Sex Attack Brother Stabbed in Jail

By Conor Lally
One in Four [Ireland]
July 26, 2005

A former Marist Brother and teacher, jailed in March for eight years for 180 counts of indecent assault on six schoolboys, was recovering in hospital last night after his neck was slashed by a fellow inmate.

Christopher Cosgrove (62) of Ballyhaunis Road, Claremorris, Co Mayo, was attacked at Castlerea Prison, Co Roscommon, at 10.30am by a prisoner who had fashioned a weapon using a blade and another implement.

Cosgrove suffered a wound to his neck and was taken for treatment to Roscommon County Hospital. He received a number of stitches and was held for observation overnight.

Garda? were informed about the attack and visited the prison yesterday to interview eyewitnesses. The inmate who carried out the attack has been identified.

Prison sources said the attack on Cosgrove appeared to have been unprovoked.

A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said an investigation was under way and that the prison governor Dan Scannell would compile a report on the matter. Cosgrove's security would now be reviewed.

The spokesman said Castlerea was the only prison in the State where sex offenders were completely integrated into the wider prison population and despite yesterday's incident the system worked very well.

Cosgrove was sentenced at Sligo Circuit Court in March after being found guilty of child sex abuse. The boys, who were abused at St John's National School, Temple Street, Sligo, from 1968 to 1977, were aged from seven to 12 at the time.

Imposing sentence Judge Anthony Kennedy said the offences of the former Marist Brother had been planned and protracted against defenceless victims, knowing that their access to justice was impeded by him. He ordered that the former teacher's name be placed indefinitely on the sex offenders' register.

The court heard he had shown no remorse and continued to maintain his innocence. Judge Kennedy told Cosgrove, who left the Marist Order in 1982 and has since married, that he had no compassion or sympathy for the suffering and cruelty he had inflicted on the young boys.

Referring to the impact on Cosgrove's six victims, Judge Kennedy noted there had been suicide attempts, alcoholism, troubled relationships, an attempt by one man to change his identity, depression, stress and anxiety.