TONY HARDY  LAY TEACHER AT ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE IPSWICH 1986 – 1990

Also – MRS KEARNEY and a visiting Spanish DE LA SALLE ABUSER

First below is the testimony by Old Boy CS  who, along with other children, was harmed by Tony Harding.

Given the relatively recent nature, it is possible Harding is still alive.

I’ve yet to contact the RLSS, the new De La Safeguarding organisation, about abusers who may still be alive.

Harding would be such a case.

I’m currently focussing on gathering evidence about  Brother James but I hope to get around to Harding in time. And another teacher. Meantime, anyone affected could report him by contacting the RLSS or DLS direct – the details were on my last blog.

Or the police.

In other countries there would be mandatory reporting to the police because if he is still alive, children could be in danger.

That’s not a ‘maybe’. Police take these matters seriously.

The second testimony about Harding below also mentions Mrs Kearney  and rings true to me  – it tallies with a private conversation I’ve had in recent years with another Old Boy who was taught by her.  He told me how she would call in her husband to whack kids which is a bit weird but not illegal AFAIK. Being a tough kid, he laughed it all off with a kind of gallows humour. But not everyone can or should laugh it off.

I’d say Mr and Mrs Kearney were well suited to each other.

The second testimony below also describes a De La Salle sexual abuser from Spain.

Once again it’s evidence of DLS crimes towards the end of their era of control. Once again this DLS abuser could still be alive.

Therefore it should be of concern to the RLSS who safeguard the DLS and I will certainly bring it to their attention in due course.

Doubtless they will dump it on Operation Hydrant/Suffolk police without reference to their own files.

But it will be noted and they will have to answer for any minimal response or recalcitrance.

My thanks to the Old Boy who wrote the Second Testimony below. I found it very powerful and moving. And important as a description of the appalling final years of the DLS at St J’s.

FIRST TESTIMONY FROM A POST MAY 2021

TONY HARDY. Lay teacher St J’s Ipswich. Era 1986 – 1990. Sexual and physical violence.  One testimony in comments – see: CS commented on ROLL OF DISHONOUR:

I attended St Joseph’s College from 86 – 90. I was at the school when David Hennesy became headmaster, he was a very relaxed guy and I liked him a lot. After our GCSE’s a few of us got our ears pierced – stupid, but hey we were crazy teenagers. We were in Birkfield house, Tony Hardy was the housemaster. He was a well known drinker and had a ferocious temper. After being told to take our ear rings out which we ignored as we were so close to school holidays we thought nothing more of it. One night Hardy had been out at a BBQ and came back after lights out, he pulled me and the other lads who had pierced their ears out of bed and made us stand in the corners of his living room. We were made to stand there when he went on a screaming rampage around the house. He came back to his quarters where we were all waiting frankly sh*tting ourselves. One by one he called each of the lads into his bedroom where he gave them all slippers. He then made me stand in a cupboard which he locked me in and then again went on another rampage around the house, when he came back then made me stand in his bedroom drop my pyjama bottoms and then took a cat-o-nine tails out of his draw. He lashed me about 10 – 12 times with it till I was bleeding. The next morning when in the showers the other lads saw the state of what had happened to me and they took me to see Mr Hennesy, when we explained what happened he sent us to his cottage on the grounds and Hardy was got rid of that day. My parents were dealt with by the school’s solicitors and unbelievably agreed that as long as he never taught there again, wouldn’t involve the Police.

SECOND TESTIMONY. NEW POST, FROM ANOTHER OLD BOY WHO JUST SENT THIS TO ME:

Firstly, I would like to say a massive thank you to CS for having the courage to speak about his experiences. What happened to CS was not his fault, it was a criminal act perpetrated by a predatory man with a violent temper and an alcohol problem that should have been dealt with appropriately by the school several years before this incident happened. CS had the courage to speak out at the time and the courage to speak about it here. It is an exceptional thing to do. Secondly, I would like to say thanks to Pat Mills, for speaking out about his own experiences and also creating a platform for others who have shared experiences. Many people were voiceless at the time these events occurred, either through fear of speaking up or knowing that it would be swept under the carpet.

I went to St. Joseph’s at the age of eleven, starting in the 1st Year with Brother Owen. In the grand scheme of things Brother Owen was one of the better ones, in my experience. He gave out the slipper, but he was generally alright from what I can remember. He did keep a lot of contact with Mr and Mrs Kearney, which was odd given many of the comments about them on this blog. I was scared of Mrs Kearney as she had a vicious temper and would humiliate kids in her class. That may just have been standard fare in the mid 1980s at private school though.

It was the experience of going to boarding school that shook me that year though, and I had to learn to adjust and cope like many other children who had left their home at a young age. The school taught a lot of the paradoxical messages that are staple in British boarding schools, ‘It will be the making of you’, ‘the friends you make here will be with you for life’, and all the other messages about being special and elite. These messages create a bind when your experiences don’t match up to them and it is easy to assume there is just something wrong with you. They are also messages that help to keep children compliant when faced with abuse.

Tony Hardy joined the school when I was in the 1st Year as the Housemaster for the 2nd & 3rd Year at Birkfield House in the centre of the school. The dormitories were above the main building. I knew from the children in the year above that he was unstable and had a violent temper. I felt anxious that I was going up to the 2nd Year and wasn’t picked as a prefect to stay down with Brother Owen for a year to look after the new intake of 1st Years.

The 2nd Year dormitory was a large open hall packed with beds in rows. The 3rd Year dorms were smaller spread down corridors across the old building. The whole place was dilapidated and creaking.

Tony Hardy wasted no time imprinting himself on my psyche as a man who was unpredictable, with a violent temper. He rampaged down corridors; you could hear him screaming and shouting from the other end of the building, getting louder and closer until he would burst into the dormitory, slamming doors and desks. Often, he would pick on individual kids for no discernible reason, so that it was impossible to read how to best keep out of his reach. He would scowl and stare at you before deciding whether to single you out for abuse or move on to someone else. He was like this throughout the 2nd and 3rd Year. Sometimes it would go on for days, literally the only respite was when the school day began. If it was over a weekend there was very little respite. Once during my 2nd Year, the bathrooms got blocked up. He ranted for days, accusing kids of deliberately blocking up toilets, demanding the whole year went down to the TV lounge whilst he shouted endlessly, waiting for someone to crack and admit to it. The culprit ended up being a rat that had died in one of the drains.

I remember the sickening feeling, when after a brief lull in his temper, something would trigger him and he would start another campaign of berating the kids for some usually imagined discretion. Sometimes one of the kids would do something that landed them in genuine trouble. I remember two lads writing on the shower windows, which later steamed up to reveal some crude comments about the deputy housemaster Paul Andrews. They were rooted out and punished with the slipper. One of them told me how he had tried to escape Tony Hardy’s clutches whilst the slippering went on, only to be grabbed by the shoulder and dragged back into the room. It went on for ages, you could hear the sound of it and it was just sadistic. I remember seeing the horrific bruises when they the kids showered the next day. I have never seen bruises like them in my life, it was horrific.

Tony Hardy has complex personality and metal health problems, coupled with a severe problem with alcohol. He would go from being a monster to selecting kids for special treatment. At other times he would hold these weird night prayer vigils at the chapel where he would get kids singing Taize Chants by candle light. It was always paradoxical and always unpredictable.

(Note from  Pat – https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/11760/-prior-admits-to-cases-of-sexual-abuse-by-taiz-brothers)

At the end of the 3rd Year, I had a year of respite at Goldrood, with Paul Begg. He got a bad rap from many of the kids but he was harmless and could be quite kind at times. It felt safe at Goldrood at least.

By the time I was in the 5th Year, a decision had been made to turn Goldrood into the house for the 3rd and 4th Years, if I remember correctly and the 5th Year was to go back to Birkfield and to Tony Hardy. I don’t know what the rationale was, perhaps Brother Hennessey, the Headmaster, and Mr John Reagan, the Deputy Head, had decided that Tony Hardy was not safe to look after younger children, but that is pure speculation. We returned to Birkfield and to Tony Hardy’s escalating unpredictability, violent temper and out of control alcohol use.

In some respects, Tony Hardy seemed to get on better with older kids, but it didn’t stop his violet outbursts. He could be something of a rebellious character, challenging aspects of the school, whilst also berating the kids. I think I developed an element of Stockholm Syndrome at that time, but was always fearful of his wrath. Unfortunately, I also had him as an English teacher and he would shout and scream at the class, flinging desks about and picking on anyone he took a dislike to in the moment. I learnt to show no emotion. Any expression on the face could lead him to accuse you of smirking, or showing some other sign of disrespect, and he would loom over you screaming. I remember the feeling of weariness that pervaded that year. It was exhausting on the nervous system.

At the same time, he would often have kids in his flat drinking with him. I remember a party after a confirmation ceremony where several teachers and us kids stayed up late drinking whisky and getting obliterated. It was wrong.

The incident that CS endured happened not long after this time. The teachers and the school authorities knew that Tony Hardy was a risk to kids. Everyone could see it and hear it. They were utterly complicit and failed to act to safeguard children under their watch. I recognise this was the 1980s and it was different then, but I’m afraid that doesn’t wash with me. Tony Hardy was psychopathic and needed to be stopped. And people failed to act in good time. I also recognise that the school preached paradoxical values about being tough and not showing emotion, as if somehow, we were supposed to put up with this stuff. I imagine some of the kids still live by these rules.


Tony Hardy’s legacy for me is one that I still wrestle with. For years after, and I left the school at the end of the 5th Year, I had nightmares in which he was stalking me down the corridors, shouting and throwing things. He was a looming and menacing presence in my dreams. I still do get dreams in which he appears, particularly if I am stressed. When I am in any conflict situation, I can feel myself locking down, my facial expressions go into neutral and I can feel myself dissociating. It doesn’t have to be a major conflict; it can be someone just raising their voice. I get a fight or flight response. It impacts on my ability to trust people and form attachments, although I accept that even a good boarding school experience can have that impact too. (Nick Duffell’s ‘The Making of Them’ is a good book to read about the whole boarding school experience).

Whilst at St Joseph’s I was also sexually assaulted by a visiting religious Brother from Spain, who had come over with a group of Spanish students. He groomed me into coming back to his flat to help him translate a book he was reading into English. For years I felt ashamed and stupid for having fallen for his ruse. It was naïve, but I had no idea. At his flat he sat groping me whilst I read the English translation, until I was finally able to get away. It could have gone a lot further but it left me angry and ashamed. I didn’t tell the school; I think I knew they would have swept it under the carpet or somehow blamed me. They certainly wouldn’t have involved the police.

A quick note on the De La Salle Brothers – they were on their way out by the time I was 13 or 14. Brother Cuthman was there, Brother Damien was retiring and Brother James was mostly out of the way keeping bees.

(Note from Pat. I’m wondering if this is the same Brother James from my era, the 1960s. It’s possible he could have returned to St J’s  after some years at Beulah Hill to retire and keep bees. 

If anyone can confirm this, it would be useful because it would mean that he was still potentially in contact with children at this later period.)

 Brother Owen was around for a few years; he was still teaching the 6th Form. Strangely he wrote to me a few years after I left wanting to meet up. I don’t know what for or why me. I ignored it. I had better things to do with my time, like sitting in the park drinking bottles of Thunderbird wine.

Like CS concludes, there were certainly good times. I was lucky to have some good friends, although I don’t keep in touch with many people from that time now. When I left, I was scarred by the experiences and I didn’t want too much to do with the place. I had something of a breakdown as I was leaving and I knew I couldn’t go back. I do go back to Ipswich for work from time to time and it evokes a lot of memories.

I hope CS has managed to find some peace. I remember him as a good person and he didn’t deserve to be singled out that night. Nobody did.


A breakdown can be a breakthrough to a new beginning, so I hope the people get the life they are owed if they have been through tough times and are still waiting. Get help if you need it. It is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of courage and strength.

MIKE KEARNEY (1): RECOVERING MEMORIES

I’ve been prompted to write again about Mike Kearney, the lay Irish chemistry teacher at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich. For anyone not familiar with this man, he taught from the late 1950s to the 1980s. There’s plenty of accounts of his brutality on this blog, seen by apologists as ‘normal’ for the time, and one account by an Old Boy of his racism. Whether this is connected to Kearney having spent some time in apartheid South Africa, I have no way of knowing.  It has been challenged by a white Old Boy as ‘not true’. Several Old Boys also thought he was a poor chemistry teacher. Personally, I thought he was ‘okay’, but then I was a poor chemistry pupil. I think Old Boys generally are divided between seeing him as ‘stern but fair’, ‘his bark worse than his bite’ and others regarding him as a violent, cruel sadist. Given that he punched a boy in the face and had to apologise to him, I subscribe to the latter camp.

i don’t accept these were ‘different times’. Punching a child in the face, then and now, is a criminal offence.

St Joseph’s today, although it claims to have no connection with its dubious and  criminal De La Salle past, where organised sexual abuse in the 1960s and beyond is now a matter of record, had a Mike Kearney Memorial Chemistry prize. I think this has now been withdrawn, I certainly hope so because this individual does not deserve to be remembered in a positive light.

But my concern has always been about a much darker side to him which resulted in my spending considerable time and money in therapy trying to make sense of really terrible memories about him. The more I looked into them, the worse they got.  Daymares, nightmares, PTSD flashbacks, you name it. I tried blocking my memories of him, but it  didn’t work.  My experience of recovered memories was similar to the account below.

Where other St Joseph’s abusers are concerned, I’ve pretty much laid them to rest. Although, I’m touching wood here, of course.  Kearney was more problematic and there’s a reason for this. The awful events concerning him happened outside the school, so there were not the usual witnesses to validate my recovered memories.

 Nearly all survivors who write into this site are boarders and I used to thank my lucky stars I was a day boy.  In fact, it’s an illusion I used in order to survive. Day boys could also be in danger and I’m sure I wasn’t alone.  My mother was a devout, Irish Catholic widow with no income, no job and recurring mental health problems, probably worsened by medication both legal and illegal. Father Jolly, our parish priest and St Jo’s chaplain, whose crimes have been detailed on this blog by at least one other Old Boy, was a drug supplier which may sound unlikely but I can assure you is true. He was not the only one. Leaving aside for now the question of how my mother could afford to send her two sons to a posh Catholic grammar school (neither of us had passed the eleven-plus), it meant we were a prime target for Catholic predators.

These predators, from my primary school days through to secondary school, were sometimes given the right to act  ‘in loco parentis’. It was felt boys needed ‘a strong fatherly hand’, especially in 1950s Britain and –if they had been genuine – I would possibly agree.  It’s also the supposed norm in Catholic communities that the poor and the widowed are supported and so a series of predators used this to their advantage. In our tightly knit Catholic community, Catholic widows were also considered ‘fair game’ and a better alternative to having affairs with Protestants or not ‘sullying’ unmarried Catholic women. I’m pretty certain it also had some pseudo-religious rationalisation.   

I’ve been able to prove the conduct of a number of these predators to my satisfaction: Canon Burrows (Knight of St Columba), Father Wace (probably KOSC), Father Jolly (KOSC, St Joseph’s chaplain and our local parish priest), two or more lay Knights of St Columba, and… a couple of lay teachers from St Joseph’s. That sounds like an awful lot, but we’re talking over a fifteen year childhood and some of these characters may have only had brief involvement as ‘do-gooders’ or rather ‘do-badders’.

Kearney had such a ‘loco parentis’ role.

The predators’ exact terms of reference and their relationships with my mother must have varied considerably.  Some may have been interested in my mother, others her sons, yet others in both. Certainly widows – then and now – are prime targets for predators and it’s a well-known technique for abusers to relate romantically towards the mother in order to get at the kids.  Canon Burrows, the first, typically always around our house doing ‘little jobs’ and mysteriously paying for school extras,  was a truly vile sexual abuser. So were most of the other ‘father figures’ that  I’ve listed that followed him, although not necessarily all. Some may well have just been interested in my mother and not her children.  It’s not easy to be sure every time. In some cases I’ve had to speculate about the real nature of the relationships and, of course, it’s impossible to know with absolute certainty. Much of the time everyone was very ‘discreet’.

The dynamics of just how Catholic predators exploit Catholic widows like my mother and the way she would have been groomed to fulfil a certain role in her Catholic community, I would only have been dimly aware of as a kid.  It’s a role Catholics will, of course, deny then and now.  Like they’ve denied so much abuse that’s subsequently been proven.

Here’s a brief example. She was ‘put in charge’ of a young French Father Gonnet who, mysteriously, was having an extended ‘holiday’ in our industrial town. She was told to ‘look after him’, so he was always round our house having tea when I came home from school. They got on extremely well and he was always making a fuss of me, too. We would also go on picnics to Stratford St Mary, a couple of miles down the road from East Bergholt where Gonnet was staying with the local Franciscans . Their place was a very convenient location for him to abuse.  Gonnet and these far from holy Franciscans left a deep trauma scar on me, which I still resent, because my abiding recollection of this particular predator is ‘The bastard was only staying in Ipswich for a few weeks.’  A few weeks is all it takes.

 I knew my mother had a kind of exalted status in the parish and this was certainly her own perception of herself, but I knew also there was something ‘not right’, something ‘odd’, ‘evasive’ and ‘mysterious’ about her. Trying to make sense of her behaviour, her constant absences for instance, I was a latch-key kid yet she had no job, I read everything I could about fictional women like her and that helped considerably. As an adult, I can  fill in the blanks from my life experience and examples such as Gonnet. Doubtless you can do the same. I’ve had to outline the role of my mother because it’s most relevant to Kearney as he, too, had this loco parentis role which will be more defined in later posts.

Kearney was a particular threat because I was older when we clashed and starting to make sense of the world.  And, unlike the previous men, he didn’t have a  typical ‘cover story’ for his involvement with my mother AFAIK,  e.g. he wasn’t in the church choir. In fact his cover story was to go boot camp on me, to ‘bring me to my senses’, to stop being a rebellious teenager. But there was much more to him than this.

As you can imagine, in such a world, everything is ‘smoke and mirrors’, everything is deliberately mysterious, vague and hard to pin down in order to keep victims off balance.  

My agenda in writing about Kearney is firstly as a catharsis. Secondly, because it may help other survivors dealing with recovered memories and highlight how predators work. Thirdly, it’s to name and shame him.

Finally, because it may resonate with other Old Boys who may have other information about Kearney that dovetails with my account, although – as I’ve said – because this happened outside the school, it’s far less likely. But do get in touch if you can shed any light.

And this account, of course, bears out that I have no financial agenda. The De La Salles can’t be held responsible for or be financially liable for what this creep got up to outside school hours.  And so it adds to the validity of my case. Why would I spend so much time and energy on Kearney, when I have far better things to do with my life?

I’ll write more about Kearney in subsequent blogs.

This woman’s experience below of recovered memories (she’s not a Catholic AFAIK) pretty much dovetails with mine and I’m sure with many survivors of the De La Salles.

I realise all this may be upsetting or triggering to read for some, so I’d like to end with a cheerful anecdote to show how, despite everything, we survivors can beat these scum.

I was sixteen. I would leave home a few months later and Kearney’s connection with my family was over, as short-lived as all the previous predators.  My brother and I were drinking beer in a pub by the Old Cattle Market –I think it was the Plough.  I was excitedly talking to my brother about a gig we were going to at the Assembly Rooms next door. I believe it was Murray and the Mints,  they were St Jo’s boys who had a real ‘Animals’ sound, mouth organ etc, and I’m a huge fan of the Animals. ‘We’ve got to get out of the place’ wasn’t just an anthem for Vietnam soldiers, it was my anthem to escape the Catholic Church.

Then Kearney came in, ordered a pint and sat at a table on his own. We both recognised each other but said nothing.  There’s a look lonely men who drink alone in pubs have, which we all recognise, and Kearney had that look big-time. His shoulders were rounded, drooping with depression, as he stared down into his pint. I think his first-wife had died some years earlier, but that was something I’d been told on the playground grapevine, so I may well be wrong.  Whatever the reason, he was definitely down in the dumps.

Then he looked across and I could see he was weighing up whether or how to rain on my parade. As he had done until recently. In those days, there was no ID and anyway, like any self-respecting 16 year old, I’d have lied. And bar tenders don’t care. So he knew his options were limited.

I knew he was going to do something, because he always had to win, but I was ready for him. I’d taken more than enough shit from him and I was a very feisty teenager.

He finished his pint and came over. He looked sternly down at me, hoping to intimidate me.

‘Does your mother know you’re here?’

‘Yes,’ I lied defiantly, ready for him to use physical force on me.  Again.

The expression on my face was clearly saying, to paraphrase the Animals, “It’s my life and I‘ll do what I want. Drink what I want. I’ve left school, you’ve got no power over me anymore.’

There was an awkward pause. Then Kearney nodded, defeated, impotent to do anything other than show his disapproval. He stumbled off into the night. A sad, lonely loser.

That was the last time I ever saw Kearney and I can still remember the feeling of exhilaration that I’d defeated him.

Then I got back to talking about much more important matters than this odious prat – like that forthcoming gig watching Murray and the Mints.

I was finally free.

Below is a survivor’s account on Instagram which I found incredibly useful and sums up how recovered memories work.

SONIA POULTON SHOW : RISE WITH BNT

I was on the show on Friday talking about organised Catholic abuse involving the De La Salles and the Knights of St Columba. Past AND present. I managed to give an over-view of their crimes. Hope to go into detail in specific areas of their systemic abuse on a future occasion.

It was recorded, so you can see it here:

https://brandnewtube.com/v/jLXO9f

My piece starts just after 1:04 

THE DE LA SALLES – WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?

I’ve just sent SCOE and DLS Safeguarding – the two relevant Catholic Safeguarding organizations –  the summaries of evidence on Brothers Kevin, James, Solomon, Father Jolly the DLS school chaplain, and a summary of other DLS abusers.

These summaries will greatly facilitate the work of the investigations detailed below. It’s hard trawling through the numerous testimonies posted on this site over several years and my summaries are designed to make life easy for DLS Safeguarding and SCOE.

Here’s my understanding of what is currently happening:  There are THREE strands of investigation into the DLS which is encouraging.   However, they appear to overlap which – hopefully – won’t be a problem.

The three strands are:

1.The DLS Safeguarding Inquiry. 

Here’s the newspaper account revealing the inquiry.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/st-josephs-ipswich-abuse-monks-ask-police-8553626

But to quote from it:

Barry Hudd, head of safeguarding at the De La Salle Brothers, said the order wanted to “clear the whole thing up”. 

He added that while there have been more than 200 abuse claims made against the order from across the UK, until now only a handful have come from St Joseph’s. 

One of these, he said, was settled recently outside of court, but most of the accusations made on Mr Mills blog were “completely unheard of”, he said.

“With regards to St Joseph’s, we’ve put the ball in Suffolk Constabulary’s court”, Mr Hudd said. “It’s up to them to work out what happened and if the abuse truly was systemic. 

“We’ve also hired our own independent and experienced child abuse investigator to assist the police. 

Previously, DLS Safeguarding had set up an Independent Investigator to look at De La Salle Brother ‘A’  which may still be ongoing, so I won’t comment on that matter. Other than to say their Investigator was Jo Norman whom I found tremendously helpful to talk to. Other Survivors have said the same thing.

However, no one from DLS Safeguarding has been in touch with me thus far regarding this new investigation, even though I understand it’s based entirely on the testimonies on this site.

And one survivor  recently wrote direct to DLS Safeguarding with his well documented account of abuse and was disappointed by their brief response.

So I have a question for the DLS:

Has the DLS independent Investigator been appointed? 

Because we were told by SCOE when Jo Norman was appointed. I think we should be similarly told by DLS Safeguarding what is going on and who the Investigator is.

2. The SCOE. Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education (SCOE). 

Its Independent Chair is Rev Dcn  Des Bill.   He informed me:

“De La Salle have now written to the police asking them to investigate all allegations and concerns made about the order and any members of it.”

The SCOE themselves have also already been dealing with complaints of DLS abuse. Des Bill has  been forwarding the testimonies on this site to the police of Operation Hydrant (see below).

Possibly DLS Safeguarding will do the same separately via their Investigator or will co-ordinate with SCOE?

Des Bill was also involved in the investigation into De La Salle Brother ‘A’.  In fact, I thought it was SCOE who had initiated it.  But a reporter told me that De La Salle Safeguarding had advised her that they initiated it not SCOE. 

So I assume that SCOE acted at the original  ‘front person’  for DLS Safeguarding and that they liaised behind the scenes.

However, here’s what Jo Norman said herself:

I am an Independent safeguarding consultant who has been commissioned to provide management of all complaints against  Brother ‘A’ and to support the SCOE (Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education) in making decisions regarding these complaints. 

Catholic Safeguarding (Chair: Nazir Afzal ) are NOT involved.  Their full name is Catholic Standards Agency: CSSA. They are a completely new and separate organization.  They deal with abuser priests and are not involved with religious orders like the DLS.

3. Ipswich police

If an abuser is still alive, it’s relatively simple for a Survivor of the abuse to get a response without going through this complex system.  Ipswich police will  deal with you direct. I found them helpful and pro-active.

But if the abuser is dead, the complaint goes to Operation Hydrant. This is an umbrella police organization dealing with historic and systemic abuse.

It is still handled from Ipswich, but the police tell me they require an authorised intermediary   – like Jo Norman – to  present the information to Hydrant.

That sounds simple enough, but there are inconsistencies. Thus Des Bill has been sending testimonies from my site to Hydrant without such an intermediary.

Maybe this happened because the information was already summarized which would usually be the job of an intermediary.

And at least two DLS Survivors have reported historic abuse – where the DLS abuser is dead – to Ipswich police who have responded direct to them.  Maybe they didn’t need an intermediary because they were ‘one off’ cases.

                                                         ……………………..

The three strands are confusing, a little contradictory, and there is a noticeable lack of detail.   

But I’m hoping these two Catholic Safeguarding organizations will make things clearer for us all in the future.

We need full transparency to avoid going round in circles and in line with the recent Elliott Report which said Safeguarding Officers should adopt a more compassionate, communicative and respectful attitude to Survivors.

The lack of communication I’ve described is certainly not in line with the Elliott Report.

WHAT DOES A SURVIVOR OF DLS ABUSE DO NEXT?

I’m asking both DLS Safeguarding and the SCOE for some guidance here and I think we all need some answers from them to the questions and my suggestions below.

Here is an example of a key case.

Survivor Z has written a detailed and important testimony about a  dead DLS sexual and physical abuser. It’s been backed up by supporting evidence by other Survivors.  It’s in the evidence posts I’ve sent the Safeguarding agencies.

And it should be backed up by further evidence in the DLS files. There is no way this DLS abuser’s sexual and physical abuse crimes could have been unknown by Oxford (The DLS HQ). There would be many complaints about him.

As with all the evidence I have presented, I strongly dispute that they are ‘completely unheard of’ as the cases themselves make clear.

So what happens next? 

1)Does Z wait until Hydrant gets in touch with him ?

Or will the DLS Safeguarding independent Investigator seek to also get in touch with him before passing the same evidence to Hydrant?

2)The Investigator  or Hydrant can get in touch with Z by contacting me and I will pass on their request.

And the Investigator can ask me – from looking at the evidence summaries I’ve provided – who else they would particularly like to get in touch with. I will happily act as facilitator for them.

 If that is not acceptable, we need to know why. 

 3) An alternative would be for the Investigator to place a request for information on my blog, asking survivors to come forward.  This has been done before and I believe it worked well. 

But a few important testimonies will need addressing separately. For example, if a Survivor who made a key testimony rarely reads my blog, so he’s not going to know about the Investigator’s request.  Then I would need to contact them.

4) Or should Z write to the DLS Investigator or DLS Safeguarding?  Bearing in mind his testimony has already gone to SCOE and thus onto Hydrant.

5)Can SCOE and DLS Safeguarding tell us how they avoid this possible duplication and a Survivor like Z telling his story twice to two overlapping organizations?

6) The DLS files in Oxford will be bulging with information on the most notorious DLS abusers:  Solomon, Kevin and James.  If an Investigator goes to those files FIRST, it should confirm many of their crimes.

So how necessary is it for all Survivors to be contacted and repeat their allegations which are painful to recount?

Bearing in mind the Elliott Report asks Catholic Safeguarding agencies to have a more compassionate and kindly approach in future.  

For example, the DLS Investigator should be able to confirm from the DLS  files alone that Brother James was a violent abuser who had psychotic episodes.

There must also be a dozen accounts of  Brother James’ violence on my blog which bear this out. Contacting all survivors would be laborious and may be unnecessary when the DLS already know he is guilty.

In my opinion, the DLS  acknowledging that James was guilty of psychotic  violence should be a relatively simple matter, irrespective of Hydrant. Then it’s up to individual Survivors to decide what to do with that DLS acknowledgement next.

In fact, it hardly needs to go through Hydrant, taking up valuable police time, especially when they seem overloaded with work which may mean it could take some considerable time before they respond – this is according to Barry Hudd, the DLS Safeguarding Officer.

If that proves to be the case, I will have to look at the implications. Namely : are the DLS being obstructive and against the recommendations of the Elliott Report?

There is a simpler solution if the DLS genuinely want to get to the bottom of all this.

 A simple but specific admission of James’ guilt by the DLS would suffice.

The position is similar where Brothers Solomon and Kevin are concerned.

Their cases are provably and emphatically NOT ‘completely unheard of ‘.

7) DLS lay teachers are the responsibility of the DLS, as confirmed by DLS Safeguarding saying that they are looking into Mike Mercado. But I think we want to be sure.

So here’s another key question to DLS Safeguarding:

Will you please confirm that DLS lay teachers detailed in the relevant evidence summary are included in your investigation?

8)DLS Safeguarding started off on ‘the wrong foot’ with Survivors as I’ve previously exampled. (e.g their not-so-public ‘public’ apology). It would be good if we can put that behind us now. 

I’m prepared to do so, if I see there’s a change of attitude from now on.

Bearing in mind  the sensitivity of the issues, the opening of old wounds, the huge emotional toll to Survivors of DLS crimes, and the recommendations of the Elliott Report for Catholic Safeguarding agencies to do much better:

Is there anything DLS Safeguarding and/or the Investigator would like to say to help Survivors just now?  I will happily post it on my blog without comment.

9) Finally, there’s the whole issue of proper DLS apologies and proper DLS acknowledgement of crimes, but I think that’s worth addressing in a later, separate post, possibly as the investigation proceeds.

DE LA SALLES – IPSWICH STAR REPORT

Here’s the link to an excellent account in yesterday’s regional newspaper.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/st-josephs-ipswich-abuse-monks-ask-police-8553626

Many of the accounts of St Jo’s Old Boys I didn’t know about and filled me with sadness. 

Boys locked in cupboards and beaten.

A De La Salle abuser who groomed a parent so the son had no one to turn to.

Father Jolly similarly groomed my mother. I’m pretty certain he supplied her with drugs. Think it was valium – ‘mother’s little helper’ – which I believe was seen as a wonder drug back then in the early 1960s.

Another Old Boy who had spent thousands of pounds on therapy to deal with the memories.

Barry Hudd, the Head of Safeguarding for the De La Salles, and the de-facto press officer, seemed surprised that most of the brothers’ crimes on this site had only just come to light.

They were ‘completely unheard of’.

Really?

Like you’re still introducing just a subtle element of doubt, Barry, to minimize the impact of the charges against your order.

Here and elsewhere in your response. E.G. To see  ‘if the abuse truly was systemic.’’

You don’t do yourself or the DLS any favours with your defensive response, Barry.

It means that I personally will redouble my efforts to see justice, every time I get that reaction.

I’m equally surprised by your comment.

Firstly, because the DLS must have a bulging filing cabinet of files on the three most notorious abusers: Brothers James, Solomon and Kevin. Their crimes have been known for years and appeared elsewhere. For example the Crystal Palace football supporters threads which has 21 pages on St Joseph’s Beulah Hill where Solomon and James also taught. Those pages are largely composed of heart-rending and angry accounts by survivors of abuse by the DLS.

Secondly, because the first thing most press officers do every day is Google for any reference to the organization they represent. Especially when they are endlessly being sued for their crimes.

There have been shocking revelations about the Brothers on this blog for the last five years, so Barry and the De La Salles have definitely known about these crimes for some time.

It’s disappointing that they waited until now, when there were so many complaints and reports to Safeguarding, that they were forced to act and finally put their own house in order.

The De La Salles investigation and the newspaper report are just one stage in a process which will take time to complete. But it’s an encouraging first step.

Thus yesterday an Old Boy from St Jo’s Ipswich read the newspaper account and immediately contacted Ipswich police with his own account of what happened to him at St Jo’s.

He was from the 1980s era, and two things he mentioned to me I found of great interest.

He noted that BROTHER CUTHMAN  was a vicious teacher, but was so aged and decrepit he couldn’t quite carry out his violent attacks on boys. I don’t recall his name coming up previously on this site.

He also mentioned that KEARNEY was a brute whom he feared hugely. Just as I remember Kearney from the 1960s.

Kearney has cost me a fortune in therapy bills, so I’m always interested to know more about him in order to get closure on him. It’s a tough one, because he seems to have been personally involved in my family, so not everyone will know what he was like outside the chemistry lab. It was not good, believe me.

I was never convinced that Kearney had mellowed as he got older which was some Old Boys’ experiences. But teachers can leave different impressions on all of us.

Thus BROTHER KEVIN taught me Latin one to one, he was an excellent teacher, I liked him and he never harmed me AFAIK. Maybe I was off limits to him because he always looked oddly at me, like something was going on his mind. Apparently, paedophiles have their designated targets and stay away from others’ targets, it’s part of their modus operandi.  But I completely accept that he was a violent abuser, a sexual abuser, and he harmed many children, leaving considerable emotional scars on them in adult life.

Incidentally, does anyone know if KEVIN is still alive?  I know in 2017 he was close to the end of his life.

Finally, thanks to everyone who contacted the East Anglian reporter Sarah Burgess with your recollections.  You’ve really made a difference!

THE DE LA SALLES – TALKING TO THE LOCAL PRESS

I’ve been talking to the East Anglian Daily Times, the local Ipswich paper, about the De La Salles.

The EADT are keen to speak to other St Joseph’s Old Boys about this whole business and what their take is on the allegations about the order. Your own experiences and so forth.

I think that would be a great idea as I don’t feel I should be the sole media voice on the DLS. It’s important to have different perspectives.

The EADT assure me your anonymity would be completely protected.

If you’d like to get in touch with them, their contact details are below 

EADT CONTACT DETAILS

Sarah Burgess

Investigations Reporter

M: ‪07809551238

E: sarah.burgess1@archant.co.uk

@sarahburgesss

KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA, IPSWICH

THE PROFILES

The De La Salle Safeguarding issues are now in hand; they are being looked at by Operation Hydrant and at the order’s request, too. As I reported Safeguarding’s update:
“De La Salle have now written to the police asking them to investigate all allegations and concerns made about the order and any members of it.”

The Knights of St Columba, Ipswich, are very much part of these historic allegations so they will be investigated, too.

Here’s what the CEO of Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency had to say:

‘The KSC is a lay organisation and isn’t therefore aligned to a diocese or a body such as SCOE for safeguarding services.  The police can liaise directly with me as necessary.’ 

 So it’s now time for me to turn my main attention to them.

Firstly, I would say to the Knights: ‘There’s still time, gentlemen, for you to respond like the De La Salles and ask the police to investigate the allegations and concerns made about your historic organisation. And to carry out your own internal investigation because I am well aware you keep records back to this era.’

‘For example, publish a full list of past members, which could save everyone a great deal of time. That would be extremely helpful and be evidence of your cooperation.’

After all, today’s Knights must share everyone’s concern at the shocking events related concerning their organisation, which are confirmed by more than one witness and have been on my site since March 2020!

However, they show no sign of responding, which I find disturbing.  

Their silence speaks volumes.

In fact, on two occasions two leading Knights from Glasgow, the organization’s city of origin, and possibly its HQ, rather flippantly I felt, asked if I’d like to come along to one of their meetings, presumably to see all the good work I’m sure they do today.

Here’s what one Grand Knight had to say to me:

  My name is Dominic I’m the grand Knight of Co 22 Partick wee meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month please come and join us I will show you how the council works.

These leading Knights had no comment on all the serious allegations made on this site.

I declined, not least because I was present at meetings of the Knights as a child and it was a dark experience.  An experience that has cost me a considerable amount of time and money and is emotionally draining to this day.

I’ve found the best palliative is to pursue this matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

To that end, I’ve summarised key individuals and information as an aide memoir in preparation for Hydrant and to pass onto them.

If you’re wondering why religious orders throughout the UK are now firmly in the investigative spotlight but never  – until now – the Knights when they are intimately connected with the Church and its wrong-doings, I believe there are two reasons. 

Firstly it’s down to the proven neo-masonic, ritualistic, coercive and secretive nature of the Knights in the 1960s which continues to some extent to this day, with media control and black-outs of negative news about them as I’ve previously exampled.

And secondly because the Ipswich province, historically, was made up of upwardly mobile blue collar workers and professionals, like the profiles below.  So lawyers, accountants, doctors, coroners, special constabulary etc, are in a better position to cover their tracks than the DLS whose crimes all of us school children were often aware of. The Knights were – and perhaps still are – powerful and important pillars of the community. As I’ve previously related, the parents of some St Jo’s Old Boys saw them as weird and dangerous characters, ‘not to be messed with’.

The list of deceased Knights of St Columba I am referring to below is their official list, but it is by no means complete.

I have not named all the Knights while I look for further evidence.

My key source for several of my Profiles is ‘The Shocking Truth About St Joseph’s – my old school.’

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1029

 This is backed up by other survivors including myself.  In particular the sexual violence of Brother James is confirmed. I also have further accounts about the Knights activities in this historical era, sent to me personally. These expand on the details in this public account.

Then and now the Knights have an acknowledged interventionist role in the Church helping parishioners in trouble. Even today, I have been told they are seen in some quarters at least as the priest’s ‘assistants’ and this helps explain how their organised historic abuse occurred: ‘Helping’ became a cover for their criminal activities.

PROFILES

1.Canon Burrows. St Pancras. Listed as a Knight of St Columba. Abuser. The abuse took place in the 1950s, my primary school years. When I talked about it, I was physically silenced by the nun headmistress. There’s some indirect corroboration from a fellow pupil.  The Canon was always visiting our home, helping my widowed mother, doing repair jobs and bought my brother and I expensive presents.  I ran away from his car parked at Browns timber yard at age 8 and found my way to the police station and reported him. To no avail, but it was a positive experience because the police were sympathetic. It left me with a life-long impression of the value of ‘whistle-blowing’.

2. Father Wace. St Pancras. Not listed as a Knight, but likely to be one, coming from an upper class Catholic family. Abuser. 1950s. His pyjama jacket was covered in metal collectors’ badges, completely impractical to sleep in.  When, as a child, I saw it casually laid out on his bed in the presbytery, I was in awe which was, of course, the intention. One assault took place when I was a cub and he was the cub master. My time in the cubs then came to an abrupt halt following a confrontation between Wace and a family friend I complained to.

3. Father William Jolly. St Joseph’s College chaplain. Parish priest St Marks. Abuser. Late 1950s to 1960s. His father, also William Jolly, is listed as a Knight and  played a key role in the Church at that time.

I’ve been told by an insider that Knights were transgenerational, so some of today’s Ipswich Knights may have fathers or grandfathers who were Knights in the historic era in question. This has some relevance in an investigation.

Father Jolly drove me to Knights’ events in his Hillman Minx car. He took me out on his yacht and I recall some fairly obvious grooming. Another event at a Knights ‘event’ was more fearful and graphic. He was a heavy drinker and I believe supplied my widowed mother with tranquilizers, probably valium.

A St Joseph’s Old Boy has related how Jolly was taping boys confessions on their ‘impure’ experiences, either for his own gratification or to alert the DLS if boys were complaining about abuse. Possibly both.

That same Old Boy has related how Jolly paid a key role in the Knights cover-up of Brother James’s extremely violent sexual assault on him.  Namely, Jolly visited the private London clinic where the boy was recovering to see how much he remembered of his traumatic experience.

4. Un-named Knights. The individuals who arranged the London clinic. This was an ongoing facility indicating that abuse was endemic and London Knights were involved as well as Ipswich Knights, suggesting wider UK organised crime.

The boy’s school fees were paid as compensation, further validating my own experience. See below.

Knight A, a lawyer, seems to have been in charge of the transaction. Although un-named, he was a ‘sporty’ character who I have been given a vivid description of, and I’m sure could be identified by anyone from that era.

5. Knight B. Listed as a Knight. Abuser. 1950s – 60s. Born in Glasgow. He was an upwardly mobile blue collar worker. Although not married to my mother, he was probably my biological father. This is born out by a recent DNA test which shows my biological father had a strong Scottish/Glasgow connection. My legal father’s family has no Scottish connection.

This would partly explain why my own and my brother’s expensive school fees to St Joseph’s College were paid for.  But I believe it was to also indenture me to the Knights and their organised abuse, rather than because of his supposed paternalism. It’s a kind of trafficking, to use a modern term.

Knight B also seems to have been a ‘fixer’, like Jimmy Saville who was a Papal Knight and probably a Knight of St Columba as they were in charge of his funeral.

Like Savile, Knight B ‘made things happen.’

6. Knight C. Lawyer. Early 1960s. Abuser. A highly respected, wealthy ‘traditionalist’  and pillar of the local Ipswich community, his sons went to St Joseph’s College.  I believe he was a Knight, but as I’m not certain I haven’t named him here, although I have a detailed description of him.

He exercised coercive control over me at age 12 and everything that went with the Knights’ abuse (1961).

7. Further Knights.  There was a later similar pattern of organised abuse and coercive control by Knights 1962 – 1964 which continued briefly after I left school at 15. Some may have been just wealthy members of the congregation or even secular individuals who interacted with the Knights. Locations and names I cannot always be certain are correct because there was a number of individuals involved with similar professions, which runs the risk of conflating two people. And there is more than one overlapping narrative. These Knights included lawyers, teachers and doctors.

Their coercive control related to school fees being paid (My mother had zero funds) and also to my remaining silent.  I was, unusually, assigned to a junior seminary at age 15. At age 14 (1963) I had the medical and filled in the forms. I believe this unusual move was to ensure my silence. When I refused to go, my fees were no longer paid and I left school at 15.

CONCLUSION

There is a strong connection between St Joseph’s and the Knights as is evidenced above.  The Knights are credited with financing the school; whether as brokers or financiers is not clear.  Subsequently they have disappeared from the school’s history, but it is possible that Knights remain as governors of the school to this day.  Their financial commitment to the school is relevant because it could explain why they acted as trouble-shooters in the Brother James cover-up.  

Later events,1962 – 1964, are complex and may be hard to unravel in their entirety, but it is still a work in progress for me and I welcome anyone’s recollections of the Knights, positive or negative.

But the Brother James cover-up alone is hard evidence of organised abuse by the Ipswich Knights of St Columba and that alone requires a response from today’s Knights.

Not least because the Knights are still involved with children.

We need not only an acknowledgement of their criminal past, but when it stopped and why it stopped. And why they have ignored these most serious allegations for over a year.

On a personal level, even allowing for the truly ‘industrial’ level of their crimes, their multiple and varied attempts to silence a rebellious, ‘trouble-making’ kid seems disproportionate. We’re talking threats, bribes, guilt-tripping, violent physical intimidation, drugs and more.

And even today, an insider warned me, ‘If you piss the Knights off enough, they will bring you much pain.’ He went on to describe how.

 But, where a kid is concerned, why would they bother? Who is going to listen to a child?  In the 1960s, at least, the Knights held all the cards. Surely it was best to just ignore the ‘annoying brat’?  

But it has to be seen in the context of Father Jolly and that clinic where clerical crimes were covered up on an organized basis. So we were far from the only resisters. Jolly certainly sounded very worried.

And my relentless whistle-blowing, the origins of my activism today, must have seemed peculiar, even pathological to the Knights, I wasn’t to be silenced as easily as other kids. My on-going resistance and ongoing disclosures to authority, family or police, clearly disturbed them, even though they were unlikely to be challenged by anyone in the 1960s. Something had to be done about this kid and so they tried a variety of methods to silence me.

So for these Knights, the great and the good of Catholic Ipswich, behind all their power, their contacts, their networking,their professional expertise, there was yet… real fear.

THE MODERN DAY ST JO’S

As I’ve reported, there is now some movement on the historic crimes of the De La Salles both at St Jo’s and throughout the UK.  The DLS have themselves contacted the police and asked them to investigate allegations against their order. Whatever their motives, they are surely to be commended for taking this important step. Catholic Safeguarding have also asked the police of Operation Hydrant to similarly investigate the DLS.  This investigation will overlap into the serious issues raised about the Ipswich Knights of St Columba who were closely involved with the Ipswich DLS and perhaps still are.

In all this, the modern day St Joseph’s College Ipswich has stood aloof with the position that it is nothing to do with them, they are an entirely new organisation now which is thus not responsible for the multiple crimes of its past. And they are not a De La Salle school.

This is despite the fact that this “new” regime has basically the same uniform, they’re still listed as a La Sallian school, in recent years, at least, they still had a financial connection with the DLS, they compete for a La Sallian rugby trophy, they until recently honoured a violent and questionable teacher from the past with a school prize, they described themselves in the La Sallian tradition and they look back proudly on the College’s many historic La Sallian achievements.

But not the College’s many historic La Sallian crimes. They don’t know anything about them and they do not want to know. They take no responsibility for their school’s past.

It might seem that whatever the outcomes of the police investigations which I imagine will take some time, a year perhaps (although Safeguarding assure me they will be regularly expedited), that this is nothing to do with the modern St Jo’s. This is a defence used by other schools, too, (Sherborne, for instance) and sooner or later it will be challenged in law, not least because it is so transparently questionable and yet so popular with schools who choose not to take responsibility for their pasts.

When the time comes, the case below will have some relevance. It’s from a lawyer’s website and they specialise in dealing with abuse cases.https://www.boltburdonkemp.co.uk/abuse-claims/child-abuse/success-stories/#sch There are some similarities to St Jo’s and some differences, too.  But I have certainly made a note of the lawyers concerned and will keep this under review.

It’s also interesting that  “Kingston and Richmond Local Safeguarding Children Board quite rightly commissioned a Serious Case Review into the school in approximately 2017.”  This covered five decades, so there is a similar potential remit there to St Jo’s.

I didn’t know there was a local Safeguarding Board and that’s something to also look at in due course and bring to their attention.

This sentence is particularly relevant. “BBK brought a claim against St Paul’s Juniors on the basis that they were responsible under the law for the actions of Harbord as their employee.”

Where the DLS responsibilities end and the modern day school’s responsibilities begin is something that will ultimately be determined by agencies external to the school itself.  

Meantime this case history may be useful for St Jo’s and other DLS survivors considering taking action. It should also be a reminder to St Jo’s, especially now the DLS have, rather surprisingly, done the decent thing, that they might like to do the decent thing, too.  

FROM BBK’S WEBSITE:

4. Schools

Independent school St Paul’s Juniors (formerly Colet Court) pays damages for abuse

BBK have successfully sued St Paul’s Juniors for abuse that one of their clients experienced, carried out by one of the school’s teachers.  The school, based in Barnes, London was the subject of an abuse scandal over many decades from the 1960’s involving numerous members of staff and has been heavily reported upon in the press in recent years following successful convictions.

Such was the extent of the allegations made against teachers at the school (over 80 complaints in relation to 32 different members of staff), that following convictions of five members of staff, Kingston and Richmond Local Safeguarding Children Board quite rightly commissioned a Serious Case Review into the school in approximately 2017.

The review’s report was published in January 2020 and focused on the systemic abuse by a number of teachers over five decades at the school and demanded that the school make an “unambiguous statement” that it accepts full responsibility for the abuse experienced by pupils at the school.

Following the case review, the school responded by stating, “We accept full responsibility for the past abuse experienced by pupils at the school and have previously apologised to survivors and our wider school community.”

Having seen the report, our client, who had previously never told anyone of the abuse he suffered, bravely reported his teacher Timothy Harbord who taught at the school between 1998-2013.  Harbord was charged with numerous offences against our client but was found dead before a trial could take place.

BBK brought a claim against St Paul’s Juniors on the basis that they were responsible under the law for the actions of Harbord as their employee.

As part of the claim we obtained a medical report detailing exactly how our client had been impacted over the years by the abuse he suffered.  It was clear that the abuse had caused him difficulties with his mental health which had also impacted on his employment and ability to earn a living.

Following negotiations, the claim settled for a five figure sum, allowing our client to obtain therapy on a private basis with a therapist of his choice as and when he requires it.

DE LA SALLES – POSITIVE NEWS

I’m always a little wary of being optimistic where bringing Catholic child abusers to justice is concerned.  Even so, I think this is encouraging news and is certainly a big step forward, following the DLS not-so-public public apology.

Catholic Safeguarding have written back to me. As I’ve previously related, the allegations on this site are with Hydrant and Safeguarding confirmed this is the case.

But the key NEW information they gave me is as follows:

Firstly, they informed me:

“De La Salle have now written to the police asking them to investigate all allegations and concerns made about the order and any members of it.”

I have to say I read this sentence several times before fully absorbing it. I really couldn’t believe it. This, surely, is progress, although I know we’re not at the end of the road yet.

Catholic Safeguarding also responded to my raising concerns about the Scottish DLS St Ninian’s case.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Thank you for bringing the latest court case to my attention, the concerns raised will be placed before DLS and communicated to Hydrant and I will bring it to the attention of the SCOE Commission at our next meeting.

In respect of SCOE, although the victim testimony is powerful, safeguarding matters pertaining to Scotland are not under our remit for any member religious orders within SCOE, only those pertaining to England and Wales, so this case or others that may exist, outside of England and Wales, are not considered by us.

Safeguarding matters in Scotland are overseen by the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.”

So special thanks to the two survivors of St Ninians who wrote and told me what happened to them.  You are super stars!

I would hope there will be some traction as the English Safeguarding and the DLS and Hydrant presumably bring the Scottish Safeguarding into the loop.  If you don’t hear anything in a couple of months, do let me know.

Thanks also to all the survivors of all the De La Salles schools for writing into this site with your testimonies.  Hey – we finally got somewhere!

I think there is cause for a little cautious celebration all round.

NO LONGER IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION?

I’m indebted to a fellow survivor who sent me this image of the current advert for St J’s.

It would appear that the La Sallian connection is no longer there.

So that’s progress.

Although I’m not alone in thinking the finances of the school and the De La Salles may still be linked in some way (as seems to be the case with St J’s Beulah Hill), at least they’re no longer flaunting their connection to a shamed religious order which – at the time in question 1960s – 1980s  – had a strong organised criminal element.

That said, last time I checked, two weeks ago, St J’s Ipswich was still listed as a La Sallian school – presumably because there’s some financial association.

And, of course, according to a recent media report, the current St J’s knows nothing of the DLS organisation and its past crimes from which they say they are entirely disconnected. So the Wikipedia entry is an error?  But St J’s is still connected with the great DLS achievements of the past.  Just not the bad stuff. Not the disgusting sexual abuse and the psychotic violence of the brothers. That’s classic moral double-think and hypocrisy which I had a gut full of as a pupil at St J’s, so that at least hasn’t changed.

The advert used to be  depicted like this (‘providing Christian education in the La Sallian Tradition.’)

It only took some seven years approx for them to change a sign that was deeply offensive and inflammatory  to me and many survivors. They might as well have said ‘In the Jimmy Savile tradition’.

Ironically, if they’d taken notice of my complaint at the time, this blog would never have taken the form it has – exposing the numerous crimes of the DLS and the Catholic laity with some positive results.

I hope not just ‘The La Sallian Tradition’ has gone away, but also the Kearney memorial prize – a teacher from my era who most certainly does not deserve to be remembered in such a complimentary and positive way.  As far as I can tell that prize, too, is no longer in existence. If so, that, too, is progress.

Exposing the crimes of the DLS and the laity and RC lay teachers with whom the order were closely connected is still a work in progress and I hope to update with more news soon.

As always, any information about them all will be  useful and valuable not just to survivors, but also to investigators.