‘SCOTLAND’S BIGGEST-EVER ABUSE SCANDAL.’ THE DE LA SALLE BROTHERS, ‘THE BROTHERHOOD FROM HELL’

Today, I received this comment from ‘Doogster 61’, an Old Boy of the De La Salle’s St Ninians School.

Hi Pat, just to let you know, I was a victim of Brother Benedict.

St. Ninians Gartmore.

He was found guilty of 29 charges and will be sentenced on 3rd November. Waited 51 years for this justice.

DeSalle. The brotherhood from hell!

A complete misconception of the words pray & prey!

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My heart goes out to you, Doogster. I’m so pleased you finally got justice.

I had looked at St Ninian’s before. But for readers unfamiliar with the case, I’ve highlighted some relevant areas below.

Many of them are also relevant to St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, up to and including the early 1990s. Of course,like all groomers, these abusers didn’t pick on everyone, but only selected victims. That’s why St J’s  Old Boys sometimes write in and say, ‘They never did anything to me.’ I wasn’t so fortunate and, like Doogster, I will have justice.

In the meantime, parents considering sending their children to a De La Salle school, or one closely connected with the De La Salles, should consider the case below.

As late as the early 1990s, a psychotherapist friend told me he had several troubled young clients from St Joseph’s, Ipswich. This was after the DLS had left, I believe. But his advice to their parents was still, ‘You want you son to heal? Get them out of that school. NOW!’

He told me parents rarely listened to his advice. St Joseph’s was such a ‘good school’, you see.

Where, when, how and if the De La Salles ever changed has never been made clear to anyone. We just assume they’ve cleaned up their act.

Until it is made clear, they truly are:

‘The Brotherhood from Hell’.

BACKGROUND

Here’s Wikipedia’s account

In 1953, the Archdiocese of Glasgow bought the house to establish St. Ninian’s, a list D school run by the De La Salle Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order. During this period the house was the site of numerous cases of child abuse, perpetrated by the staff of St. Ninians. These cases did not come to light until several decades later.[4]

Here’s the Guardian in January 2001

Members of an order of Roman Catholic monks have been accused of physically and sexually abusing boys at a residential school in Scotland, including giving them electric shocks by making them grasp the exposed wires of a generator, it emerged yesterday.

Police in Stirling confirmed that a report had been sent to the procurator fiscal after a three-year inquiry into St Ninian’s school at Gartmore in Stirlingshire, which was run by the De La Salle Brothers.

Former pupils at the school, which closed in 1982, have alleged they were tortured, beaten and sexually molested by a number of the monks and civilian staff.

A spokesman for the order said all the allegations were vigorously denied, and the home had been run in an “exemplary” manner.

Former pupil Christopher Fearns, 34, now a social worker, was sent to the school when he was eight. He has alleged that he was beaten with a riding crop two or three times a week for four years.

“They were constantly beating us,” he said. “They told us they’d beat the devil out of us. One brother whipped me with a horsewhip. He’d tied knots in the end to make it even more painful and I was beaten solidly for 10 minutes.

“I was battered so many times on my head and ears I cannot hear a thing on my left side, and I’ve undergone extensive surgery because of it. There was a field next to the school with an electric fence. I saw the monks, on a number of occasions, forcing boys to grasp it until they cried out in pain.”

John McCormick, a Glasgow-based lawyer representing the De La Salle order, said the monks had cooperated fully with police. “Nobody has been charged,” he said. “The allegations are vigorously denied.

“All the evidence available to me indicates that St Ninian’s was run in an exemplary manner. Unlike those making the allegations and their advisers I will reserve any further comment until after the results of the civil action are known.”

Daily Record October 5, 2021

A former monk who was branded an “animal” is facing his third jail sentence for a catalogue of abuse and brutality he meted out to children at residential schools, including one in Stirlingshire.

Michael Murphy, 88, was convicted of 29 offences of assault, indecent assault and indecent conduct against boys who were housed at St Ninian’s List D School, at Gartmore as well as at St Joseph’s School at Tranent, in East Lothian.

A total of 20 boys, some of whom were as young as seven or eight, were subjected to abuse by the religious brother who beat them and administered electric shocks to young children. The offending began in 1961 and continued until 1981.

Murphy, who was known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, had denied a total of 43 charges involving 29 youngsters at the start of a lengthy trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

But after the Crown withdrew charges during the proceedings the jury was required to return verdicts on a total of 33 charges. He was acquitted of four alleged offences.

The trial judge, Lady Carmichael, told him that a custodial sentence was “inevitable”.

…………..

But many escaped according to the Scottish Sunday Mail. Here’s the link

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/OUTRAGE+AS+7+OTHER+DE+LA+SALLE+SCHOOL+TORTURERS+WALK+FREE%3B+Victims+to…-a0103894720

One items stood out for me in this account and showed the De La Salle needs investigating from to bottom.


January 14: We tell how boys abused by the monks were used as medical guinea pigs after being given mysterious white pills.

THE COVER-UP – This part of the Sunday Mail article is particularly relevant because it’s always been my personal memory and belief that St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, its governors and lawyers were all closely interwoven in my day – through the Knights of St Columba – and perhaps still are. Note the same attempt to distance the DLS from their crimes. Today’s St J’s has a similar outlook

Yet St J’s today is part of the De La Salle rugby trophy!

Here’s what the Sunday Mail has to say:

THE lawyer accused of a sickening smear campaign against the De La Salle victims is the son of a former governor at their school.

Solicitor John McCormick’s dead father Frank was a governor of St Ninian’s at Gartmore, Stirlingshire.

McCormick has been blamed for labelling the victims attention seekers and accusing them of being motivated by greed.

He told the Catholic Observer: “There are many reasons why people make spurious allegations, including, of course, the obvious, a claim for compensation.

“There are also people with various attention-seeking psychological conditions.”

McCormick also battled to stop victims getting financial assistance to fund civil actions against the Catholic order despite their tormentors gaining Legal Aid to defend themselves in court.

He told the Scottish Legal Aid Board the De La Salle order never “owned, governed, or ran” the former List D Schools, St Mary’s Bishopbriggs, St Joseph’s, Tranent, St Nininan’s, Gartmore, or St John’s, Springboig.

Yet all of these schools were listed in the Scottish Catholic Directory as De La Salle Schools, and large number of Catholic Church heirarchy held reponsible positions in them. Lawyers for all three convicted abusers also attacked victims in court during the two-week trial.

They tried to convince the jury that none should be believed because some had troubled pasts. They claimed that all the men were lying and chasing compensation.

But they could not explain why one flew from Australia and was visibly shaking as he faced his abuser in court.

And they could not explain why several victims give evidence without joining the civil action against De La Salle.

Scott Brady QC, for Murphy, even criticised Sunday Mail investigator Marion Scott as he smeared the victims at the High Court.

Brady suggested the claims of the vast majority of victims who had contacted the Sunday Mail had been investigated and found to be false. But today, we reveal that many were never interviewed by police and many others saw their abusers escape charges.

Brady said: “Marion Scott told us 200 people called her up and identified Bootsie (Murphy’s nickname) and she passed their details to the police.

“Just five per cent of those remain now. Does that mean that 95 per cent of them were telling a pack of lies? If they were – how easy would it be for the other five per cent?”

The lawyers persuaded the judge to ban publication of photos of the men during the trial in case it helped victims identify them.

In the meantime, Murphy had lost up to two stone in weight and was not wearing the glasses that he used to wear at the school.

McKinstrey’s lawyer, George Pollock, also tried to demolish the character of witnesses. He described one of McKinstrey’s victims as someone who’d “lied all his life”. And he attacked another of McKinstrey’s victims because he had criminal convictions for theft.

He also attacked newspapers and TV programmes for reporting the scandal. He said: “In this country we do not have trial by TV, trial by documentary, trial by newspaper – we have trial by judge and jury.”

Nightwatchman James McKinstrey, 70, of Port of Monteith was convicted of four sexual abuse charges, despite protests from his defence that he was mentally retarded.

But we can reveal that McKinstrey tried to infiltrate an abuse survivors support group only months before his court appearance.

Furious Frank Docherty, of the support group In Care Abuse Survivors said: “He tried to get us to accept him into our group, claiming he had been a victim of a Catholic care home.

“He told us he’d been abused himself when he was a child and that was why he’d abused boys at St Ninian’s.

“There was no sign that he was mentally retarded. It was simply an attempt to forge an alibi for his own sick perversions.”

1 thought on “‘SCOTLAND’S BIGGEST-EVER ABUSE SCANDAL.’ THE DE LA SALLE BROTHERS, ‘THE BROTHERHOOD FROM HELL’

  1. Thank you kindly Pat for your response and sentiments.
    I wholeheartedly concur with your words of warning to any parents considering sending there children into “The Brotherhood from Hell”
    This Brother Benedict will face the Judge,s wrath on the 3rd of November.
    But I pray the God above will have the final sentence in mind on his real Judgement Day!
    He is now 88 years old, and ultimately will die behind bars.
    Perhaps the Big Man upstairs will grant him immortality for another 88years,
    akin to the old prison warden in “The Green Mile”
    Now that would give him time to reflect and express remorse .
    I feel so sorry for all of the victims who had to re-live the torturous memories again throughout this trial.
    But we remain strong, and so sad it,s taken me 51years to get justice.
    But I am one of the lucky ones. I say this in memory of ex pupils who have committed suicide, or passed away. On the minus side, the ex pupils like myself have to live with the memories that will never pass away!
    Thanks again Pat, and I think “The Brotherhood from Hell” statement is probably being conservatively kind. But very appropriate! Parents, you have been warned!😱

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