July 2017

Former Christian Brother repeatedly sexually abused Limerick school children

A former Christian Brother who repeatedly sexually abused Limerick school children during the 70s and 80s will be sentenced for his crimes later this month.

And, after he was remanded in custody to await sentence, the survivors of the abuse carried out by James (Seamus) Treacy told Limerick Circuit Court of how their lives were ruined by his reign of terror at a Limerick school.

The former Christian Brother, who is now 75 and living at Ashton Close, Swords, Co Dublin, rued his classroom through fear and sexual violence.

He was previously convicted for indecently assaulting eleven boys.

In May and June of this year, Treacy was found guilty at two separate trials of 17 counts of indecently assaulting four young boys. He had denied the charges.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told that one of the attacks started when Treacy caught two schoolboys smoking in the toilet.

Sending one of them back to the classroom, he pinned the other against a wall, shoved a bar of soap in his mouth and raped him after burning the boys testicles with a cigarette.

In other assaults, Treacy would roam the classroom randomly fondling boys as he used his cossack to cover his movements.

It also emerged during the trial that he would lick the boys ears and whisper “twisted things” to them if they forgot to wash.

State prosecutor John O’Sullivan told the court that Treacy assaulted the victims 47 times during the time he taught them in fourth class from 1978 to 1981.

Last week, some of the victims gave victim impact statements confronting Treacy with his crimes.

One victim said: “From the first day you saw fit to treat me like a piece of meat and a pawn in your sick fantasies, my family lost me. I lost myself. You destroyed my relationship with all my family because, as a ten-year-old, I believed you when you said it was my fault. I was dirty. It was God punishing me for smoking.

“You knew my mammy was ill and you used to frighten me into keeping your dirty, perverted secret. You told me that my mammy would die if I told anyone because it was my fault.

“I have a vivid memory of coming home from school and I saw an ambulance outside my house. I wet my pants in fear thinking that my mum had died and someone had found out that I had sinned like you said and knew what happened to me. I was a child. I believed if my mammy died it was going to be my fault.

“My mother died when I was 14.”

Other victims recalled how they felt cast out, estranged and would take the dark memories to their grave.

“I have no close friends and I have never trusted anyone. I am still afraid to sleep in the dark and I wet the bed until I was in my early 20s. I have thought about taking my own life over the years.”

For some, unburdening themselves to Gardaí when investigations into Treacy’s historical abuse started, was like a weight being lifted from them.

One man said he was able to tell his wife for the first time and that his recovery process began then. It still continues to this day, he revealed.

Others took to drowning their pain with drink and began abusing alcohol at a young age.

Remanding Treacy in custody until he considered an appropriate sentence, Judge O’Donnell said: “This is extremely emotive and the victim impact statements were extremely profound.”

Tracey will be sentenced on July 28.