PRESS RELEASE - ALLIANCE SUPPORT GROUPAdded on April 26, 2017
26 April 2017 The Alliance Victims Support Group
The Alliance Victims Support Group, representing former residents of Glin, Industrial School Co. Limerick, do not accept as credible that the Documents held by a former employee of the Christian Brothers and former resident of the school himself, could have been told to "burn" part of the school archives in 1973 when the school was been prepared for sale as he now claims.
These documents first came to light when on Saturday 28th March 2015 The Irish Times published an article "Papers from school for boys go back to 1875". On Wednesday 8th April 2015 the Irish Times confirms that the University of Limerick accepted the collection by the former employee without any questioning then or subsequently as to their rightful owners. We are again "drip fed" more details in March this year when Mr Wall says he wants to prevent the Christian Brothers from getting these missing archive because he believed that "they might burn them". Further, after subsequent statements in the Limerick and Kerry radios and a question raised in Dáil Éireann by Niall Collins TD the "Christian Brothers stated that they would be satisfied with copies and were happy for the documents to remain at UL." We saw that as an abdication of the Brothers responsibilities towards their obligations to us as former residents.
It was, we believe, because these documents were missing that Glin Industrial School was not included in the Investigative part of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse even though Glin School was the second largest of the Industrial Schools. These missing documents could have had a significant support element for former residents and their families over many years had we but known of their existence. Their retention by Mr Wall, who does know of their value to survivors, and also knows of their importance to the Christian Brothers and to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, is the most hurtful and insensitive type of behaviour that he could have perpetrated on other survivors. We ask that he immediately enter into discussions with us to speedily find a way forward to satisfy the many questions from former residents who believe, from his own statements to the various media, rightly or wrongly that like him, they too may benefit from knowing what is contained in these Documents.
It is sad to say that many former residents and their families, mainly living abroad are hurt by the media's stance on this issue. They see this type of journalism as indifferent and callous to the wider interests of former residents and their families by not challenging and questioning as to why this person kept the documents hidden for so long. They do not accept the premise that he, Mr Wall, and he alone should determine how these documents should be finally dealt with, after all "he had over forty years to think about it and his behaviour both then and now is clearly criminal" and harmful towards the very people he claims he wants to help"?. Mr Wall's actions have done serious harm then and now, and we ask that he return these documents to their rightful owners where we can all benefit as he told me he had, when he received copies in February 2017, directly from the Christian Brothers Archives.
We respectfully remind the Christian Brothers, that for those of us who were in their charge for all of our earlier lives, we hold them responsible as the custodians of all of our documents relating to our time in the industrial school, to secure and retain these original documents as part of their archives by every means so that we, and families of former residents, can receive copies of documents or other articles contained in these archives in as timely a way as possible. END
Mr. T Hayes (Secretary)