‘Success On The Rugby Pitch Was Put Ahead Of Child Protection’


Terenure College, Dublin

In The Village magazine.

Gemma O’Doherty reports that several former pupils of Terenue College have come forward claiming they were sexually and physically abused in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ms O’Doherty writes:

Terenure College is one of a growing number of fee-paying Irish schools who may have to confront decades-old abuse in the coming years, as survivors gain the courage to come forward and seek redress and compensation.

The financial implications for private colleges which find themselves exposed to historic claims could prove catastrophic. Some may face the prospect of having to sell off valuable chunks of their campus or even closure.

But many victims believe the time has come to blow the whistle, regardless of the consequences.

They say their ‘alma maters’ should no longer be allowed to hide from the dark secrets of their past, which have shattered so many lives.

[One said:] “As a survivor of the violence and sexual abuse at Terenure, it saddens me to think that success on the rugby pitch was put ahead of child protection.

“When past pupils admire with pride the trophy cabinet in the college containing the Leinster Schools cups, they should be aware that they were won at the expense of innocent boys whose lives were destroyed by perverts disguised in brown Carmelite habits and grey suits.

A few bad apples in the barrel yes, but nobody ever cast them out. Why not? The public, who subsidise private schools, have a right to know what happened. We can’t keep brushing abuse scandals under the carpet.

Terror ‘Nure: Horrific physical and sexual violence was permitted, mostly by priests, in one of Dublin’s top private schools, though the Carmelite Order, led by Fr Richard Byrne, won’t say what it did to stop it, and if it alerted the Garda (Gemma O’Doherty, The Village)

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48 thoughts on “‘Success On The Rugby Pitch Was Put Ahead Of Child Protection’

      1. Anomanomanom

        Oh come on, its just like how nobody knew what the priests, laundries so on were up to. When really everybody knew.

        1. Andrew

          Yes, therefore if someone actually does know something they should report what they know to the Gardaí.
          Unless of course, Derek doesn’t actually know anything.

        1. Andrew

          I’m not religious at all dav. If I know of any abuse I’d report it and I am merely suggesting Derek does the same.

      1. Tim

        I was class of 95 and I knew about it, as did many other students. The matter was hushed up and paid off. Bit like the Annabel’s case, only less public.

  1. Elizabeth Mainwaring

    “…..it saddens me to think that success on the rugby pitch was put ahead of child protection……”

    I think that’s overstating things a little, dearies. Terenure haven’t won the cup for 14 years.

    As Hugo says, “Rock boys forever!”.

    Chin, chin!

  2. Pete Tong

    Just another attempt to smear fee paying schools. This story has nothing to do with the fact that Terenure is fee paying and everything to do with Irish society back then and it seems every other society as can be seen from the various scandals. Yet some person is having a dig at the people who are the bedrock of Dublin and Irish society. If this were really about the abuse nobody would have mentioned ‘fee-paying’.

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      Oh Pete. It is wholly relevant that Terenure is a fee paying school. The college obtains substantial fees from parents who think it’s a great place to send their kids and from alumni who (I assume) had a pleasant time there. All of whom are presumably totally unaware that a portion of those fees is being used to buy the silence of abuse victims. I’d say that’s pretty important, wouldn’t you?

      Also, bedrock of Dublin and Irish society? Give me a break. If you really cared about the victims of abuse, you wouldn’t dismiss this story so easily with your sad little classist diatribe.

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    There isn’t a school in the country were a child wasn’t abused, let’s be honest. All fertile hunting grounds for rapists.

    1. Paddy at the Howth Summit

      I presume you’re including the Educate Together schools in that sweeping statement.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        yes, paddy – the priests and brothers at all the Educate Together schools throughout the 40s, 50s, 60s… were all up to all sorts

  4. BlessingtonBootboy

    Derek might have meant Willow Park instead of Blackrock. Back in the seventies there was the lay teacher caught with a pupil in a Dublin hotel who fled to Liverpool to escaped justice and died there. Hushed up by the media. Another one who used to take one or two of his favourites on ‘field trips’ who disappeared without explanation in the mid/late seventies. A religious brother who kept my younger brother back after school hours. When I got home and told my mother, she raced off in the car in a panic to get him. There was another one mentioned as being brought before the courts about 10-15 years ago that might have been hushed up.

    Only one I can recall for Blackrock was a boarder waking up during being molested in his bed in the early eighties. That was blamed on a transient who’d been living in the attic.

        1. Toni the exotic dancer

          I knew about Eddie Baylor. a right evil sadist. He scared all the kids. I had no idea about the other cases. if it happened in willow park, it happened in blackrock college.

          1. BlessingtonBootboy

            To be fair while I was at Blackrock there was never a problem for me or anyone I knew.. Hated the place but drink and ageing rubbish priests were the issues. Left the place and went to a school with girls and different faiths. As they say in the country, happy out.

    1. Jamesa

      Willow Park, but also Blackrock. There was a priest there all Blackrock boys know about. Also, but this is ages ago, John McQuaid (later Archbishop) molested students.

  5. Paddy at the Howth Summit

    Gemma O’Doherty – hardly a voice of credibility – how about an article on bullying and abuse in fee paying girls’s schools?

    Or the media.

      1. Kiddy the Bill

        Gemma has confirmation bias. The main perpetrator in her article died in 1993 and is claimed to have done these awful things 40 – 50 years ago. What were the current teachers and priests in the school doing then? Most of them weren’t even born. No excuses for what happened but I don’t understand how the leafy suburbs, captains of industry references are in any way relevant to the reporting of abuse by priests.

      2. Paddy at the Howth Summit

        This isn’t investigative journalism. There is not a single fact that can be validated. She’s a bit player in a whistleblower scandal that’s it. Just another INM journalist…

  6. Paddy at the Howth Summit

    “When past pupils admire with pride the trophy cabinet in the college containing the Leinster Schools cups, they should be aware that they were won at the expense of innocent boys whose lives were destroyed by perverts disguised in brown Carmelite habits and grey suits.”

    WTF has this got to do with rugby? No dodgy types in the GAA, then? No apologists there, Donal Og Cusack? So this was all tog-out action to the ROCK level of jocularity? BS.

    It was at the expense of perverts who wouldn’t allocate equal time to teach and instil a passion for science, technology, maths, coding and modern languages. Get real you tool.

    1. Go A Way

      It has everything to do with the type of lace curtain fake poshness practiced by many in ireland’s middle class of which the dovish attention paid to rugby is a prominent and noteworthy aspect

      1. Paddy at the Howth Summit

        Really?How about comparing Munster Rugby to Leinster Rugby. Sweeping statements are redolent of your own misunderstanding of context, nuance, and fact.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            perhaps it’s just trolling etc but I’m a bit surprised that an article about child sex abuse in a school has elicited such aggressive defensiveness/denial

            it’s odd, to say the least

  7. Niamh

    I am not trolling, but have personal reasons for asking this: does anyone know if there have been comparable whisperings re Belvedere, specifically in the early to mid nineties?

    A friend passed some remarks, re a teacher who took a special interest in him back then, once. They were, on the surface, innocent. But I just got this funny, odd, gut feeling that there was something amiss in the anecdote. He recently had a total mental breakdown and is barely coherent these days.

    I’m chasing a hunch. But it’s stayed with me.

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