The meeting was then joined by the local parish priest, Fr Curran.7 He had read Dr McCabe’s report. He attempted to make light of what had happened, asserting that ‘the happenings concerned were such as frequently occur in girls’ schools throughout the country’. The account of the meeting stated: We did not accept this view, and on Dr McCabe’s pointing out that a peculiar vicious aspect of Jacobs depravity was that he had entered upon his misdeeds with malice aforethought, Fr Curran admitted the heinousness of Jacobs offences, but continued to make light of the misconduct of the girls amongst themselves. It had become evident that Fr Curran’s stand was to prevail upon the Department not to take steps that would bring Jacobs into Court. On the Assistant Secretary enquiring further in this regard, Fr Curran stated plainly that he would appeal to the Dept not to take any measures with regard to Jacobs.
When the suggestion was made by the Department that the Bishop should be informed, Fr Curran was strongly opposed to this move, as his Lordship was old and deaf and the affair would upset him. He agreed to accept full responsibility for this decision, should the Bishop ever learn of the affair. He undertook also to interview Mr Jacobs and intimate to him that he was not yet out of the woods, and that everything would depend on his future conduct. He said he would, ‘Put the fear of God into Jacobs’.
The Department officials were impressed with Fr Curran: Fr Curran is obviously a very sensible and shrewd pastor and on consideration for his years we felt that a visit on our part to the Bishop was not called for. We agree also to recommend that no steps be taken towards a prosecution of Jacobs.