De Le Salle Brothers, formerly known as the Institute of Brothers of the Christian Schools ran a number of institutions in Scotland.
They also ran institutions across the world, many of which have been the subject of allegations of abuse. During the Northern Ireland Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry, in 2014 De La Salle Brothers admitted to the abuse of two of their institutions in Northern Ireland. However, no such admissions have been made in relation to institutions in Scotland. They have also failed to contribute to the Scottish Redress Scheme notwithstanding numerous allegations of abuse have been made in respect of the institutions they ran in Scotland.
In 2016 Michael Murphy, known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, who worked at a number of the De La Salle Brothers institutes, was jailed for 7 years for abusing children in 1970s and 1980s when he worked at St Joseph’s School. In 2003 he was convicted of 10 assaults against children at the Gartmore Institute and was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Last year, the former Catholic Monk was convicted of a further 29 offences of assault, indecent assault and indecent conduct against children who were housed at St Ninians at Gartmore and St Joseph’s School. He was jailed for 7 years. Murphy handed out beatings and administered electric shocks as well as sexually abusing children. The latest convictions also included punching and kicking children, striking one boy with nettles, forcing a boy to put a bar of soap in his mouth and force feeding another until he was sick and then making him eat the vomit.
De La Salle Brothers were responsible for the following institutions in Scotland:-
St Josephs Tranent
St Joseph’s Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys was established in 1889. The running of the School was taken over by De La Salle Brothers in 1920. In 1933 it became an Approved School. The School closed in 1997.
St Ninians, Gartmore, Stirlingshire
In 1953 the Archdiocese of Glasgow established St Ninians and was run by De La Salle Brothers. The school was closed in 1982. The school took in boys who had committed petty offences or who were thought to be in need of care.
In 2003, former woodwork teacher, Charles McKenna was sentenced to two years in prison having been found guilty of three charges of sexual abuse between 1976 and 1981. However, McKenna was freed on bail in January 2004 to await the outcome of a challenge to his conviction. On appeal, the jail term previously imposed was reduced to 12 months and the Appeal Judge declared that because of the rules on early release, the six months he had already served was enough and McKenna walked free.
Jimmy McKinstry, a former night watchman and gardener at the school was jailed after being convicted of four counts of sexual abuse.
Kenmure St Mary’s Boys School Bishopbriggs
De La Salle took over Kenmure St Mary’s in 1916. In 1933 the establishment became an Approved School. It could accommodate 150 boys aged 7 – 13.
St Mungo’s Mauchline, Ayrshire
St Mungos was an approved school for up to 100 Roman Catholic boys run by the De La Salle Brothers. Its certification of operation was withdrawn at the end of 1956.
St John’s Boys School Shettleston
St John’s Truant Industrial School was established in 1905 and could accommodate up to 160 children between 10 – 14. In 1937 the school became an Approved School and adopted the name Springboig St John School and came under the management of the De La Salle Brothers, the headmaster in 1943 being Brother Michael. The school closed in 2010.