Abuse at Belvedere College

 

Sir, – I welcome the belated admission from the Jesuits that Fr Joe Marmion SJ abused children when he taught at Belvedere College in the 1970s (News, March 2nd).

Those of us who attended that school at that time knew Marmion and his reputation, saw the bullying with our own eyes and heard rumours of the sexual abuse of our classmates.

Victims were not easily forthcoming about these events at that time and even today not every victim wishes to relive these times. We should respect their privacy.

For the record, however, it should be known that when the Jesuits finally and quietly removed Marmion from his teaching post, it did not remove him from contact with children. He remained on the school premises throughout the 1977/78 school year, my senior year. The Jesuits moved him along quietly to Gardner Street around the corner but allowed him continued access to the school where his victims could see him every day.

The Jesuits put the reputation of the school first and the safety of the children second.

They have acknowledge that finally in 2021 but lacked the moral courage to do the right thing at the time.

Those involved know the role they played, as do we. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O REILLY,

Northport,

New York.