THE Christian Brothers have launched an extraordinary attack on the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, over his decision to publish a report on conditions at the Artane industrial school, compiled 45 years ago.
In an unprecedented public attack on an Archbishop by a religious order, the Brothers said they were "shocked and dismayed" at the decision of Dr Martin to release a 1962 Church report into the conditions at the school which is the subject of an inquiry by the Ryan Commission on Child Abuse.
The report, compiled by Artane's then chaplain, Fr Henry Moore, followed a request from his Archbishop, John Charles McQuaid, to conduct a "confidential survey" on the management of the Artane school.
His report dealt with a number of issues including general care, diet, clothing, discipline and education of the 450 boys who were resident at the school at the time. On the controversial issue of discipline, he wrote that while the boys were reasonably well fed, discipline was rigid and severe and "frequently approaches pure regimentation".
"Constant recourse to physical punishment breeds undue fear and anxiety. The personality of the boy is inevi-tably repressed, maladjusted and in some cases abnormal," he said in his report.
A follow-up special inspection to the chaplain's survey was made by two inspectors of the Department of Education and the medical inspector.
But it was Archbishop Martin's decision to make Fr Moore's report public following repeated requests from SOCA, the Survivors of Child Abuse organisation, that has raised the ire of the Christian Brothers.
In a lengthy statement, the Brothers said Dr Martin's decision to release the controversial 1962 survey was "unconscionable."
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