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.
See Katie’s comment on my post, Charity begins at home?, below. So much for that glowing obituary in The Guardian by St Joseph’s old boy Chris Mullin. Do we really want to live in bullshit land where creeps like Homan are honoured TODAY (!!) as near-saints? I don’t. Watching this excerpt from an ABC TV interview (at 10.48) about the ex-De La Salle Brother made me feel sick. Very upsetting.
I have it on very good authority that the notorious and proven paedophile Mike Mercado/Brother Solomon used to visit Homan’s Boys Town. A supposedly wonderful place for boys.
It is not just the journalist/writer on the TV interview who makes these allegations about Homan: it cross-references with other accounts I’ve read. And there were so many other DLS brothers who were like him, as survivors have recorded on this site, which makes the DLSB an organisation which should be outlawed, in my book.
‘In the La Sallian Tradition’ is a most inappropriate term to describe St Joseph’s today, because it connects the school with such truly vile people.
So many people want to pretend none of this ever happened, or it’s all in the past so we should forget about it, and that’s how these evil filth get away with it. And continue to do so.
I wonder if The Guardian would be interested in the truth about Homan? I doubt it.
The homes and charity are STILL named after Homan!
Thanks, Katie, for your most valuable post:
Recent interview on ABC TV in Australia has some horrible stuff about Homan (about 10 minutes in): http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/one-plus-one/2018-06-28/one-plus-one:-michael-robotham/9920588
Thanks for the latest, Opus. I really enjoyed reading your recollections.
Whether my memories are correct or even materially fair (and I obviously think they are) is something I cannot judge.
I thought then that you might appreciate on perhaps a largely lighter note though not unsexually related my further reminiscences:
1. The new chapel had just been completed and was shortly be opened. On a morning on exiting from the dormitories, was, to be seen flying high from its spire, a pair of knickers. How the roof of the chapel was ascended (and descended without injury) and who was responsible for the prank and indeed from where the pair of knickers had been obtained remained a mystery.
2. Aside from being Head Master, Elwin Gerard was, when I was about fifteen in charge of the dormitories in the main house which was where I then resided. In a room on the ground floor was a monochrome television set and chairs for viewing. It being a Saturday night we would crowd into the room to watch whatever the BBC were providing by way of entertainment. On the occasion in question the Beeb had imported in from the United States a light entertainment series featuring the comic actor and singer Mr Danny Kaye. Some way through the show came what would surely turn out to be a comic sketch: it commenced with the camera tracking the back of a woman with long blonde hair and the accompanying music was of the type associated with strippers. The woman’s back was bare. Elwin Gerard who was watching with us promptly jumped up and switched off the television set ordering us all to bed. I will thus never know what the joke was for surely a joke which I would long have forgotten was coming and had Elwin Gerard not been so hasty I think we would have discovered that the woman was a man, Kaye himself.
3. At a time when Lawrence of Arabia was a justly popular film a White Father who was the brother of one of the monks (John?) visited the school, talked about his work in North Africa and to our great delight demonstrated how he put on his arab-style robes. I was told decades later that he was later convicted of indecent assault upon his charges whilst in India at a place known as Boys Town. Would that be right?
4. My little brother was at Oak Hill from the age of just nine commencing at the beginning of the autumn term. When he returned at Xmas my Mother said (later) that she no longer recognised him as the same happy-go-lucky little boy whom she had sent off some three months earlier.
5. I was a boomer and that meant that at that time there was by reason of increased birth-rates pressure on places in schools and thus schools could become a law unto themselves. It was also the case that the La Salles were not able to recruit sufficient men to their order and thus appear to have taken any man who was willing to join them. Certainly the calibre of many of the monks – as teachers – left much to be desired. From my point of view this was to the good such that by the time I reached the dizzy heights of the sixth-form none of my teachers were monks and (I was also studying outside the school and thus was semi-detached from it) a majority of my teachers were not even Roman Catholics. To a large extent then the Brothers faded out of my life for apart from being in Ipswich a fair amount of the week I ended my career at Birkfield living in the little lodge by its entrance where we were without any form of supervision. Neither being a Prefect nor playing in team sports (I never took to Rugby and became bored by Cricket) and by reason of one task I performed happily from the age of fourteen until I left and which gained me access daily to the lay-Master’s Common Room such that I had a good relationship with them I was by then left to my own devices.