St Joseph’s Industrial School,Salthill (‘Salthill’), 1870–1995
Oral hearings were not held into Salthill, and this chapter is based on an analysis of relevantdocuments, including those obtained by the discovery process from the Christian Brothers, theDepartment of Education and Science, the Bishop of Galway and the Health Service Executive(formerly the Western Health Board) and submissions from the Christian Brothers.
St Joseph’s Industrial School, Salthill (‘Salthill’) traced its history back to 1870, when a publicmeeting in the Town Hall in Galway approved a proposal to establish an industrial school for boysand appointed a committee to implement the project. Land and premises were acquired in Salthillin June 1871 and were adapted to accommodate 50 boys.The Patrician Brothers agreed to manage the School under a committee of laymen and religious.The purpose of the School was to take in ‘neglected, orphaned, and abandoned Roman Catholicboys, in order to safeguard them from developing criminal tendencies and to prepare them for theworld of industry’. According to the School annals, on 25
September 1871, ‘twenty-one poor boyswere admitted to the School, most of them in the lowest state of destitution and misery’.The School got off to a difficult start, and initial reports from the Inspector for Industrial andReformatory Schools were negative. There were problems with management in the School whichcaused the Patrician Brothers to withdraw. The Government Inspector, Mr John Lentaigne, calledto the Superior General of the Christian Brothers in July 1876 and asked him to take over therunning of Salthill.The Christian Brothers inspected the premises and set out the terms upon which they wouldundertake the management of the School, and these were agreed with the Bishop. By the termsof this agreement, the Congregation held the property with the Bishop of Galway under a trust, ofwhich the Bishop and two members of the Congregation were the perpetual trustees.All existing debts and liabilities were paid by the committee that had originally set up the School,and an overdraft facility was set up in the local bank.The Brother in charge was designated the Resident Manager and it was agreed, ‘That he shallnot be obliged to furnish any other accounts to the Committee, or sub-managers, than thoseannually presented to government’.
CICA Investigation Committee Report Vol. I