The Department became aware that Mr Jacob was supplying the information to the press. Following publication of these articles, officials from the Department of Education interviewed a number of staff at Marlborough House, including the Superintendent, Mr Carnoy, the matron, Mrs Grange, and Mr Jacob. In his interview, Mr Jacob admitted that he contacted Ms Sweetman and gave her access to the building, and he re-asserted his allegations that the boys were ill-treated by certain attendants. He was initially suspended from work, and then was sacked at the end of January 1971, following an internal Department investigation into complaints made against him.
In mid January 1971, the Superintendent of Marlborough House sent a report entitled ‘Report Re-Dismissal Mr Jacob. (Attendant)’ to the Department of Education, in which he detailed a number of complaints against Mr Jacob. He alleged that Mr Jacob, on one occasion, had ‘very little interest’ in the ‘safe custody’ of the boys and, on another occasion, he ‘reported for duty as rostered, he did not appear to be inclined to exercise control or work’.
It is clear from this report that the Superintendent had been asked to answer some questions from the Department of Education, and there is some sense of a little discomfort in the final paragraphs to his report: ... With reference to Mr Jacob’s report to the Press, I have no knowledge that he did same for financial gain, or that he did gain financially from it. Before, during and after Mr Jacob’s press report, he at no time threatened me with the press. I had no fault to find with Mr Jacob, as an Attendant here up to the time he gave the report to the press, from then on he fell below the required standard.
Mr Jacob was interviewed at the Department’s offices, at the end of January 1971, where the complaints about his performance contained in the Superintendent’s report to the Department were put to him. He denied each allegation and put his own version of events to the Department. He also asserted that ‘Since the incidents relating to the Press Mr Carnoy had subjected him to extreme pressure’. He offered to provide a number of witnesses to support his case, and asked that he be given the complaints in writing.
The dismissal of Mr Jacob sparked another round of newspaper articles, and it was even raised in the Dail. The Minister for Education stated that he ‘certainly was not dismissed because of the fact that he made allegations in relation to this home’, but was dismissed ‘because of unsatisfactory performance of his duties’.