The Marist Brothers arrived in Glasgow in 1858. They established two schools.
During the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry the Chairwoman, Lady Smith found that children were exposed to risks of sexual, physical and psychological danger. It was also found that offences took place between 1950 and 1981. She stated that both schools run by the Marist Brothers had flawed systems that allowed abusers driven by sexual motives to have access to children in their care.
Former house master at St Columba’s, Peter Toner, known as Brother Peter, was jailed in 2019 for more than three years for sexually abusing five boys as well as assaulting a sixth. His abuse was so regular another teacher locked him in his room to stop him going near pupils. Following his conviction, it was revealed that Toner was serving a three and a half year prison sentence for sexually abusing two pupils when he worked at Old Windsor in Berkshire.
Lady Smith also identified Brother Germanus Paul as an abuser whilst at the school. He was at St Columba’s for two separate periods from 1957 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1980 and was described by one witness as the “sergeant major”. A spokesman for the Order told BBC Scotland “The Marist Brothers are deeply sorry for the pain and hurt caused to all those who were abused by Marist Brothers, and to others who were affected by the abuse”.
In 1998 former teacher Norman Bulloch was jailed for eight years for sex offences against two boys at St Joseph’s College. Bullock admitted sexually abusing a boy several times between August 1973 and June 1976 and committing indecent acts. He also admitted indecently assaulting another boy in November 1976 and sodomising him.