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.
(That you WON’T have read about)
You may well have read that Ampleforth College, ‘the Catholic Eton’, has been banned from taking new pupils and that it intends to appeal. It was banned because of its appalling record on child sexual abuse CSA which was highlighted at the independent enquiry IICSA.
That was almost a month ago with all the media covering it from the same press release yet with no follow up on what is surely the biggest Catholic story of the year.
Soon after, Ampleforth decided NOT to appeal, but rather to try to satisfy the authorities that children were no longer at risk. There is a media blackout on this important development. I suspect this blackout will continue until when or if Ampleforth is back in business.
Thus the Catholic Herald didn’t report the original ban, never mind what happened next. I tweeted them three times to ask them why? With no response, of course. It’s so obvious why – everyone’s been ordered to keep quiet about the latest events at Ampleforth which involve not just historic CSA, but current CSA.
The only place you are likely to read about any of this is in the Tablet, to its great credit. Here’s the latest position in a very balanced article by Jonathan West.https://www.thetablet.co.uk/blogs/1/1674/ampleforth-must-get-serious-about-child-protection-or-it-will-deservedly-close-says-this-campaigner
What I take away from this article is there a very real chance that Ampleforth may close its doors forever.
That the jewel in the Catholic Crown may end its existence and why, you might imagine would already be the subject of opinion pieces, further research and articles in the Guardian, Independent, Times, Mirror, Sun, and Mail, not to mention coverage by the BBC. It’s a huge story. But apart from predictably bilious articles in the Telegraph and Spectator alleging the Church is undergoing religious persecution, there is nothing in the mainstream media.
In my view, it’s because there is a behind the scenes veto as it brings an important pillar of the establishment into disrepute. So the public must know little or nothing about it. Or if they do, its significance must be seriously downplayed.
Serious Catholic crimes abroad may be written about, yes, but never such crimes in the UK. So two days ago the Mail covered a case of Catholic organised crime, a clerical, laity, and female (nuns) paedophile ring operating in Germany in the 1970s.
It’s the first time, as far as I know, that the British media has acknowledged ORGANISED CSA crime exists in the Catholic Church, albeit in Germany. And with a focus on the laity. So that, at least, is progress,
Regular readers of this blog will see the similarities to organised crime that I’ve written about as a survivor myself. These events took place in the 1960s involving the Catholic Church, St Joseph’s College Ipswich, the De La Salle brothers and the laity, cantered around a Catholic elite who were Knights of St Columba, Ipswich province.
I’ve cited similar Catholic organised CSA crime in Australia and the USA, including an Oz academic study which proves the existence of organized Catholic paedophile rings beyond reasonable doubt.
Thus far, no academic or media or survivors organisations or the IICSA itself has shown any interest in UK Catholic organised crime because it either steps out of the safe tramlines of the ‘just one rotten apple in the barrel’ theory or because they’re aware of the veto. And they want to keep their jobs.
In case you’re thinking, ‘Well it was just Ipswich in the 1960s that had a few Catholic wrong uns, but they’re all dead now, so what does it matter, get over it,’ let me disquiet your mind.
This year another important Catholic CSA scandal emerged that was barely reported on. Once again it involved the kind of players who featured in Ipswich in the 1960s. Specifically a Catholic school, a De La Salle brother, and a Catholic elite laity in a paedophile ring.
The DLS brother was the notorious school principal Brother James Carragher now on his third jail term. He’s been sentenced to a total of THIRTY years for CSA and physical brutality. He’s at the centre of the survivor’s allegations, so there’s no reason to doubt the veracity of the account.
The Sun mentioned the paedophile ring in passing and I followed it up in the survivor’s book they were reporting on: The Boy In The Cellar by Stephen Smith. In Chapter 24 Stephen describes the Catholic school he attended as a paedophile’s sweetshop. He relates how the friends of Brother James ‘all wore suits, drove Jaguars and spoke with a posh accent’…. ‘I’d often see men – visitors to the school – sitting on the bench choosing (I presume) who they wanted to rape or abuse… St Williams, it seemed, had become a sweetie shop for visiting paedophiles – a shop that Brother James held the key to.’
Although Brother James is now in jail, AFAIK the DLS order has not followed up this serious account of Catholic crime, a paedophile ring involving the laity. It’s just been treated as yet another rotten apple case. James is serving 30 years, case closed.
So the laity involved have got away with it. As they always appear to do. It seems it’s the priests or brothers who have to ‘take one for the team.’
The IICSA also seem to settle for the rotten apple theory. Nothing about the laity here. https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/16715/view/ERY000015.pdf.
The similarities to organised Catholic crime in Ipswich in the 1960s is remarkable. The Catholic elite laity I knew certainly drove expensive cars and were professionals. I remember them as doctors, magistrates, engineers and so on. As a kid, I always thought they were ‘posh’ because they all seemed to wear sock suspenders and have different, ‘expensive’ blue and white striped underwear.
There are four organisations that need to be held to account as detailed in my past posts:
1)The De La Salle Order who still teach children today. And whose current head made a serious physical assault on a child, according to an old boy’s account.
2)The Catholic Church through the Ipswich parishes of St Pancras and St Marks run in my era by three paedophile priests , two or whom are listed as Knights of St Columba.
3)St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, today, which has no connection with these historic crimes in Ipswich. It has cut itself free of the DLS order, just as Ampleforth is cutting itself free from its Benedictine monk founders. But today’s St Joseph’s still draws constantly on its proud past and achievements and proclaims its school is ‘in the La Sallian Tradition’. It has never acknowledged the endless CSA crimes that were committed at St Joseph’s at least until the end of the 1980s. Crimes the college is fully aware of. That has to be put right.
4)The elite Laity in the shape of the Knights of St Columba, Ipswich province. Today’s Knights, who presumably include similar professionals such as doctors and magistrates, would surely repudiate the crimes of their predecessors. Once again those crimes must be acknowledged.
And the question – when did these likely transgenerational crimes stop? – needs to be addressed by all of them.
The ‘sit tight and say nothing’ or respond with studied passive aggression is the usual approach used by the Catholic Church and it was remarked upon and criticised at the IICSA by lawyers for survivors. It goes almost without saying that this is the most likely response by the four organisations above. It’s served them well so far.
But consider this, gentlemen, If the bell can toll for Ampleforth, it can toll for you. If the greatest Catholic school in the land can be laid low by survivors, then you could be next.
If Ampleforth can go down, then there is hope for all Catholic survivors.
This study in Australia shows how Catholic Paedophile Rings worked in Oz.
It describes 16 Catholic child sex abuse Rings.
Here is an account of a similar Catholic child sex abuse Ring in the USA.
I found this headline – in 2018 – particularly disturbing.
THE GRAND JURY REPORT ABOUT CATHOLIC PRIEST ABUSE IN PENNSYLVANIA SHOWS THE CHURCH IS A CRIMINAL SYNDICATE.
The Catholic Church Hierarchy systematically covered up the abuse of at least 1,000 kids by 300 priests over 70 years.
The article goes on to say:
Sexual abuse has been institutionalized, routinized and tolerated by the church hierarchy for decades. If you think this statement is hyperbole, consider that the grand jury report includes, but is by no means limited to, the case of a ring of pedophile priests in Pittsburgh, who raped their male victims, took pornographic pictures of them and marked them by giving them gold crosses to wear so that they could be easily recognized by other abusers.
The article is written by Anthea Butler, an Associate Professor of Religious Studies.
There’s more on this story below.
Grand jury report describes a ‘ring of predatory priests’ in Pittsburgh in the 1970s
Included among 99 abusive Pittsburgh diocese priests identified in the grand jury report was a ring of them, operating in the 1970s and 1980s, who shared intelligence about their victims and sometimes even shared the victims themselves.
That “ring of predatory priests” made their own child pornography in church rectories, the grand jury said, and used “whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”
They also marked their victims, the grand jury said, by giving their favorite boys gold cross necklaces to wear.
“The grand jury observed that these crosses served another purpose beyond the grooming of the victims: They were a visible designation that these children were victims of sexual abuse,” the report said “They were a signal to other predators that the children had been desensitized to sexual abuse and were optimal targets for further victimization.”
Let me repeat that last sentence.
“They were a signal to other predators that the children had been desensitized to sexual abuse and were optimal targets for further victimization.”
It shows that a Ring is much more than a number of perverts sharing notes and kids.
It involves a lot of planning, sharing intelligence and thought. That’s relevant to my own experience.
And perhaps to others.
For example, making sure the Parents are neutralised or on-side, I’d have thought was crucial to Abusers. In my case, my Mother, a widow with mental health issues, would have been an easy target for them. Over the years a number of promises were made to her. Financial and probably personal. Then, knowing it’s safe, the Abusers can turn on the kid…
The general relevance to Catholic survivors in the UK is that these reports are firm evidence of actual Clerical Paedophile Rings in Oz and the USA.
They are not the usual ‘lone wolf’/’one rotten apple’ which is how Catholic abuse is presented in the UK, unless I’ve missed some reports.
Yes, organised Catholic cover-ups in the UK are well known and reports of several abusers who just happened to be at one school at the same time are well known, but this is very different.
It’s far worse.
These articles are spelling out Catholic crimes that have NEVER been reported in the UK mainstream media to my knowledge.
That Catholic Abusers acted in unison as an organised Ring to abuse children.
As a Survivor, the Oz and USA Rings strike an unpleasant chord with me.
If it happened in Oz and the USA, then it bears out my claim that it happened in the UK, too.
Specifically, I’m a Survivor of a Catholic Paedophile Ring in the 1960s associated with the Catholic Church, notably St Marks RC Church, a school chaplain, teachers at St Joseph’s College and members of the Knights of St Columba, Ipswich.
The Ring’s prime targets, I believe, were Catholic children on Chantry Council Estate, poor kids like myself, rather than boarders at St Joseph’s. But I could well be wrong here – any vulnerable Catholic child could have been a target. I would hardly be in a position to know.
And there seems to have been ‘overlaps’ with other sexual abuse at St J’s, based on past testimonies on this site by other Survivors than myself.
Only the deaths of everyone concerned prevents the Ring being formally investigated.
But that could change if the Ring was shown to be in existence in later years and some Abusers are still alive.
The evidence is accumulating. Some I’ve already posted, which proves the Ring’s existence beyond any reasonable doubt, and there’s more to come.
The key question that is certainly on my mind is… When did this Catholic Paedophile Ring in Ipswich stop?
Or did it stop?
Perhaps it just changed its modus operandi and its personnel in recent years or even in our own times.
I’d prefer to think it stopped in the 1980s, that would be such a relief, but that could be wishful thinking on my part.
As the Oz study shows, these Rings are ALWAYS transgenerational, with younger members taking over.
It’s a primary reason why I can’t let this subject drop.
All of us, I’m sure, want to be sure that it stopped.
The silence from the relevant parties is noted.
I imagine I’m not the only one who finds their silence a matter of concern.