December 2009

Christian brother jailed for abusing children

VICTIMS of child sexual abuse burst into applause in Limerick Circuit Court this afternoon as their abuser was handed down a two-year prison sentence for offences dating back over 40 years.

Sean Drummond, 61, a former Christian Brother who taught in Creagh Lane national school in Limerick, pleaded guilty this June to indecently assaulting 19 young boys in the late 1960s.

Mr Drummond, with an address in Broadford Drive, Ballinteer, Dublin, admitted to 36 separate charges of indecent assault on boys, all aged under 10 years, at Creagh Lane National School in Bridge Street, Limerick city.

The assaults on 18 males took place between July 1, 1967, and July 31, 1968, and a further offence was committed in 1969 at the File Luimnigh festival at a city theatre.

The children who he indecently assaulted later suffered from alcohol problems, drug-abuse, poor education, and emotional difficulties including problems with marriage and sexual relations, the court heard.

One student recalled how he was picked on by his classmates and called a “teacher’s pet” for the amount of times he was summoned to go behind Drummond’s desk where he was indecently assaulted.

Several victim impact statements were read out and some of the victims travelled from abroad to face their assailant.

One student said he didn’t receive a proper education as a result of the assaults and suffered difficulties later with reading and writing.

Some of the victims did not tell their wives or families of the abuse they suffered by Drummond until the garda investigation began in recent years.

The court heard the investigation started after two of Drummond’s victims met in 1999 and recalled the assaults they suffered. A formal complaint was made to gardai in 2002 and officers subsequently contacted a number of past pupils at the school.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said Mr Drummond was in a position of trust at the school but “broke this duty of trust.”

He outlined numerous mitigating factors in the case, including the plea of guilty, which he said was an acknowlegement of his behaviour to society in general and to the victims.

After imposing two 12 month sentences to run consecutively, adult survivors of this abuse and their families openly applauded in court. However, Judge Moran warned that this could amount to contempt of court.