A former director at the juvenile justice facility at which Edward Bryan worked for 15 years has called for the publication of the full report into how allegations made against the former Christian Brother were handled.
Bryan, 67, and with an address in Achill in County Mayo, was jailed a fortnight ago after pleading guilty to the indecent assault of a 14-year-old boy while he was teaching at Cork’’s North Monastery Secondary School almost 40 years ago. It was the third time he had been convicted of historic sexual assaults involving a number of young males while he was teaching there.
From 1994 to 2010 he worked at the Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre, initially as a teacher but later as a Deputy Director. The Irish Examiner revealed on Monday that an unpublished report, commissioned by the Department of Children and the Irish Youth Justice Service, raised concerns over how allegations against Bryan while at Finglas were handled.
A summary of the full report, written by child welfare expert Kieran McGrath, indicates that Bryan was suspended twice while in Finglas, and on both occasions responded through legal actions — first against the board of management and Department of Education, and subsequently against the HSE.
Mr McGrath’’s refers to a "catalogue of concerns" about Bryan while he worked at Finglas, as well as "micro-management" of the case by the Department of Education, and a "plethora of delays" throughout the case which contributed to it getting "bogged down in a series of legalities that ultimately were both counter-productive and extremely costly to the State".
In light of the story, Tony Keating, a former director of the Finglas Centre and now a senior lecturer in forensic criminology at a British university, said that the full report should now be published:
"I would say that — why not? What is to hide?"
Mr Keating said he also received a summary of the report in 2015 in which then Children’’s Minister, James Reilly, said the findings had been disseminated to inform staff induction and training. Mr Keating also worked in Finglas from 1994, in the remand unit in St Michael’’s, while Mr Bryan was in St Laurence’’s. He said despite the close proximity of the buildings, there was little overlap.
However, when Mr Keating was appointed acting director of the facility around 20 years ago, he said other staff members began raising concerns about Bryan’’s conduct, such as providing boys detained there with inappropriate magazines, cigarettes and sweets. "I advised him of the inappropriateness of that behaviour," he said.
Mr Keating said that once he was appointed director he made these and other concerns known to the Department of Education and advised Bryan to only be in the building during office hours. However, he said he then saw CCTV footage of Bryan in the building late at night.
Mr Keating said he again notified the Department of his concerns, ahead of what was Bryan’’s first suspension. On taking up an academic position, Mr Keating told the Department he was "deeply concerned" on hearing that Mr Bryan might be returning to the centre.
In response to questions from the Irish Examiner the Department said: “The Department of Children and Youth Affairs does not comment on individual cases."