Extra.ie [Dublin, Ireland]
March 27, 2021
By Aoibhin Bryant
[Photo above: Fr. Joseph Marmion SJ. A victim of Fr Joseph Marmion has claimed that Belvedere College was aware of the abuse by the late priest before 1977. Pic: Courtesy of RTÉ. This article includes video: Ian Ackley, the leader of a support service for survivors of historic abuse throughout football, hopes it can bring an unreported “pandemic” in wider society into the spotlight. He was abused as a child by convicted paedophile Barry Bennell and is now overseeing the Survivors of Abuse (SA) service which is co-funded by the PFA Charity and the Football Association.]
A victim of Fr Joseph Marmion has claimed that Belvedere College was aware of the abuse by the late priest before 1977.
This week, the Jesuit Order named a former priest who taught at Dublin’s Belvedere College as a man who abused several boys ‘sexually, emotionally and physically.
In a statement, the order confirmed that the late Fr Joseph Marmion is now being examined for possible other abuse at other schools where he worked — Cresent College in Limerick and Clongowes Wood College in Kildare.
Joseph Marmion was removed from the staff in Belvedere with effect from the end of the academic year in 1977/1978.
Luke was a student at Belvedere College in the 70s and was abused by Fr Marmion at 12 years old.
In a harrowing interview with Joe Duffy on RTE’s Liveline, Luke opened up about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the priest in 1973.
‘I remember being brought into the room and there was a towel on the bench and a towel on the floor. He’d ask you to take your clothes off.,’ he
‘You’d take your clothes off and innocently thinking that all that was happening here was that I was trying out a costume. He would pull on a pair of tights on you. I remember him, running his hand up your leg onto your bottom while he’s pulling up these tights.
‘Then he would disappear behind a screen and then he would come back.
‘It never occurred to me until recently what he was up to behind the screen. All I remember was being so uncomfortable about the position I was in.’
Luke has maintained that the school was aware of Fr Marmion’s abuse before his dismissal in 1978.
‘What prompted me to talk to you was reading the statement that was made by Jesuits and they said that it was only brought to their attention in 1977. That is an untruth because I was asked by a priest in there around 1974 what was happening in that building,’ he claimed.
‘I’m pretty sure, it probably was a vague description because it was embarrassing but there was an awareness of what was going on. They cannot deny that.’
He also said he probably did not have a complete understanding but the conversation was initiated by the priest.
Luke said that other priests and teachers were ‘cowering before him’ and that many feared him, not just the students.
‘The Jesuits prided themselves on having the best priests, the most intelligent priests, but yet at the end of training they had a problem with what was right and what was wrong.’
If you have concerns about a child in danger, get in touch with your local social welfare office or An Garda Siochana
Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact Dublin’s Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888.
Anyone with information on this case can contact the Gardai, Tusla or contact the Jesuits Safeguarding Office who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.