Christian Brothers, Abuse, The North Mon And Me.

Christian Brothers, Abuse, The North Mon And Me.

This was the Post i wrote On January 11 2010

Well there is a lot of talk about this current report, showing the abuse of the catholic church. On a physical, mental and sexual front. Well this is my account of the good, the bad and the ugly that I saw. These are my memories of what happened and more importantly, what I felt, no more, no less. If you are interested and start reading this, please finish it as its not all bad and I believe that it is more what you do today, than what happened yesterday. For me its a story I must tell, if for no other reason, that I can lay it to rest, where it belongs in the past.

I went to North Mon, which was a christian brother school. That meant by the time I got there the Brothers still controlled the school, but were diminishing. I started in 1978, Brother ‘Basher’ Barry was the out going Principle. He was been replaced by Brother Hurley, who survived two and half years as principle.

So I started at the age of 12, the primary I went to had corporal punishment. But nothing major, it was more of a threat, than a reality. Then I went to the North Mon. Due to the fact that I wasn’t the brightest and I needed Glasses, that was not found out until I was 19, and the fact that I believe I should have written with my left hand, but had been ‘taught’ to write with my right. I was put into M2 which stood for Metalwork 2. This was the start of the problem, I work in construction, I know one thing. When it comes to working with my hands, I employ someone good. I could take a 6 inch by 6 inch piece of metal, draw a straight line, start filing it down, to make the metal straight and get down to a half inch by 6 inch piece and still not have a straight line. I was useless. I was placed in ‘the tech’ which was the red bricked building in the picture. There were two Brothers that taught here. Brother Brien, who was a complete gent, I canoed with him and his brother, who also was a christen brother. They also had a sister who was a Sister (a nun). I got Brother Roche.

Rochee as we called him was a small man, with combed over hair and an English accent. Of course my luck was in, I had him for metalwork and technical drawing. Again I had a gift for getting technical drawing wrong, it just didn’t make sense to me. Rochee kept a log of all your projects and for everyone your were behind on, you got 3 dusters. Dusters were, he would take the eraser for the blackboard, turn it so the timber end faced down. He would then hold your hand by the fingers so your knuckles were exposed and strike the timber against your knuckles. the punishments were, in drawing for example, were 2 for every bad letter, 2 for every guide line that he could see, 2 for every mark on the sheet and 3 for every piece of equipment you were missing. As in pencils, eraser etc.

Within the first six months I started vomiting every morning, my mother brought me to every specialist for 12 months, no answers. I couldn’t eat breakfast and until around 6 years ago, this was the case. I now understand that I was terrified, so much that my stomach reacted. This made everything with rochee worse, as the more he hit me, the more sick I got, the more behind I got, the more I got hit. My personal record was 128 strikes in one go. The worse part was he would have you change hands after every 10. The first of the ten was the hardest , he would hit a kind of beat, so the strikes would lose force. He would then have you change hands and the dance would start again.

We also had another brother, brother Gibson. One of the reasons I wanted to go to the Mon, was Hurling, I played it in primary and enjoyed it. Also I wanted to follow in my fathers footsteps, he was a mon boy, although he left at 13. Gibson gave me my first sex education, which is interesting, because this guy was, in my opinion, a paedophile. He was the hurling coach and would check your shorts to see if you were wearing underpants, because you would catch cold going home in the same underpants. I learnt very early on to avoid this guy like the plague. You had to play hurling, on what was to be your half day. If you got a slap of a hurley in the shin, this guy would try and start rubbing your nuts. You can imagine how enlightened our sex talk was. I went home after two days of our sex ed and informed my father that I learned about ‘vinylural diase’, still trying to figure that one. He basically told us about every sexual transmitted disease you could get, from a women of course.

Gibson also thought us poetry. He had a leather strap in which he had, either coins or washers, sown into the top. So when it hit you, it wrapped around you palm and struck again. So you would have to learn a full poem, being the clever boy, you would count the seats to you, from left and right , as he would ask each one to say a verse. You would know these two verses off by heart. Gibson would walk in, put his brown case on the desk, take out the leather. He would then turn around, his robes flowing and point at you and say’ second verse now’. You would stand up and the first stutter, he would wave his finger to come up the front of the class. At this point you were wiped and got 4 of the best.

This behaviour continued until half way through third year, when Brother Tallon arrived and changed the school. At this point I would like to acknowledge the fantastic brothers that I meet. As everything in life, there is no black and white. A lot of the brothers were complete Gents, Brother Creedon who I cycled with, The brothers Brien, who I canoed with. With these guys I spent, weeks on a remote Island in Schull, Co.Cork. They were christen, giving, understanding and generous to a fault. I don’t think it fair to condemn all.

The brothers had no control in what they did, at any time. There were ruled by the head brother of the house. They were told at all times what, where and what to do. It was a horrible life.

This do not excuse how the church covered up what happened. Or the fact they have not apologised. I think that the emotional and sociological damage was the worse. The fear I felt and the felling of being useless was the worse. Also I can now understand how abuse happens, I never told my father, until some years back. He was involved heavily with the school. I don’t know why I didn’t tell him. But I suppose I thought in some way, that this was how it was meant to be. If you don’t know any different, then this is what’s normal.

Well I always thought that if I met ‘Rochee’ I would kill him. I called to school to collect something for my father I was now 19 and had be doing martial arts for around 5 years. I was sent to the brothers house, knocked and this little man opened the door. I looked down and didn’t recognise him. I heard an english accent say ‘Mr Mc Carthy, is that you?’. I couldn’t believe it, it was Rochee. This small, little, side hair combed creature, could not be the huge monster that I remembered. This guy could part the kids in the school yard, like moses parting the red sea. Remember that this was not a school full of saints and scholars. I looked at him in amazement and left. At this time I laid his ghost to rest. He did not haunt me any more, I was free of him once and for all.

So now what? Like all of these things, the planning tribunal, this report, we have to try and understand the times they were. Not judge them by today’s standards and ideals. What we must do is learn, so they don’t happen again. THE MOST IMPORTANT, is to forgive, not for them, but for us. Its the past, if we keep living with it, we don’t move on, we don’t grow. To me this means that the abuse continues, that all. We just give it more energy and power. Its time to move on.

In the end the Brothers did a lot of terrible things, but they also did a lot of great. Edmund Rice idea was to educate the poor, they did it. Unfortunately the harm that was done will not be forgotten, but neither should the good.

As I said at the start this is my account and views. they are guys that were in my class that will not have the same views. that’s fine, that’s the human condition and its the way it should be. For myself I have moved on and I am who I am because of what I have learnt. To me the most important lesson is, circumstances and other people don’t shape me, how I react and behave does. To those who did me harm, for whatever reason, I hope that they find peace in their life, because I have found peace, happiness and immense joy.

These are the comments I got over the years and as i am rebuilding my blog, its out of respect to those who commented that i am putting them up.

Lydia Furlong on April 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm said:

Hi Andrew,

i have been trying to track down information about a brother gibson now for years. i came across this guy in wexford in 1983. I really think this is the same brother gibson that you encountered any additional information you rememeber would be great.

Thanks,

Lydia Furlong
Kildare

Hi Lyndia,
no info sorry, saw the back of him and was happy to do so.

abused boy on October 31, 2010 at 9:30 pm said:

br brian in the mon is a filty depraved animal. He sexually abused me. I have friends who wit essed his attack.
I hope you can help me by investigating his abuse. I dont want myy identity known. But i beg you ask about him. He abused me 15 years ago. I hope the filty dirty ******* dies a slow horrible death.

Anthony Mc Carthy on November 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm said:

Hi Sorry to hear this man, i knew eddie brian i canoed with him. I am truly amazed and extremely sorry my friend to hear this. i don’t know where he is but look you need to, I think and i am no expert, get this out. you are living with the shame and the angry of this. Which is probably effecting you still. I will look into what action you can take, but make sure you get help and don’t let this ruin your life.
you can email me irishmarketer@gmail.com

Thanks for the blog post … I knew Gibson as well (graduated in ’83) … had no interaction with him … It was the lay teachers that were the worst for me … Mick Moynihan psychologically abused kids through the years, and had a particular talent for naking you feel useles and worthless … Tom Power was just pure evil, arrogant, and violent … They weren’t alone though … Brother Tallon was a miserable little man too, frequently meeting you at the door and giving you the leather for being late, no matter the reason … Healy lived in a world of inferiority complex because of his short stature, and felt he had to use the leather with extra veracity (hilarious to hear that little muppet trying to speak with a fench accent) … Granville / Curtin / Long Tom / Kelly / Dineen were all the best …

Regards

Tim

Shane on January 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm said:

It interesting to see different peoples take on abuse scandals. As a proud Mon boy who graduated in 2010 im delighted to admit that from what i saw in my 6 years there the abuse has stopped.

Anthony, I really like that you are willing to forgive and forget, it says a lot about you as a person and I admire you for it.

As for you Tim, I couldn’t not reply to what you said. You found that lay teachers to be worse, well im glad to say that things have changed remarkably. You mentioned Mick Moynihan in particular. Well i can honestly say that i have yet to meet a more supportive and genuine person. What i am doing is echoing what Anthony has said, which is that what maybe was acceptable in the 80′s and 90′s is not acceptable today and im sure a lot of these guys are remorseful for anything they may have done …or not done as the case may be.

“Granville / Curtin / Long Tom / Kelly / Dineen were all the best …” I completely agree with you there.

sean walker on April 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm said:

read some of your replies and it brought me back to the early 60, in the mon primary,,,,,, there was a brother brennan there at the time,,, he was a sadist used a leather and a stick he called nobber any one remember him? i was in his class for 2 years i hated school how he got away with the things he done is beyond me……….. i often wander what happened to him i think he was from kilkenny…………. any one come across him afterwards?

I to graduated in 1983 while we did avoid Br Gibbson above in the old Mon field every Wednesday it was Br Brian (who replaced his brother in the mon) was a child abuser and have personal experience of this but what he did to me was alot less than what I saw him do to others stripping boys naked and rubbing cream all over them using the excuse that they might get a rash from the canoes. Rather than report this abuse I actually feel sorry for him. I can see him now probably married with children as he looks back on what he did to us, the shame he must be feeling is enough for me and the sentance he has to live with.

sean t. on April 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm said:

I went to the Mon,primary and secondary, and hated the teachers and brothers that tortured us there. I cannot forget the severe sadistic beatings and the casual hurtful comments of the staff. What a dreadful collection they were. But most are dead now and the remaining few must surely have some regrets about the lives they ruined. At least one hopes so.

madeline o mahony on April 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm said:

Hi i have been reading your page and am trying to track down anybody that has been abused or witnessed any sort of sexual abuse by brother bryan in the mon as my brother was abused by him and i know first hand what devastation this can cause if you could pass om my email address to these people so that they can contact me in person i can give them the names of people who can offer them help

thank you madeline

JLawrence on May 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm said:

for Lydia Furlong – re your post in 2010 regarding Brother Gibson; I may some information to help you.
would appreciate if admin could pass my email on to you.

Lydia Furlong on June 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm said:

For JLawerence
I didn’t receive a mail address came back to this site by pure chance this evening. If the moderator could pass my e-mail to you or vice versa that would be great.

L Furlong

Col on June 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm said:

Br.Bryan is a dirty bastard

Eamonn on June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm said:

Just happened on this blog because I saw that a Christian Brother from the Mon was arrested on 12 counts of abuse. I put a search in but nothing came up but this blog. Any more info on this?

Rebel rising on June 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm said:

This is a great find and it takes me back to my days in the North mon …..my experiences there were not happy
Ones and in fact they were very abusive ones. Br McCOrmack punching the head off ya, dingle daly likewise and the
Br Bryan sexually abusing me in the tech. I agree that you need to leave the past behind but you also
Need to challenge the past and confront it through the right means and the is just wha people need to do
To set it free……….

Free at last , on June 29, 2012 at 7:19 am said:

Read all the papers , tell all your friends , after living with the abuse I was put through
By the hands of Br. Bryan in the north mon for over twenty years, justice was served and this
So called Christian Brother was found to be guilty in a court of law of sexual assault . Those of
You Out there who suffered the same way as I did and many more did , don’t be afraid anymore,
Come forward and tell your story , you have to understand you are not alone and you did nothing
Wrong . We were all kids at the time and this man used his role as teacher and Brother to carry out
His perverted ways on us . I Believe that I am only going to be the first of many many different
Cases he will be found guilty on . His time has come , ther is nowhere left to hide

  1. Anthony Mc Carthy on June 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm said:

    I hope this brings you comfort and you life will be great. The hardest thhing is to let the past, in the past. I wish you luck and happiness every day from here forward.

  2. Anthony Mc Carthy on June 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm said:

    Hey Eamonn,
    i have put up two new posts and soon as I have more i will put it up.
    One comment seems to say that he has been convicted. But that so far is unconfirmed.

  3. Anthony Mc Carthy on June 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm said:

    From what I have just heard he was not convicted the Jury could not make a decision. As soon as I have documented proof I will put up more. Its a pity for all involved that there was not a conclusion.

  4. Free at last , on June 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm said:

    Hi Anthony , due to a press ban imposed by the judge
    You will have to wait untill this resumes in October
    To get the full story , the papers are not telling the whole story .

  5. Rebel rising on June 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm said:

    Interesting months ahead for Edward Bryan .

  6. former guy on July 2, 2012 at 1:39 am said:

    i gave a statement about the dirty bastard . hes a great actor in court ,come on guys dont be ashamed thats what will suit him 20 yrs later be a man now ..

    1. Rebel Rising on July 2, 2012 at 9:37 am said:

      former guy, that is such a very courages thing to do, now you have opened the door for many more. I wish you the best of luck on your juourney of healing.

    2. Free at last , on July 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm said:

      Rebel Rising , do you have any interest coming forward
      And telling your story , the more people we can get to come forward
      The better ,

    3. Rebel rising on July 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm said:

      Free at last, I most recently came forward so hoping more come behind me…hopefully it be for a better future for me and all those people that have been affected, this also includes my family who are devastated at this moment.

    4. Free at last , on July 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm said:

      Well done my friend , its a very brave and courageous
      Step you have taken but the right thing to do . Perhaps we will
      Be seeing each in the future as this progresses .

    5. Concerned person on September 18, 2012 at 11:34 am said:

      Any updates with the case in Oct??

    6. Interested on October 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm said:

      According to the Echo on Tuesday, a new jury will be sworn in on 5th November. I truly hope justice is served this time around

    7. Interested on October 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm said:

      I also wanted to add, that those of you who have come forward are incredibly brave to do so. This nasty man needs to pay the price for what he inflicted on you all those years ago. I believe that coming forward and exposing him for what he really is will help you heal and move on from the past.

    8. Concerned on October 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm said:

      It’s a court of law not justice and the politics of that alone is so wrong. People see justice differently given their circumstances and take as much from that as possible regardless of the verdict. Very true interested , it’s exposing him that matters, now children can rest assured they are safe from him.

    9. bright3633 on October 23, 2012 at 1:02 am said:

      Hi,

      I happened across this by accident. I knew a brother Gibson from 1982 to 1987, but the one I remember was not based in the Mon at that time.

      My dates and location would match Lydia’s dates above. Can I also get a copy of the info relating to this person from JLaurence?

    10. Brother Gibson who was in Wexford CBS Thomas st sounds a lot like the one in your story. He was indeed a sick pervert who would viciously beat and sexual assault young boys. A famous saying from Gibson was “who wants wintergreen boys”, when he entered the PE changing room rubbing the wintergreen all over his hands while eying up unsuspecting victims to sexually assault. The weather is very cold and the wind is strong this rub will keep you warn on the pitch come on boys surely somebody wants it. Fear would sweep through the room. Our PE instructor Ahearn would leave the room leaving us boys alone to deal with this monster. Whispers around the room were don’t let him rub it on you cause he will feel your balls everyone would huddle together and look defiant hoping Gibson s intention would dissipate and some times it worked and occasionally failed, when it failed a boy would be sexually abused in front of us all. Ahearn couldn’t be found. I complained one day about Gibson s behavior towards me and i was warned to shut my mouth after a beating of course. I saw Gibson walk into the shower room when boys were showering after sports he stood behind them and lifted his black robs and placed his hand in side his pants and masturbated while gazing at the boys, once again i alerted a teacher and for my good deed i was dragged into the back of a room across from the PE hall i received a punch to the chest and to the side of the head and of course warned to shut my mouth and informed that if i was to cause trouble again i would die in this school. Gibson destroyed my school life so did the teachers who looked away from his conduct and failed to protect me. None of these teachers will look me in the eye to this day. maybe its time to teach the teacher….. contact me sincerely…. ally

    11. Alan Foster on November 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm said:

      I got Brother Edward at the start of his peadophile career, De La Salle ballyfermot, Dublin 10.

    12. Call of duty on November 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm said:

      Sorry to hear that Alan, trust me there are loads of us that suffered, while others watched on!! Everybody knew but nobody said!

    13. Anthony Mc Carthy on November 12, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

      Hi all,
      this topic just keeps going. Alan yes it would sound like the same Gibson, I know he was out of the mon 82ish, so it would seem right. Alan Foster if you want to email me at irishmarketer@gmail.com I will see if some of the other guys will talk with you. I am respecting everyones right to privacy and to state their case. But I need to be careful as the trial is going on for the third time in feb next in relation to Eddie Byran.

    14. Anthony Mc Carthy on November 12, 2012 at 10:31 am said:

      Hi all,
      this topic just keeps going. Alan yes it would sound like the same Gibson, I know he was out of the mon 82ish, so it would seem right. Alan Foster if you want to email me at irishmarketer@gmail.com I will see if some of the other guys will talk with you. I am respecting everyones right to privacy and to state their case.

    15. Ger Breen on December 3, 2012 at 12:15 am said:

      Gibson is alive and can be made accountable for his actions, its not too late but more people need to come forward and contact the Gardai. He was interviewed last year by the Gardai in relation to some of his activities in the CBS in Wexford town in the early 1980′s.

    16. Free at last on January 24, 2013 at 11:14 am said:

      Hi everyone , just a quick word to keep those who are interested in the loop , the Br Bryan case ( I don’t know why I still call him that ) is set to kick off again on the 4th of February . With any bit of luck and justice this will be the time we can put this part of our lives to rest . It’s been so hard to bring to light the things he did to all of us involved , and now having to do it for a third time is going to be very difficult . I just keep telling myself that this is something I have to see out to the very end . Unless involved its nearly impossible to understand what a case like this can do to a man and his family . But if the result means that those involved can find peace and move on I their lives and that in the feature other innocent children , because that’s all we were , will be safe from this mans evil hands , than it as all worth it .

    17. Concerned on February 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm said:

      Great to see him get whats been coming to him for years. He is an eveil evil man, who preyed on me and many others at a time in life when we had enough going on with growing up. He took away my faith in faith, my smile and my love of life.

      Three failed topping attempts later i came through, however i could never …..even today foget him. I was never raped, was on what i’m sure would be the milder side of abuse, but it was the feeling of being dirty, being helpless, if my parents found out, it would kill them, i had let them down, it was all my fault etc.

      to the lads brave enough to take this on thank you from the bottom of my heart……..seeing him in the paper being taken away i will sleep well tonight. To Eddies brother Alfie, you were and always will be a gent, though you stood by your brothers side on all this ……you are and will always be a positive influence on everyone you taught, thank you and my honest simpathies are with you tonight in this regard.

      You can chose your friends……. not your family

      I wanted to die then and even now two kids and 15 years of marriage i am still not even put my nephews or nieces on my lap when they were babies …….for fear that people would think i was doing something wrong…..the pervert , perveted my mind good and proper or people would think i was doing sopmething

    noell on March 3, 2013 at 11:37 am said:

    I attended the mon from 83 -88 what i saw in that school was nothing short of a living hell.. I can honestly say that I dreaded going to school every morning ..I did woodwork for the 5 years i was there I learned quickly to stay away from the brothers they call themselfs a holy order I called them a holy show…I tried to stay one step ahead all the time ,but sooner or later they would catch up on me and i would pay the price..where I saw the worst abuse was by the teachers the beatings I saw them hand out were savage …I remember one teacher rapping his knuckles down on top of young boys heads one blow after the other ,,,crazy stuff,,madness,,others being mad a fool of in front of the whole class,,the abuse was sexual,,mental,,physical,,,but the worst abuse, I believe was that none of the teacher’s said anything ,,,,my God forgive them, we all face the maker one day….for me I dealt with my demons aged 29 I entered re had for alcoholism ,,,when back to college which I loved to study for 4 years to become a counselor,, I forgiven them for there actions ,,,Live is for living ,not looking back ,

     

 

4 Responses to Christian Brothers, Abuse, The North Mon And Me.

  1. Bob

    Br. Eddie is out on bail pending an appeal.

  2. Kevin.

    Hi Anthony

    I wont give my name for the moment but just to let you know and everyone else that might read this that im bringing a case against Brother Gibson for abusing me when i was only 12. Im form Wexford town but living away now for the past 5 years. This is only come to light because of my partner who im with for the last 4 years. Just to fill you in on a short story my partner and I have’t seen eye to eye for a year or two and would always end up fighting. I love her very much but hated the way she would treat me sometimes and because of her i started self harming. But after a year or so i got help and with this help it come to light about Gibson. In the end it wasn’t my girlfriends fault for my self harming but gibsons. Ive been to the guards and told them my story after 32 years i can now talk about it. Thanks to my girlfriend.
    Ok he is known to the guards, he’s never been prosecuted and he’s only 66 years of age. i’ve only made my statement to the guards in the last 5 weeks so there will be a case going forward. I know when i was making my statement there was another person in Wexford making a statement the same week. If there is anyone out there that something happened to them with gibson please be strong and come forward. Just maybe we can put this man away and keep other kids safe from the same as im sure many young boys and myself went through.

    Regards
    kev.

    • irishmarketer

      My full respect kev for having the courage to move ahead. It’s amazing how old ghosts can haunt us in ways we never expect. Gibson in my mind was one of the worst. I had heard he was dead. Anyone else who he effected should maybe think about coming forward. Anything I can help with kev just let me know. I think the more of that these assaults are brought to light the better for everyone.
      My thoughts are you.

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