Br Jose17 reported in June 1951 that the education of the boys was well managed, but warned the Brothers of the Community: ... of the heavy responsibility placed on their shoulders of training these boys to face the world. The spiritual, moral, educational and even industrial training should receive very careful planning and attention.
In May 1953, Br Jose recommended that the boys should receive regular instruction in ‘the civic and moral virtues’. The Provincial Report of the same year also recommended that a maid be employed in the Brothers’ kitchen instead of the boys. Further Provincial Reports of the same year complained that there were not sufficient boys in the workshops, despite the fact that half the total number of boys in the School were at the trades training age. In a Provincial Report the following year, it was recommended that all of the boys in 7th class be transferred into trades training classes.
The final Visitation Report in December 1958 by Br Jose continued to express concern at the condition of the School. He stated that, although the School was well conducted, ‘the discipline, supervision, food, and general training of the boys would need to be thoroughly investigated so as to devise methods to get the best results’. The School closed three months later.
The Provincial of the Congregation, Br Jose, carried out the annual Visitation between 14th and 16th June 1955, and the consequent Report was very positive about the School generally and Br Carlito in particular: As at the last Visitation I am pleased to note that the Constitutions are well observed and that there is a good spirit of fraternal charity ... The Superior neglects no opportunity to better the conditions under which the boys live, and together with his staff is devoted and zealous in the care of the boys in their spiritual and temporal welfare ... The affairs of the Brothers should not be discussed with the secular staff.
However, shortly after the Visitation, Br Jose received some disturbing news about immoral practices amongst the boys, which he outlined in his report to the General Council: Some days after the completion of this Visitation I got a report from a member of another Community that immoral practices were being carried on between the boys themselves. The information came originally from a Missionary priest (Fr. Brendan25 I think) who had been Spiritual Director for a time to the Legion of Mary Praesidium at the Industrial School. On being questioned about this, the Superior admitted that he was aware of the fact, having been informed by Fr. Brendan himself. He knew the names of the four or five boys concerned, had them all placed in Dormitories that they could not easily contact each other, and giving special instructions to the Night Watchman without giving him any information or naming any boys.
The matter was not finished here, however. The decision to close the School was initially made without consultation with the Bishop. The Superior General visited the bishop on 16th January 1959 to inform him of the fact that the Brothers intended closing the School and opening a Juniorate for aspiring Brothers. The Bishop sought expert opinion on canon law on the subject, and wrote the following letter to the Superior General: Dear Brother Jose, I got your letter of. Jan 29th and, in view of your having told me (a) that you had already made arrangements with the Department about closing down Greenmount as an Industrial School and (b) that my permission was not necessary for your doing this and using the building as an extension to your Juniorate, I took expert opinion in Canon Law. That opinion is that my permission is required by Canon 497. There is question of closing down an Industrial School and opening an additional Juniorate. Can. 497 allows only changes pertaining to the internal management, etc to be made without referring to the Ordinary, whereas arrangements about your Juniorate may be regarded as pertaining to the internum regimen, the change from or concerning the Industrial School cannot be regarded as an internal one. As well there is the possibility that it was precisely in order to have this school there that you got the foundation at Greenmount originally. In the circumstances, therefore, I have to inform you that Canon 497 has to be complied with and I have formally to register a protest at your having made arrangements with public authority to close down this schola or hospitium without first acquainting, much less having the permission of ecclesiastical authority; namely the Ordinarius Bishop of Cork. That I am quite agreeable to such change, when duly arranged, is another matter.