Sex Education 1969 / 70, 1970 / 71 Add comments Apr 112012 Fr Virgil was the priest who would tell you the facts of life but somehow Ronnie Bennett got his oar in there. 30 Responses to “Sex Education” Conor McDonnell says: March 16, 2014 at 20:24 I am looking for anyone with information about Fr Ronald Bennett making it available for a music teacher from Dublin to take boys swimming in the pool while we were in study hall in the evening. I would also like to contact anybody who, like myself, was abused by Fr Ronnie and then treated to swimming time in the evenings. Reply Richie says: March 17, 2014 at 17:08 HI Conor, I know a number of people however they are not so keen to talk about it, I can ask if you like.You know he was jailed in 2006 for abusing 4 boys http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Bennett_%28priest%29 . I estimate the actual number to be closer to 300. He was secretary to the Leinster swimming association and there is a can of worms there no one wants to look at. I have tried to get the Past Pupils Union to help put people like yourself in touch and they refused, preferring to pretend it never happened, perhaps with your help, I would revisit it. When were you in Gormanston. I live in England my phone number is 44)7957560545 Richie Lanigan. Reply Conor McDonnell says: March 22, 2014 at 12:49 Richard, Thank you for the response. My own case was dealt with a few years ago and brought a lot of peace and healing to my life. I live in Dallas, TX and I am trying to assist a fellow Irishman who lives in the US also. He was not a student but was brought to Gormanston in the company of an adult music teacher who somehow had access to the pool in the evenings. This individual is denying the allegations. Somebody out there must know about the connection between this man and Ronnie B. This was not a coincidence I am sure. Sounds more like an organized ring of abusers and there was probably others involved. I am going to talk to my friend here to see if his abuser was also connected with the Leinster swimming association, maybe that was the front these perverts used. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I would be happy to help anybody else face up to these painful memories and start out on the path to healing and emotional freedom. Conor. Reply David Foreman says: May 3, 2016 at 01:03 Hi Richie I am also a past pupil of gormanstown and yes it was common knowledge what Bennett was getting up too but he was not the only priest we all avoid as much as possible and someone should asked past pupils was Bennett the only one abusing young boys Reply Richie says: May 3, 2016 at 22:32 Hi David, what year were you in. In 2007 a number of credible allegations were made against 5 priests. I had a number of meetings with the Past Pupils Union, that had no interest in going there to offer support to victims of Bennett or condemn the Franciscans for covering up the abuse. They were even reluctant to condemn Ronnie, I had to drag it out of Joe Wyse the then president of the PPU at the AGM at the Boyne Valley Hotel in 2009, they refused to make any of this public. Reply David says: May 4, 2016 at 13:53 Hi Richie, I cannot understand if credible allegations were made why weren’t they followed up by the police? We all know who they where and what they got up to, I left after three years because I knew it was a matter of time before they abused me. I got felt up on a regular basis and I am not talking about Bennett, and I check to see where he is now and he is still working in the community in Ireland and with access to children. David says: May 4, 2016 at 16:57 Hi Conor I was a boarder in Gormanston college and had encounters with Bennett and another priest in Gormanston college on a number of occasions but i am sure there was a lot more going on than we could have ever realized. They were very slick operators and let be honest did not always bother to hide it. One priest every time he seen me insisted on doing what called weight lifting exercises which consisted of him lifting me up squeezing me into his body and face then sliding me down his body over his fat belly and crotch and having a good feel on the way down. That was done in front of a crowd of boys waiting to go into the dinner hall. He regularly was in the toilets and our bed cubical just before lights out. Happy to talk to you any time if it helps. Reply Richie says: May 4, 2016 at 20:37 Sounds like Bob Bear? Bennett is now in the Franciscan house in Kiliney under “house arrest” John McMahon another past pupil he abused (he spoke publicly about it in the Irish Times in 2007) was allowed to confront him about it last. The extraordinary thing is Ronnie still does not see what he did was wrong, he is not allowed out into the community and is kept away from children. He is a sick bastard its the cover up that anoys me. The authorities were told about it in 74 and he continued to abuse up until the 90s because a number of them were at it. Past pupils of Gormanston are pillars of the community and they dont want it coming out that they knew what was going on. The Irish Times Journalist who covered the story when Ronnie was convicted, said I was the only past pupil who would go on the record and say we all knew what was happening when boys were called out over the public address system, my excuse was I was 11, i did tell people about it, but everybody though I was making it up to shock. he never went near me because he knew my mother was a left wing activist, and would have taken a pliers to him if he had. Reply Wayne Scales says: August 18, 2019 at 18:17 He currently lives in a Franciscan run nursing home on the Navan Rd in Dublin. He was interviewed by the guards last year in relation to new allegations of abuse. The Franciscans had to move him from Killiney due to media attention. Tusla can be contacted directly on 01 7718500 if anyone needs assistance in relation to Ronald Bennet. Assisi House is run by the 3rd Order of the Franciscans. They are a deeply secretive organisation made up of high profile business people. Reply Rebean says: September 27, 2020 at 20:26 Sorry to hear you were a victim of this priest. I remember him trying to get me and another boy to take a swim with no clothes on ( basically nude bathing ) . I remember feeling very uncomfortable. Thankfully nothing else happened. He would call people to his office and go through the facts of life which was a guise to groom those for subsequent abuse ( my reading of the situation). He didnt try it on with me though i was a shy introverted weak kid at the time. I hated Gormonston because of the bullying and slagging that went on and being away from home didnt suit me at that stage in life. I am a different individual these days and only wish i could meet one or two of the boys that made my life hell. I can guarantee you they wouldnt be looking at the same person they tormented years ago. God forgive me but I wouldnt like to imagine what i would do to these individuals. I have a long memory unfortunately and sometimes have very bad recollections of that school. Reply Richie says: March 22, 2014 at 23:02 Conor there may be some useful information in this book Deep Deception there is a whole chapter about Fr Ronald and his swimming links https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Deep+Deceptions++by+Justine+McCarthy&oq=deep+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j69i60j0l2j69i60.12733j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#q=Deep+Deceptions++by+Justine+McCarthy+ronald+bennett Reply Anna says: November 2, 2017 at 00:58 Until what year did Fr Bennett work in Gormanston? Reply Tom says: January 18, 2018 at 01:10 Hello Connor and Richie, I am a past pupil of Gormanston and a victim of Fr Ronald Bennett and others. I live in the US. I see you live in Dallas Connor and I would like to connect up with you regarding Bennett and Fr. Louis Brennan(Rector at the time I was there), who is still alive and in the Vatican. To date I have had no closure on my complaints and I understand that the present DPP, (a Claire Loftus), has an abysmal record of prosecuting these crimes. Either one of you can contact me at (480) 277 7580. Look forward to hearing from you, Tom Reply David says: February 1, 2018 at 23:18 I hate to think how many boys were abused in gormanstown college did any body escape, only Bennett was caught and the other abusers as usual sent to other parts of Ireland to continue abusing young children. It’s time the victims came together and exposed them all and maybe we can stop it happening to others. Reply David says: February 2, 2018 at 10:42 I would like to talk with anybody else who was abused by Fr Ronald Bennett maybe they could help me fill in the blanks as to what happened to me and advise on how to prosecute these priests. Reply Helen Shaw says: June 28, 2018 at 17:05 Hi does anyone know where Ronald Bennett is now ? The order say he is no longer living with them and is outside in the community. Reply david says: September 8, 2018 at 23:30 he was supposed to be under house arrest at their place in killiney Reply Wayne Scales says: August 18, 2019 at 18:11 He currently lives in a Franciscan run nursing home on the Navan Rd in Dublin. He was interviewed by the guards last year in relation to new allegations of abuse. The Franciscans had to move him from Killiney due to media attention. Tusla can be contacted directly on 01 7718500 if anyone needs assistance in relation to Ronald Bennet. Assisi House is run by the 3rd Order of the Franciscans. They are a deeply secretive organisation made up of high profile business people. Reply Michael Foley says: September 20, 2018 at 23:08 I was a pupil in Gormanston College 1965 – 1970 I knew Fr. Ronald Bennett well as he was Spiritual Sdvisor ( whatever that mans ) for my 5 years in the College ( I think ) Fr. Ronald was a friend to me and never was there an inkling of what manifested itself all those years later… I found him to be kind, gentle and courteous as were an the priests in the College. I am not for a moment suggesting that he is innocent of the charges against him but the mob now trying to brand other priests with such offences is maybe speculation rather than fact. For the record I did’nt particularly enjoy my schooldays but that was more my problem than the Administration. Gormanston College was a fine school.Michael Foley Reply michael FOLEY says: April 2, 2020 at 17:09 See Below Regards Mick Reply David foreman says: August 24, 2020 at 09:10 I am glad you had a happy experience in Gormanston, my experience was a living nightmare which has haunted me into my late fifties. There were some good priests but Bennett was not the only pervert and i am saying that from experience. Unfortunately it was a perfect breathing ground for men like Bennett. It was common knowledge what was going on and talk about daily what had gone on in Bennetts room the night before and how many hours they were in there for. We were to young to understand what was actually going on and it was easier to make a game of it to cope. Reply Wayne says: September 14, 2020 at 13:45 R Bennet currently lives in a 3rd Order Franciscan run nursing home on the Navan Rd, Dublin, called Assisi House. He was interviewed by the guards last year concerning new allegations of abuse. The Franciscans had to move him from Killiney due to media attention. Tusla can be contacted directly on 01 7718500 if anyone needs assistance concerning Ronald Bennet. The 3rd Order of the Franciscans runs Assisi House. They are a profoundly secretive organisation made up of high profile business people. Reply Rebean says: September 27, 2020 at 21:00 You are correct in your assessment that other priests were involved. i have heard of one other boy who was abused ( though i dont know what that entailed to be honest). I knew the priest in question and he would constantly have boys on his knees while he was feeling them. This was what was visible and i dont know what was going on behind closed doors. I havent seen any cases against the priest and i cant mention his name for obvious reasons. Reply Art McGann says: July 11, 2019 at 21:02 Hi Mick, we met in Singapore in ’84? When you were head prefect Ronnie was a positive contributor to the operation but the job of spiritual director was starting to corrupt him and he was talking about crazy shit like women’s underwear instead of spiritual guidance and they were phasing him out and bringing in a guy whose name I forget who returned from China. Ronnie was phased out of the role of teaching the facts of life to 12 year-old because the strain was showing. By the time I was in senior in 1974 he was a full blown pervert and everyone knew it. He was in charge of boy Scouts and alter boy training and was weedleing his way into the swimming world. Poor sad Bastard. We knew and he knew and they knew. Reply michael FOLEY says: April 2, 2020 at 17:08 Art, The comment was by the other Mick Foley (Tennis player ) from Duleek ! I’d agree with him except I had happy in Gormanston. ! I was unaware of any abuse in my time there Mick Foley 1966 to 1971! Reply Wayne Scales says: August 18, 2019 at 18:12 Ronald Bennet currently lives in a Franciscan run nursing home on the Navan Rd in Dublin. He was interviewed by the guards last year in relation to new allegations of abuse. The Franciscans had to move him from Killiney due to media attention. Tusla can be contacted directly on 01 7718500 if anyone needs assistance in relation to Ronald Bennet. Assisi House is run by the 3rd Order of the Franciscans. They are a deeply secretive organisation made up of high profile business people. Reply ciaran tierney says: March 2, 2020 at 16:22 my memory of gormanston is that the friars operated through prefect/bully/cowards where are they now? Reply Jackie Gray says: July 14, 2020 at 23:44 I was a summer student at Gormanston during the summer 1981 with the American Irish Away Program. There were approximately 100 students. The girls were housed in the area with little cubicials away from the boys! We had 4 American chaperones. All in all it was a fantastic summer. I was so fortunate to be able to be part of the program. However I do remember from time to time a priest walking through our dorm area unannounced at odd hours. There were two brothers that were on the program to from my same boarding school in Indiana and I know the older one would tell me that there was a creepy priest hanging around sometimes but never elaborated on it unfortunately he was killed several years ago so I can’t go back and ask him. All of this really makes me sick to think that the administration knew about it and swept the problem under the rug. I am deeply sorry for all of those victims Reply Wayne says: September 14, 2020 at 13:51 R Bennet currently lives in a 3rd Order Franciscan run nursing home on the Navan Rd, Dublin, called Assisi House. He was interviewed by the guards last year concerning new allegations of abuse. The Franciscans had to move him from Killiney due to media attention. Tusla can be contacted directly on 01 7718500 if anyone needs assistance concerning Ronald Bennet. The 3rd Order of the Franciscans runs Assisi House. They are a profoundly secretive organisation made up of high profile business people. Reply Sean O'Connell says: December 12, 2020 at 07:29 I was in Gormanston from 75 – 78, left after the Inter. At that time Sexy Ronnie’s (that’s what we called him, everyone knew he was dodgy) only job that I recall was running the sports shop in the basement. He would ask me to serve mass occasionally in one of the private chapels beside the main one. Always at some ungodly hour like 6.30 in the morning when the rest of the school was asleep. Afterwards he would ask me to go back to his room “for a little chat” when he would try and sit over you on the arm of the chair while telling you the facts of life, why cod pieces were required etc. Fortunately for me that was as far as it went. Can’t remember too many of the other priests being as sleazy, although “Tesht” would loudly wake us up in the morning requesting a certain boy “so he could feel his little bum”… Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your Comment You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> Name (required) E-mail (required) URI Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.