Br Eriq worked in Artane for less than a year in the late 1940s. He left in April, not August, which was the usual time for Brothers to be moved. Br Eriq had previously worked in Tralee in the late 1930s, where three consecutive Visitation Reports were critical of his severity towards the boys. A full account is contained in the Tralee chapter.
Br Eriq was in Tralee in the late 1930s. Three Visitation Reports referred to difficulties with this Brother. The first Report said that he was ‘an open mouthed man and seems to be lacking in good sense’. It went on to say he was ‘harsh with the boys’, and that he ‘punishes them in ways contrary to Rule and has the unhappy knack of setting them against him’. It found him ‘the least suitable member of the staff’ on account of, amongst other things, his poor handling of the boys and his severity and his clashes with the older boys.
Despite the very clear concerns expressed in the first Report about his severity, in a follow-up letter to the Resident Manager it was recommended that Br Eriq be appointed to a teaching post and that the services of a lay teacher could be dispensed with. The lay teacher had left before the next Visitation.
The next Visitor noted that ‘instances of harsh treatment and severe punishment of boys’ by Br Eriq had been brought to his attention and that he, along with Br Beaufort, had been warned of the ‘possible evil consequences to the reputation of the school and to themselves personally of immoderate punishment of the boys’. Both expressed regret and promised to be ‘more watchful over themselves in their necessary correction of the boys’.
The following Visitation Report again singled out Br Eriq for criticism of his excessive use of punishment: [He] gives way rather often to outbursts of ill temper and inflicts immoderate corporal on the dull children in his class. I had abundant evidence that the charge against Br Eriq is true. The Superior makes a strong appeal to have [him] changed at some future date and to get an additional Brother for the staff.
Br Eriq was subsequently moved in the early 1940s to another school. He served in Artane for a period of less than a year in the late 1940s. He left in April, not August, which was the usual time for Brothers to be moved.
The Opening Statement stated that the request by the Resident Manager to have Br Eriq removed was a ‘practiced way of dealing with irregularities but in cases where the fault was a major one the reason for the transfer was made clear to the perpetrator and was in effect a warning and punishment for severity in school’.
One complainant, appearing before the Investigation Committee, said of this man: Yeah, he would hit you, he would hit you in a temper. He wasn’t a cold, sadistic sort of man. He would hit you in a temper. He would lash out at you in a temper. But if you met him the next day he would talk to you quite okay like. What you done with Br Eriq is the best thing, try and keep out of his way in case he was in a bad mood ... He was just a hot tempered man from what I could see of him.
He added that Br Eriq was ‘a bit of hard man...but he wasn’t consistently hard. He could actually be quite reasonable’.
Three Visitation Reports revealed that Br Eriq had failed to heed warnings about excessive punishments. There was no reason to believe that moving him to another school would have had any effect on his violent outbursts. A Brother with a known propensity for violent behaviour should not have been sent to another industrial school where he could inflict such punishment on other children. Documented cases of physical abuse: Br Marceau
The letter warning Br Beaufort about his temper was sent to him less than three months later. Notwithstanding that warning, his temper was again mentioned by the Visitor less than six months later. The Visitor referred to him as having at times ‘an uncontrolled temper’. The Visitor also noted that both he and Br Eriq (mentioned above) had been warned of the ‘possible evil consequences to the reputation of the school and to themselves personally’. Both had expressed regret about their behaviour.