Sr Viviana worked in Cappoquin at the same time as Mr Restin. He was a nurse and, to her recollection, had a lot to do with the boys. He drove a bus and brought children to the swimming pool. She said that, as a nurse, he would have taken care of their health. She did not recall him giving injections, but there was a room in Cappoquin that was called the surgery, and she often met him coming in and out of there. She said she was always uneasy about Mr Restin, although was not specific as to why: ‘There was something about the man that I didn’t tune in to’.
Sr Viviana was in charge of the group home known as Group Home B and said that she had had no concerns about Br Cosimo and the children until the issue was raised in public in 1996. In 1995 she had been interviewed by Sr Isabella in relation to the recollections of her time in Cappoquin. Sr Isabella kept notes of her interview and in those notes a suggestion was made that Sr Viviana had in fact some concerns about Br Cosimo at the time, enough concern to warrant her interviewing the boys and visiting Melleray Abbey to speak with a senior member of the community with whom she was friendly. When she was reminded about this she gave a vague account of what transpired. It appears that some time in 1974, one or more of the lay staff in the group home mentioned to her that the children were spending a bit of time with Br Cosimo and wondered if this was okay. She was satisfied that Sr Violetta and Sr Carina were happy but she agreed that the lay staff were uneasy about the boys going out. She said that when the concerns of the lay staff were expressed she had no sense of this having anything to do with sex. She interviewed the boys and talked about it and she said she personally felt there was nothing in it. The senior member of the community was a friend of hers and she used to talk to him. She remembered going to see him and expressing a concern that Br Cosimo was taking the boys and asked him what did he think. He told her that Br Cosimo was a ‘man’s man’ and she read nothing more into that other than that he was not very friendly with women. She said she thought no more about it. She does not recall when in 1974 this happened and had no recollection if there was any connection between her conversation and the visits of the boys being brought to an end in February 1975.
There was no proper assessment of Mount Melleray as an appropriate place to send children in care for weekend breaks. Staff in the institution were uneasy and expressed concerns about the visits. The way that Sr Viviana dealt with the staff unease about the visits showed her awareness of risk to the boys. The information that Br Cosimo was a ‘man’s man’ should not have given any reassurance. In the result, although she carried out some investigation by interviewing the boys and speaking to the Abbot, she did not properly assess the situation and remove the risk to the children that had clearly been identified. Sleeping arrangements were wholly unacceptable.