Belvedere College School, Dublin, has publicly named a Jesuit Priest, Father Joseph Marmion SJ, “who abused boys sexually emotionally and physically” during his time as a teacher at the School from 1969 until 1978.
The decision to name Joseph Marmion came following communication between the Jesuits and a former student of Belvedere College. The former student, who had been sexually and emotionally abused by Joseph Marmion, made contact with the Jesuits in early 2019. The former student was a student at the school in the 1970s, with the abuse taking place when he was 13. Father Leonard Maloney SJ, Provincial of the Order, met the former student who made it clear he believed others had been abused by Joseph Marmion and sought that the Priest’s name be made public “in order to reach as many former students as possible”
In a statement, on Tuesday 2nd of March, 2021, on behalf of the Jesuit Order, Fr. Maloney said he wished to “pay tribute to the man abused by Joseph Marmion who asked us to take this course of action. His request was made solely out of concern for others has been an example to us all”.
Information relating to the sexual abuse of students at Belvedere College had been brought to the attention of the school by concerned parents in 1977. As a result, Joseph Marmion was removed from the staff of Belvedere College at the end of the 1977/1978 academic year. Following this removal, “he then spent a year on sabbatical in Paris with the Jesuit Community Saint Francois Xavier. He was then assigned to the Gardiner Street Jesuit Community. In 1990 he was appointed Chaplin to St. Vincent’s Private Hospital”. In the statement Fr. Maloney stated “we recognise that these subsequent appointments should not have been made”
Fr. Maloney’s statement confirmed the Jesuits have been in touch over the years with other past students who had been abused by Joseph Marmion. Those students spoke of sexual abuse as well as physical and emotional bullying. The Jesuits have expressed hope that following the naming of Joseph Marmion other students who were abused will come forward and receive the support they need. Fr. Maloney expressed concern that “secrecy imposed by Joseph Marmion may still be preventing some victims and survivors from accessing help and support”. Fr. Maloney acknowledged ““This pain is held by those who were direct victims of harm and abuse, by their families and also by other students who were witnesses to this abuse and felt powerless and unable to do anything about it”
While the statement by Fr. Maloney related to the abuse that occurred in Belvedere College, he confirmed efforts will be made by the Jesuit Order to communicate information relating to Joseph Marmion’s abuse with former students of both Crescent College Limerick and Clongowes Wood College, where Joseph Marmion also taught. Joseph Marmion died in 2002.
All information regarding Joseph Marmion’s abuse has been shared with An Garda Siochána, Tusla and other relevant authorities.
Fr. Maloney said that “It is a matter of profound regret to me personally and to the Society of Jesuits that children were abused whilst in our care. We are truly sorry. Words are never enough”