaring, making us do square bashing in the playground.The Latin teacher who roared, banged the table and actually call pupils “bloody morons”. The history teacher who took off his jacket and started punching a pupil in the stomach because he couldn’t answer the date of the Battle of Lepanto. The Abbot of the brothers who was known to have a woman lover. Public humiliations in class. The horrible PE teacher who handed out Saturday morning detentions for having slightly dirty gym shoes. Reports of the brother who visited the dorm at night and lay next to unfortunate victims. I could go on. It damaged me and ruined my self esteem. But no one wants to know.The only really saintly brother I remember was Br Rogation.

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