Niece of Blackrock College priest accused of sexually abusing pupils says she’s ‘ashamed’ as she apologises to his alleged victims

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent [Dublin, Ireland]

November 10, 2022

By Ciara O'Loughlin

The niece of Fr Aloysius Flood, who has been accused of sexually abusing young boys and girls, has apologised on his behalf.

Michelle Flood said she is “so ashamed” to be related to the Blackrock College priest who passed away in 2013. 

However, the 52-year-old told RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline listeners that she too was one of her uncle’s victims, and she even told her father about the abuse, but he didn’t believe her. 

“I am so ashamed that I am in any way related to Fr Flood and I want to apologise to everyone affected that he abused because they never got, those who did or didn’t get an apology they deserve one,” she said. 

“I thought I would bring his name to the grave, I never thought his name would come out.

“The church has protected his name for far too long and even when he died, his funeral was kept quiet and I think that’s because they knew the level of abuse that he had done.”

Ms Flood said her uncle was “very touchy-feely” and would “put his hands everywhere” whether that be in front of other people or in private. 

“Sometimes he would get away with doing it subtly in front of other people and other times I would be in bed and he would go to the bathroom and pretend he was there but then walk across the corridor and come into my room,” she said.

“He was the only brother of my father and my father never believed me that he was doing this.

“I reported it in 1997, around that date, to the guards in Galway in Millstreet and I told them that if it was investigated they would be opening a can of worms. I think it was common knowledge that he would have touched boys as well as girls.”

Stephen (61) told the programme on Tuesday that Fr Aloysius Flood abused him in 1968 while he was teaching at Willowpark junior school. 

The man, who did not wish to disclose his surname, said he was also abused by Fr Senan Corry and Fr Gerard Hannan while in the school. 

“The second year I was there, the abuse started; I was eight or nine at the time. It was probably one of those situations where you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. 

“The first time, we were playing and running around the pitches, and I slipped, and I ended up getting covered in head to foot in mud and a couple of my schoolmates were taking me up to the matron.

“On the way up there, we came across somebody by the name of Flood who said that he could sort me out, that he had a couple of spare uniforms in his office and a shower. I was nine, I didn’t know anything different, so I said ‘yeah, fine’, and went into his office.

“He helped me strip off, I got into the shower, he started cleaning me and that’s when he started massaging me between my legs. He put me on his knee to start helping me dry off and there again started feeling me all over, whispering in my ear and at the same time he had his hand in his pocket.

“I didn’t know what he was doing but I know what he was doing now, so that lasted for about half an hour, and I got dressed and I left. A couple of days later, he met me again and he said, ‘come in, I’ve got your old uniform here, you better take that one off and I’ll give you your proper one back’.

“It just started there again. A couple of times then he would get me in the playground and ask me would I run a message for him and when I got in to deliver something there was obviously nothing there to be delivered.”

Survivors of child sex abuse by members of the Spiritans – previously known as The Holy Ghost Order – have called for an independent inquiry as allegations against the order are growing. 

Several of these victims have spoken about the abuse on the radio in recent days. 

One woman told Liveline that she was abused by Fr Flood when she was 16 after her father asked her to deliver him a Christmas present in 1981 or 1982. 

“Aloysius took me to his room where we chatted for a while. After a bit, Flood asked me to lie on his bed and he then proceeded to take off my t-shirt and suck and fondle my breasts. He told me about his wet dreams. I felt really dirty and contaminated. I was 16,” she said. 

He then became friends with her parents, and he was even invited on family holidays. 

“He’d continue to ask my parents if he could take me for a drive, where he constantly told me he loved me and constantly groped me and told me to tell nobody,” she said. 

Neil Hogan spoke on the programme today, and said he was abused at the age of 12 by Fr Flood while he was student in Willowpark junior school. 

“Fr Flood was my science teacher. It’s like Michelle had mentioned earlier, he was quite tactile.

“And so I was the recipient of that in science class.

“So he always managed to find a way to move you down to the back of the class, where there’s an empty desk, and he had a habit of teaching from the back of the class.

“So he would teach while rubbing my hair and tugging up my shirt opening the collar, putting his hand on my back, and that went on.”

Mr Hogan said he doesn’t remember a science class where Fr Flood wouldn’t do this. 

A spokesperson for the Spiritans said it cannot comment on Mr Hogan’s account. 

In a statement issued to Independent.ie on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Spiritans said: “We do not at all dispute the accuracy of Stephen’s Liveline account in relation to Frs Corry, Flood and Hannan and we reiterate our sincerest apology and profound sorrow for the harm that he described, the pain and suffering that he outlined and the burden that he has carried for so many years.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/niece-of-blackrock-college-priest-accused-of-sexually-abusing-pupils-says-shes-ashamed-as-she-apologises-to-his-alleged-victims-42135001.html