Marylands School abuse inquiry: ‘It’s about time’

Radio New Zealand

August 22, 2020

A victim of abuse at Marylands School in Christchurch says a new investigation is overdue but he hopes it will result in justice.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into abuse in state care has launched eight new investigations including one about the Christchurch school which was run by the Catholic religious order, the Hospitaller Brothers of St John of God, from the 1950s to 1984.

It will look into the nature and extent of abuse that occurred, why it happened and the impact it had on victims.

How the Catholic Church responded to the allegations will also be investigated.

Survivor Darryl Smith spent a year at the school in 1971 when he was seven years old.

“Everyone knew it was happening, the older boys would warn us to not go into certain rooms. It’s about time the school is being investigated.”

He wants people to be held accountable.

“As soon as the government found out this order was preying on little boys with special needs they should have stepped in. People were coming forward about abuse in the school in the 50s, long before I was even born.”

Smith said the order and church kept the abuse quiet and denied it for years.

“It’s time the order which I think are a pack of criminals are bought to justice. The church would investigate abuse allegations and then nothing would happen.”

Smith has written multiple books about the abuse he suffered in state care and travelled to the Vatican last year to meet with cardinals to discuss it.

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