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
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
January 1968 the Provincial informed theMinister for Education that the School would close on 31
August of that year. At a meetingattended by the Minister in March, the Brothers agreed to a deferment until 31
December 1968,to give the Department time to arrange alternative accommodation for the boys. One furtherextension until 30
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.
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:
Commission of Inquiry into the Reformatory and Industrial School System 1934-1936 chaired by Justice Cussen.
CICA Investigation Committee Report Vol. I