The Christian Brothers
Sir, - Reflecting on his time spent in St Jospeh's CBS, Fairview, Dublin, Tom Humphries states (EL, May 9th): "Now I've seen so many Brothers who once had nicknames and reputations leaving courtrooms with anoraks on their heads and cuffs on their wrists that I wonder. I search the reports for familiar names. I take care with the jokes that I make."
This gives the impression that several members of the congregation have been convicted on abuse charges in our courts and are serving custodial sentences for these crimes. This is not true. One member of the congregation has been convicted on such charges. Mr Humphries's statement that he has seen many members of the congregation leaving courtrooms in handcuffs and with anoraks over their heads is simply untrue.
While stressing that any such conviction is one too many, it is grossly unfair to convict others by association or to blacken the good name of those who dedicated all their working lives to Irish education down through the years.
It is quite disturbing that Mr Humphries can make such an erroneous statement and that his colleague Emmet Oliver can repeat the error on the same page of your paper. It would appear that Mr Humphries actually believes that he has seen photographs of several Christian Brothers leaving our courts having been convicted of child abuse and that he has searched the reports looking for familiar names. It would also appear that Mr Oliver believes this misinformation. Has this belief become part of the mind-set of some journalists?
One mush ask how such misinformation can be published by a reputable newspaper. - Yours, etc.,
Br Michael Murray, Deputy Leader, St Helen's Province, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.
Br Murray is correct and the error is regretted. The cases of a number of other Christian Brothers are pending in the courts and their appearances have been for charge or remand. All defendants have denied the charges. - Ed., IT.