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Artane-VOL1-07-Commission to inquire into child abuse

Artane-VOL1-07-Commission to inquire into child abuse

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Published by James Dwyer
Artane-VOL1-07-Commission to inquire into child abuse,Sister Xavier/Severia is Sister Alida of Goldenbridge, Father Stefano is Rosminian Provincial Father Patrick Pierce (Ferryhouse), Brother Bruno is Sean Barry (Ferryhouse), Father Luca is Father William McGonagle (School Daingean County Offaly), Sister Astrid is Sister Joseph Conception of Sister Josephs KIlkenny, Thomas Pleece is David Murphy, 'Peter Tade' is Myles Brady, 'Brother Dieter' is James Kelly (Our Lady of Good Counsel school at Lota, Cork), 'Brother Guthrie' is Brother Eunan (Lota), 'Brother Dax' is Christian Brother Maurice Tobin (Letterfrack), Mercy nun 'Resident Manager' is Sister Calida' is Mercy Sister Nora Wall (St Michaels Home Cappoquin Waterford), 'Sister Wilma' is Sister Stanislaus Kennedy (St Josephs Kilkenny), 'John Brander' is Donal Dunne
Artane-VOL1-07-Commission to inquire into child abuse,Sister Xavier/Severia is Sister Alida of Goldenbridge, Father Stefano is Rosminian Provincial Father Patrick Pierce (Ferryhouse), Brother Bruno is Sean Barry (Ferryhouse), Father Luca is Father William McGonagle (School Daingean County Offaly), Sister Astrid is Sister Joseph Conception of Sister Josephs KIlkenny, Thomas Pleece is David Murphy, 'Peter Tade' is Myles Brady, 'Brother Dieter' is James Kelly (Our Lady of Good Counsel school at Lota, Cork), 'Brother Guthrie' is Brother Eunan (Lota), 'Brother Dax' is Christian Brother Maurice Tobin (Letterfrack), Mercy nun 'Resident Manager' is Sister Calida' is Mercy Sister Nora Wall (St Michaels Home Cappoquin Waterford), 'Sister Wilma' is Sister Stanislaus Kennedy (St Josephs Kilkenny), 'John Brander' is Donal Dunne

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: James Dwyer on May 23, 2009
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05/11/2014

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7.017.027.037.04
Chapter 7
St Joseph’s Industrial School, Artane(‘Artane’), 1870–1969
Introduction
Background 
St Joseph’s Industrial School, Artane was established under the Industrial Schools Act (Ireland),1868 by the Christian Brothers at the request of the then Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Cullen.It opened on 28
th
July 1870 with the aim of caring for neglected, orphaned and abandoned RomanCatholic boys, and it operated as an industrial school until its closure in 1969.The Industrial School was located in a north-eastern suburb of Dublin some five kilometres fromthe city centre in an area which was, at that time, open countryside amenable to intensive farming.The application for a certificate in June 1870, to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, stated that ArtaneCastle plus 56 acres of land had been purchased for the purpose of setting up an industrial school.The request was approved and the School was licensed to accommodate 825 boys on 9
th
July1870. From an original intake of three pupils, it quickly grew in scale, housing 700 boys by 1877,and reaching its certified size of 825 boys before the end of the nineteenth century. During itsexistence, approximately 15,500 boys were cared for and educated in Artane.In 1870, the buildings consisted of a large dwelling house with out-offices, gardens and 56 acresof arable land. The property had been purchased for £7,000, and it was proposed that dormitories,classrooms etc. would be erected for a further £1,600. Three boys were admitted in the beginningand then tarred sheds were put up to accommodate 40 boys. The Congregation’s OpeningStatement described how the ambitious scheme developed thereafter:Public personages of all shades of opinion gave the school generous support. To raisefunds for the provision of permanent buildings a petition signed by a large number ofpeople was presented to the Lord Mayor. A public meeting was called by the Lord Mayorin response to this petition and substantial voluntary funds were soon received. From thisresponse and from newspaper articles of the time it is clear that there was strong publicsupport for the work of the school. The design, atmosphere and work ethos of the schoolreceived much acclaim from numerous eminent persons in public life and many visitorswere impressed with what they witnessed.Although the initial proposal was that £1,600 would be spent building dormitories and classrooms,an Annual published by the Brothers in 1905 recorded that buildings costing over £60,000 hadbeen erected at Artane by that time. The land associated with the School increased from 56 acresto more than 350 acres by the early 1940s.
1
In 1934, some 147 acres were under meadow and
1
Report on Artane Industrial School for the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse by Ciaran Fahy, ConsultingEngineer (see Appendix 1).
CICA Investigation Committee Report Vol. I 
105
 
7.057.067.077.087.097.107.117.12
tillage, with the remainder being used for grazing, apart from land occupied by buildings andplaygrounds. The main building still stands today.Artane was conceived on a grand scale. Dormitories accommodated up to 150 boys, sleeping inordered rows of beds with no personal space. The dining area or refectory accommodated all 825boys at one sitting. A submission in 1934 to the Cussen Commission into industrial schoolsboasted that a ‘magnificent corridor 365 feet long runs the whole length of the building’.The undertaking comprised the School, the trade shops and the farm, in addition to the Communityhouse. The trade shops and the farm constituted a substantial business enterprise, of which thefarm brought in a large yearly income.The Investigation Committee engaged a Consultant Engineer, Ciaran Fahy, to examine and reporton the buildings and accommodation in Artane, and his report is annexed at Appendix 1 to thischapter.The Rules and Regulations of Artane were similar to those of other industrial schools and requiredit to provide for the physical needs of the boys committed to the School, who were to be suppliedwith suitable accommodation, clothing, food, and instruction. Recreation was to be provided andthey were allowed to receive visitors and to correspond with outsiders. They were to receivereligious instruction, a secular education and industrial training. The School was also required todevelop a spirit of industry, pride and discipline amongst the children.
2
The number of children detained in Artane from 1937 to 1969 was as follows:
1936
n/a
1944
820
1952
732
1960
421
1968
230
1937
679
1945
820
1953
696
1961
395
1969
211
1938
737
1946
811
1954
739
1962
367
1939
772
1947
797
1955
650
1963
341
1940
820
1948
830
1956
566
1964
319
1941
817
1949
803
1957
496
1965
314
1942
817
1950
776
1958
426
1966
307
1943
810
1951
749
1959
446
1967
230
These boys were ordered to be detained in Artane by the courts for reasons of inadequate parentalcare, destitution, neglect, truancy or the commission of minor offences. It is clear, however, thatpoverty was the underlying reason why children were sent to Artane, whatever the statutorycategory grounding the detention.The reasons for committals during the period from 1940 to 1969 were as follows:
Improper School Destitution Homelessness Larceny Other crimeguardianship AttendanceAct
1374 1045 720 227 229 90
Other admissions to Artane were insignificant in number in the 1940s but they increasedsubstantially later. Health Board and voluntary admissions increased from 13 in the 1940s to 113
2
Rules and Regulations of Industrial Schools 1885.
106
CICA Investigation Committee Report Vol. I 
 
7.137.147.157.167.177.187.19
in the 1950s, and 136 in the 1960s. These admissions were not included in the number of childrenin respect of whom a capitation grant was payable by the Department of Education. They wereeither privately funded to attend the School or paid for by the Health Board, and in the latter yearsthey accounted for an additional 50% of boys in Artane.During June 1969, the 211 boys who were still detained in Artane were moved out and theInstitution closed on the 30
th
of that month. 120 boys were discharged to their parents orgodparents or placed in jobs. Of the remainder, 26 boys were transferred to Ferryhouse, and theothers went in small numbers to different institutions around the country. These dispositions wereagreed after much discussion and many meetings between the School authorities and theDepartment of Education.In the years leading up to the closure, and particularly during the late 1960s, there was a dramaticdecline in the number of children who would potentially have made up the population of industrialschools. Legal adoption, fostering and boarding-out were among the principal reasons for thedecline. In addition, attitudes of the public and a number of State officials had becomeunsympathetic to industrial schools as a means of caring for deprived children. Improvements ineconomic and social conditions and benefits also contributed.Artane, as the biggest industrial school, was most vulnerable to these developments. The Superiorwas a member of the Kennedy Committee that began work in 1967 and was expected to reportin mid-1968. He was privy to the thinking of the Committee and was able to inform his colleaguesin the Congregation that the Committee was going to recommend the closure of Artane.Br Reynolds, Deputy Leader of St Mary’s Province of the Christian Brothers, said at the Phase Ihearing that it was clear at the time that the Kennedy Committee would recommend the closureof industrial schools. The Opening Statement stated:it was becoming clear to the Congregation that the future of Artane Industrial School wasuncertain and had been under discussion from the middle nineteen fifties. Eventually, inor around 1967 the Congregation took a decision in principle to close the institution.Br Reynolds added that he thought that the decision
‘could have been taken in 1967’ 
, with thetiming being left to the Provincial to decide. On 23
rd
January 1968 the Provincial informed theMinister for Education that the School would close on 31
st
August of that year. At a meetingattended by the Minister in March, the Brothers agreed to a deferment until 31
st
December 1968,to give the Department time to arrange alternative accommodation for the boys. One furtherextension until 30
th
June 1968 was subsequently agreed.
The Cussen Report and Artane 
The beginning of the relevant period of this inquiry coincided with the publication in 1936 of theCussen Report into Industrial and Reformatory Schools.
3
The Congregation had made a writtensubmission to the Cussen Inquiry, with a detailed account of the system of care and anunapologetic defence of all aspects of the Institution.The Congregation was worried that the Cussen Commission would call for changes in Artane,and there was relief when that body’s visit to the School went off successfully and the Brotherswere reassured by their belief that the Commissioners seemed pleased by what they saw. TheBrothers knew that talk of change was in the air and they were hoping to persuade theCommissioners to approve the existing state of affairs. Br Strahan, who wrote the submission forthe Congregation, concluded it with the request that Artane should remain as it was:
3
Commission of Inquiry into the Reformatory and Industrial School System 1934-1936 chaired by Justice Cussen.
CICA Investigation Committee Report Vol. I 
107

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