I’ve written many times about Brother James Ryan of my old school St Joseph’s College, Ipswich from 1960 to the late 1960s, after which he went to Beulah Hill. He was a serial sex offender and a notorious violent abuser – his excessive and terrifying use of corporal punishment was infamous. Both in Ipswich and in Beulah Hill.
He sexually abused me and two other St J’s Ipswich pupils. And possibly a further pupil. All our testimonies are on this site.
This and much more are still with Operation Hydrant and it’s still – theoretically – with this ‘independent investigation’ commissioned by the De La Salles which I haven’t heard from after seven months. I waited all this time to be sure; my questions were not answered, so it’s clearly not going to happen.
Of course we all know the DLS files will be bulging with allegations against James, but the DLS are never going to admit that or give us access.
So that’s enough. Their time is up.
This matter is now being taken further.
As you will appreciate, it wouldn’t be sensible for me to go into all the details here, but you’ll doubtless be able to join the dots yourselves. If you’d like to know more, you can email me and I’ll tell you what I can.
I chose James because he abused me personally and because there are the statements of others confirming his crimes. And because of his clearly sociopathic nature. He genuinely needed psychiatric help.
As we all know, there are many other DLS abusers, but in a crowded field of contenders, James was arguably the worst.
With such an individual, and such a crime, the more witnesses, directly or indirectly, the better.
There are several layers to this, but, please – ALL of you are important and what you may have to say could be relevant and make all the difference. Needless to say your anonymity is guaranteed.
I’m looking for:
1)Anyone else who was sexually abused by Brother James – in whatever manner, ‘minor’ or ‘serious’ – please get in touch with me in confidence. There are options for you to consider that I can describe to you. I stress your anonymity is ensured.
2)If you know of any sexual assaults by Brother James on other pupils at Ipswich, Beulah Hill, or elsewhere – do please get in touch. Even ‘hearsay’ could be relevant because it could be followed up.
3)I’ve guestimated there are TEN cases of extreme violence by James on this site. You may have already related them on this site. Often they make horrifying reading.
Once again, do please get in touch with me direct. E.G. Confirming a past testimony you made or relating a new one. They are regarded as secondary to sexual violence, but they may still be significant , relevant and important.
And they help build a composite picture of this man.
4)If you were sexually abused by a lay teacher or a DLS brother who was contemporary with James, do also get in touch.
I’m thinking, particularly, of Brother Kevin and Brother Solomon. But there may be others.
In this context, it would be Brother Kevin in early years 1960 – 1965 approx. (Rather than his later era at Oak Hill). Ditto Solomon 1959 – 1962 approx (Rather than his subsequent era at Beulah Hill and return as Mercado)
It builds a picture of just what was going on at St J’s when Brother James was abusing children sexually and physically. There may be some relevant detail that could be useful– E.G. location.
For instance, I remember him making threats like ‘I will give you six on the bare’. And ‘I will give you six in your pyjamas’.
Both these threats I remember were said with a questionable relish. Anyone else recall this? It suggests the cross-over from legitimate corporal punishment into something very different.
It may also be important if things develop from James to a much wider scenario.
James may just be the starting point.
It would be premature for me to say more on this post, but I can enlarge privately.
5)Any general information you recall about James may be useful, even if you didn’t witness or were the victim of his abuse. Just to build up a character portrayal of this man.
Thus I recall him as my form teacher 1B in 1960. Brilliant Maths teacher for someone as hopeless as I was! An okay ‘deeply religious’ Scripture teacher. He took over as Prefect of Discipline from Solomon, approx 1961 and probably held the post until 1966. He was a loner who IIRC looked helpless and lost when a St J’s boy in 1962 had a serious bike accident on Stonelodge Lane. He was a fanatical advocate for vocations. He was never shy or timid to my knowledge as claimed in his obituary, now removed. He was also provably sectarian and anti protestant. He was Irish and IIRC was an ex DLS pupil himself.
Anything anyone would like to add could be put on this post or sent to me. For example – did he sleep in one of those cubicles at the end of a dormitory? Which ones? Did he ever supervise games, showers etc? I don’t remember him doing so, but I was a day boy. Did he go on any of those school holidays abroad?
6)I’m going to write to some important figures to gain more information and possible support, regarding James.
We’re moving forward at last. It’s finally happening.
It’s time the truth about this dark period of St J’s history was revealed. With your help it could be. No more cover-ups and dismissing it as ‘all in the past, those were different times, it never did me any harm, and I don’t remember a thing, and why can’t these troublemaking Old Boys just get over it, move on and get a life?’
So many boys were harmed by this man as part of a continuum of serious physical and sexual abuse by the De La Salle brothers.
I really do believe the truth sets us all free.