At aged seven he was sent into the expensive English public school system by the charity of well-meaning people, following the death of his father during the First World War.
Harsh regimes were considered essential then. It was a terrible era in which life for ordinary folk was bleak and millions died in wars and concentration camps.
Subsequent witch-hunting of camp guards, soldiers or monks obscures the truth: it was the ruling elite who were chiefly responsible for instigating these terrible events and they are only too happy to whip up the witch-hunt.
As the Ryan report states, the Free State government devised the system, knew its nature and covered up. Since in our hereditary system of rulers (comically termed a republic) it was the fathers – and even grandfathers – of Messrs Cowen, Lenihan, Coughlan and many other TDs who were in power at the time, maybe it would be fairer to hold them to account rather than existing members of religious orders who are unconnected with the matter?