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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Victim killed own dad after teacher abuse, court told

1-19-2008 Ireland:

THE sentencing of a former Marist Brother heard evidence yesterday from a man who killed his own father in the belief that he had gained financially from his sexual abuse.

Paul Gordon (43) says he was sexually abused by three brothers at St John's Primary School in Sligo in the 1970s.

Yesterday, waiving his right to anonymity, he was the sole witness in the sentencing hearing of former Marist Brother Martin Meaney (65), who has pleaded guilty to five sample charges of indecently assaulting Mr Gordon when he was eight. He will be sentenced next week.

It emerged in evidence that Mr Gordon believed his alcoholic father was being paid money by another Marist Brother to get his son to present himself to be sexually abused.

In 1983, Mr Gordon was jailed for eight years for the manslaughter of his father -- and only after his release did the truth emerge.

His claims eventually spearheaded a garda investigation which has led to hundreds of past pupils being interviewed and of charges being brought against five former teachers.

Gda Det Sgt Dermot Flannery told the court that Mr Gordon had shown "courage and determination in exposing a dark chapter in the history of the school".

Formerly known as Brother Gregory, Meaney taught in St John's from 1970 to 1972. In December 1991 he pleaded guilty to eight sample charges out of a total of 109 charges of buggery, indecent assault, sexual assault and rape of six boys at a primary school in Castlerea where he subsequently taught and he was sentenced to 18 years in jail. This was later reduced to 12 years on appeal.

He now lives alone in a bedsit in Dublin. He was questioned by Sligo gardai while still in Arbour Hill and he admitted he had selected Mr Gordon for abuse. "He was a pasty-faced, weak little lad, pale and sickly and I felt sorry for him. I did feel for boys who were deprived. I did pick the weakest lad in Paul Gordon," he said.

The abuse took place in the classroom after school and when he took the child for music classes.

Mr Gordon made his initial complaint in 1995 but the DPP recommended no prosecution. However in 1999, the garda investigation team was set up.


In 1999 and again in 2001, retired teacher Michael Cunnane received suspended sentences for indecently assaulting eight boys.

In June 2005, Peter White (74), formerly Brother Agnellus, of Celbridge Abbey, Celbridge, Co Kildare, was sentenced to three years after pleading guilty to eight sample charges of indecent assault on two boys at the school.

In July 2005, a teacher at St John's National School, Sligo, Patrick Curran, was found guilty of indecently assaulting nine boys. He was sentenced to 12 years, since reduced to nine. ..more.. by Anita Guidera

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