Br Emile was working in Salthill in the early 1950s, when he wrote directly to the Sacred Congregation of Religious in Rome requesting a dispensation. He said that he never had a vocation and only took his final vows to avoid disappointing his mother. He confessed: Since 1945 with the exception of two years back at College I have been interfering immorally and unchastely with boys under my care. I tried to give it up but failed. I realised that I was doing great harm to the boys, to the Congregation and damning my own soul.
The Monsignor dealing with the case sent a copy of the letter to Br Clancy, the Superior General, commenting, ‘I think it is a clear case of letting him go’. The Brother then withdrew his application, asserting that he was depressed at the time he made the application and that what he had stated with regard to abusing boys was false. The General Council accepted Br Emile’s retraction and his explanation for it, but felt it necessary to issue him with a maneat in February 1953.
Less than two years later Br Emile was accused of new, unrelated charges of repeated, serious disregard of religious obligations, including rebelling with others against the strictures of religious life. The General Council ultimately decided that it had ample evidence regarding Br Emile’s unsuitability for the Congregation and that ‘it will be in the interest of the...Community and of the Irish Province to have Br Emile’s case disposed of as quickly as Canon Law permits.’
Two Canonical Warnings were then issued to Br Emile and were swiftly followed by a Decree of Dismissal, which was accepted by Br Emile. He subsequently got married and continued to teach in a national school until the early 1990s.
There was no record of any inquiries into the confessions made by Br Emile in his abortive application for a dispensation in the early 1950s which he made directly to Rome. It was not clear why he was issued with a maneat. To accept the retraction of such a serious confession without further investigation was a risk to children in his care.