PB February/March 2024 February/March 2024 21
t the Terenure College Past Pupils
dinner in 1995 the alumni were
anything from five to fifty years out
of the school: some still boyish;
some grizzled; a coterie of wizened
and grey.
There was a power cut.
In the dark some wag shouted: “Get yer hand
outa there Father!. Laughter ensued,
quietened down and suddenly morphed into a
football-cheer-like chant of: Paedophile,
Paedophile, Paedophile, (pause) Paedophile,
(rising in volume) PaeDO Phile… this was
repeated for maybe 20 seconds. Suddenly
power and light was restored and the brave
men in the dark became boys again and went
I looked up to the top table and saw Fathers
Madden and Weakliam and former rugby
svengali John McClean looking out, challenging
anyone to meet their practised steely gazes.
McClean, Madden,
ODonovan, Whitty
Carmelites under Troy and O’Neill have never
admitted Terenure colluded in widespread
paedophilia, with the abusers named above
facilitated by Fr David Weakliam (right)
By Paul Kennedy
Here’s the thing, all tables joined in and it
quickly became feral, it started as laughter but
became very dark, very quickly.
I arrived for the first time at the doors of
Terenure College in 1971 aged nine, and spent
the next two years in the primary school during
which time I was repeatedly sexually abused by
Fr Aidan O’Donovan, something I repressed with
vigour over the decades since, so much so that
although I had an automatic repulsion on the
mention of his name, in my subconscious I felt
the need to delete the memory of the abuse.
Through compassionate and astute therapy the
truth slowly came out and was later clearly
specified to me by a pal of mine who told me in
2022: “along with breaking my leg, my most
vivid childhood memory I have is seeing you
being abused by O’Donovan in front of me.
It was as if I had unlocked a door of memories
and I began to remember O’Donovan molesting
me at every chance, in particular reading
stories in class while sitting on his lap — being
chosen was considered by us young boys as
high praise indeed.
However, when on his lap in full view of the
class, he would insert his fingers up my anus
and also play with my genitals for however long
it pleased him as I continued to read. Inside the
openings in his habit he usually had his spare
hand on his own genitals masturbating and
frequently laughing. This happened over two
years, and at least 40 or 50 times. He always
seemed to have a large white handkerchief in
one trouser pocket on which he would publicly
wipe his hands and another in the opposite
pocket to blow his nose.
Often I would smear chalk on my genitals so
that his hands would reappear with chalk in the
vain hope that this would dissuade him. It
It’s strange how you remember certain things
more than others. I came home from the school
on at least four or five occasions without my
underpants as O’Donovan had made my anus
bleed and I threw them in the bin on the way
home so my Mom wouldn’t find out. She sat me
John McClen Denis Whitty Fr. Aidn O’Donovn