If you’re not familiar with the Brother Kevin case, he was outed on this site by numerous Old Boys in the last five years or more as an Abuser. It then transpired that he had been driven out of his village by local youths because he was seen there as an Abuser.
He is now suffering from dementia and is ending or has ended his days in a home in Ipswich.
All this has some relevance to my interest in Kearney, my old chemistry teacher.
First, let me show you some relevant comments about Kevin that I think are extremely important, otherwise I wouldn’t be publishing and republishing them.
ONE. I received this comment this morning from an Old Boy. Many thanks! I don’t think it requires any further comment from me.
|There was a creepy old woman by the name of Ashton, with an even creepier character. Why she was employed as a school matron, I have no idea. It was always such an arduous chore if any of the kids got ill. She would often join Kevin in the boys shower block and strangely watch us all having a shower. Did she know what Kevin was up to after lights out, I couldn’t honestly say, but she certainly wasn’t playing with a full deck I was abused at the hands of Kevin and believe it is not possible to leave it in the past and forget. I went on to have a very long and successful career in the Royal Marines, and seen many horrors in the world. Discussing my abuse helps me as a survivor, deal with it and ‘move on’. It is certainly something one can never forget|
TWO. This comment came from a lady back in 2017, presumably before Brother Kevin was forced to leave his village.
I’ve checked her email address and Angela is indeed Angela Ashton.
|Angela commented on IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION 3 I wanted to write a new post in response to further comments on my About page from St Joseph’s old boys Nick and NW1 – … Another pupil of Br. Kevin contacted me about your comments. We were both appalled to read them. I was in charge of the boarding in the 80’s at Oakhill with Kevin and am in touch with people of that time. My son had been a boarder before my time. The boarders were a very happy bunch on the whole and Kevin very popular and we can honestly say completely trusted . I saw him constantly with the boys and everyone was completely relaxed round him. We are absolutely convinced nothing of the above mentioned went on. As my son and his friends and other pupils say, Kevin was the very last brother they would suspect. At the end of the holidays the boys from unhappy homes would run up to him as they were so thrilled to be back to what they felt was safety and it was. The years I had there with the boarding were very happy. I stayed some nights if anyone was unhappy and if I wasn’t there Kevin was there for them and if I’d suspected anything with having 3 boys myself I’d have gone straight to the top. My son tells me he was homesick the first night of the term and would go to Kevin’s room but then gave that up as the other boarding master had better comics! Kevin didn’t know me then. He came out of the Order and settled locally and is a very popular figure in the community. My twin grandchildren would call on him after school, other children in the street would run up to him. Nobody had any worries.when he left Oakhill, before me, he had the largest number of presents and letters I’ve seen. When the police questioned him many of his old boys wrote to the police to support him as they were horrified and some are still in touch with him and visit him, some from way back.The solicitor you refer to was not organised by Kevin but by friends. I don’t know who. The school dentist visited the school professionally and socially and knew Kevin as well or better than me and he still talks about the happy place. I know these phaedophiles can hide their ways and are clever but none of us believe Kevin is one and I can’t obviously comment on the past but it is all so far from the Kevin we all know. Surely if you are a paedophile you just don’t stop?|
THREE. At the time, I wrote back to Angela in some detail and pointed out:
It’s often hard for survivors to come forward and share what happened because they feel they won’t be believed. Sometimes we doubt our own memories because they don’t square with the public persona that abusers have. And all too often they are supported by respectable members of the community or by other boys who weren’t assaulted.
But we only have to look elsewhere in the media to see how that can be quite fake.
I don’t pretend to be an expert, but as a survivor of another DLS abuser, Brother James, and clerical abusers, I can certainly say abusers are very good at covering their tracks or ensuring their victims remain silent. And the reaction of others is invariably disbelief until enough people come forward and confirm it happened to them, too.
I’d have thought three survivors accounts, independent of each other, was sufficient to make the case and for this matter to be taken seriously
Angela didn’t reply to me.
Regarding Angela’s agenda, in the light of the first comment, once again I don’t think it requires any further comment from me.
We can all draw our own conclusions.
But I think both needed highlighting and are extremely relevant to us Survivors today.
They show just what we are all up against.
I personally need to understand how easily Abuse can be covered up and I think it is shown very clearly here.
The whole matter of Brother Kevin is now proved and closed because of his dementia. It’s a great pity because I know NW1, several Old Boys like the first commentator above, and another survivor in LA rightly wanted justice for Kevin’s crimes against them.
They should have had their day in court and I’m sorry they didn’t.
(Needless to say, everyone’s email above remains private and confidential and I won’t pass on to anyone.)
The personal relevance for me is that a similar process may now be taking place where Kearney is concerned.
A while back, one lady wrote to me and asked where my research and evidence was going regarding Kearney.
Now another lady, an Old Girl of St J’s, has asked me the same thing and seems to want to know more, too.
Both women said how Kearney was ‘strict but fair’ and a good guy, which is not my experience of him.
Or indeed the experience of many Old Boys, one of whom said he was ‘terrified’ of him.
Clearly Angela above had her own personal agenda in defending Brother Kevin.
This has made me wonder whether the two women wanting to know about my research into Kearney have their own personal agenda – e.g. are they connected with Kearney or his family in some way.
As I’ve explained to them both, I’m happy to be as transparent as I possibly can.
Revealing the Truth is the full extent of my own personal agenda.
Until then, I can’t, as the Old Girl suggested: ‘Get on with my life’.
The Truth has to come out first, I’m afraid.
But if they have any questions I’ll happily enter into a dialogue with them and tell them something of my truly grim experiences of Kearney privately.
Do ask away, ladies. I promise you I will treat your questions with respect. And, if you knew Kearney well, perhaps you can answer some of my questions.
There may well be details I’ve got wrong that you could correct.
I’m genuinely sorry if it’s unpleasant and upsetting for you, but I’m sure we all, ultimately, want the same thing: the Truth.
Not a cover-up.
And do please consider – why would I waste my time laboriously writing about Kearney for these past few months and more unless it was true?
What other possible motive could I have after all these decades?
So here’s where I’m currently at:
I have a very comprehensive account of my experiences at the hands of Kearney. And I think I’ve got the whole thing down on paper now, although there may be one or two details I’ve missed or I may have the exact order of events wrong.
Some of it is quite shocking.
That’s why I’m waiting for someone else to reveal other aspects of Kearney, apart from his extreme violence (punching a 13 year old in the face), and his racism, both of which are now a matter of record.
I’m trying hard not to be too mysterious here. So here’s the kind of thing I’m looking for – his possible use of chemicals outside the lab, for instance.
Because I don’t think it’s right to put up such a shocking account without some independent corroboration of at least some elements of my story.
My word is not enough, I feel. Look at the Cardinal Pell case and how he got off on appeal because it was just one person’s word for what Pell had done.
It’s why I waited years in the case of Brother James and the Knights of Columba and what they did to me until others had ‘spilled the beans’ first. Then- and only then – did I tell my story.
For those Survivors’ courage in coming forward, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Based on these previous testimonies, it could take a few months, even a year, before an Old Boy comes forward with his recollections of Kearney. Meanwhile, there are other avenues I’m also pursuing regarding my old chemistry teacher.
It all takes time, so do be patient, ladies.