Dublin Live [Dublin, Ireland]
July 27, 2021
By Aakanksha Surve
Fr Joseph Marmion had sexually, emotionally, and physically abused pupils
A former headmaster has admitted that allegations of schoolchildren being abused by a Jesuit priest at a Dublin school were not reported to gardai.
Fr Noel Barber, the former headmaster of Belvedere College, told a Jesuit-ordered inquiry that the claims of sexual abuse in the 1970s were not properly investigated.
Branding the cover-up as “shameful”, the Jesuits said last night they were “profoundly sorry for the terrible wrongs that were done to survivors”.
A draft report by the order reveals that a “credible” sexual abuse allegation against the late Fr Joseph Marmion was brought forth to the college authorities “in order that they would deal with it” in 1977.
In March, the order said that the late Fr Marimon, who died in 2000, had sexually, emotionally, and physically abused pupils while teaching at the school in the 70s.
Fr Barber told the inquiry that reporting the abuse to the gardai “did not arise in any conversation at the time”.
An extract of the draft report read by Joe Duffy on RTE Liveline also revealed that Fr Barber “believed he was acting in the interests of the institution in protecting it from scandal”.
The Jesuits said: “Decisions were made that should never have been made and decisions that should have been made were not.
“There are no excuses. We are profoundly sorry for the terrible wrongs that were done to survivors.”
They hoped that by fully acknowledging the role they played in allowing the abuse to happen and go on will “be the beginning of a new way for us of taking responsibility for our failings”.
Fr Marmion was removed from the Belvedere staff in 1978 after the school was contacted by a number of concerned parents the previous year.
He then spent a year on sabbatical in Paris with the Jesuit Community Saint François Xavier before bring assigned to the Gardiner Street Jesuit Community.
In 1990 he was appointed Chaplain to St. Vincent’s Private Hospital.