The Archbishop of the area sent for Br Tyeis,15 the Superior of Br Dacian’s Community, and told him that he had received a formal complaint that Br Dacian was interfering sexually with a boy in the School. The prelate gave the boy’s Christian name but said that he could not remember the surname. The Superior undertook to investigate the matter.
Br Tyeis did not have enough information so he telephoned the Archbishop’s secretary for more details. The boy was Tom Murphy,16 a first year pupil in the secondary school, and his parents had gone some days previously to the Vice-Principal of the primary school to report what had happened. He sent them to the school chaplain because, as he later explained, he was too shocked by the allegations to do anything about them. The chaplain was unavailable so they spoke to another Curate, who in turn referred them to the Archbishop’s secretary. They made their complaint to him that Br Dacian was sexually interfering with their son and that they believed that Br Dacian had also interfered with other boys whom they named.
The Superior, Br Tyeis, now had the details of the complaint against Br Dacian. He went to him on the same day as he had met the Archbishop and spoken to the secretary. Br Dacian admitted that he had interfered with Tom Murphy and said that ‘the relationship’ had been going on for two years.
Br Tyeis spoke to the Vice-Principal, who confirmed the parents’ visit to him at his home on the previous Sunday. Br Tyeis met the Provincial, Br Travis,17 and reported what had happened.
Br Tyeis met the parents shortly afterwards in the Brothers’ residence. Mr Murphy was angry, and he and his wife were seeking an apology in writing from Br Dacian. They did not propose to take legal action because they feared that the publicity would not be good for their son. They were unclear as to the details of the abuse but they suspected that anal intercourse might have taken place.
The Provincial did not meet the Murphys until some five weeks after the matter was originally reported. At this meeting with the Provincial, Br Travis, and the Superior, Br Tyeis, Mr Murphy complained about the delay, and expressed his annoyance at Br Travis’s failure to contact them. He had found it very hard to get the Provincial’s phone number. Br Travis explained that the Provincial headquarters in Marino was undergoing major renovations, which was why they had got no response from someone who could help them. He then explained that he himself had not contacted them because he had been told that Mr Murphy had stated that he did not trust the Brothers and was certain that they would want to cover up for Br Dacian and do nothing about the allegations.
Two days later, Mr Murphy had another conversation with Br Tyeis, at which he reported information that he had received from a friend in Dublin, that there was a serious complaint about Br Dacian’s involvement with a boy at a primary school where the Brother had previously been Principal. He also referred to other suspicions. The Superior elicited from Mr Murphy his evaluation of the meeting two days previously. Mr Murphy repeated that he did not want to make a formal complaint to the Gardaí. The Superior emphasised that the Brothers wished justice to be done for both Tom and Br Dacian, and that there would not be a cover-up. He commented that the investigations would take time to complete. Mr Murphy asked whether Br Dacian would be back in the School and the Superior replied that, while it was not for him to say, ‘Given the serious nature of the rumours and allegations I didn’t think that the Provincial would ask him to return’. Again, the Superior withheld the information about Br Dacian’s admissions, and treated the case as involving ‘rumours and allegations’.
The Superior recorded his general observations. He thought it was obvious that the Murphys were being tutored, but not necessarily by legal people. He claimed to have detected anxiety on the Murphys’ part about the possible revelations that might emerge from the investigations. He wondered whether a desire to claim monetary compensation might explain Mr Murphy’s unwillingness to press charges. He recommended that communities and individual Brothers in them where Br Dacian had taught should be instructed not to comment on this matter in any way. This recommendation showed that Br Tyeis was aware of how a proper investigation should proceed, namely by inquiry in the schools where Br Dacian had worked previously.
Br Tyeis had a later meeting on the same day with the Gardaí who were endeavouring to investigate, notwithstanding the reluctance of the Murphys to press formal charges. They gave him a report of the progress of their investigation, which he noted and supplied to the Provincial.