Friday, April 19, 1996

Letterfrack abuse claims investigated

Letterfrack abuse claims investigated

GARDAI have started interviewing 300 former pupils of Letterfrack Industrial School in Connemara, after three complaints of sexual and physical abuse against Christian Brothers staff.

The interviews, including many to be carried out abroad, would take up to a year to compile before a file could be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Insp Martin Lee, of Salthill Garda station, said yesterday.

It is understood the complaints cover a 10 year period before the school closed in 1975. Letterfrack accommodated boys aged between six and 16 who were orphaned, abandoned, from broken homes or were young offenders.

Insp Lee confirmed that two former residents living in Ireland and one in Britain had made statements to gardai alleging both physical and sexual abuse. The statements did not refer to any of the Brothers alleged to have committed similar offences at St Joseph's Special School in Salthill. In that case, 23 former residents have alleged physical and sexual abuse by staff. The DPP has yet to rule whether proceedings will be brought.

A majority of the former Letterfrack pupils are living in Dublin with a significant number in Britain, the inspector added. "Those who have already been interviewed and claim to have been abused were under 14 years at the time and now are in their 40s."


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