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Jesuit Order names teacher who abused pupils at Belvedere College in the 1970s

Joseph Marmion was a teacher at Belvedere from 1969 until 1978. He died in 2000.

The outside of Belvedere College in Dublin.
The outside of Belvedere College in Dublin.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

THE JESUIT ORDER in Ireland has publicised the name of former teacher and priest Joseph Marmion who “sexually, emotionally and physically” abused pupils at Belvedere College in Dublin in the 1970s. 

The order said this follows engagement with a former pupil who was 13 when he was sexually and emotionally abused by the late priest. 

Joseph Marmion was a teacher at Belvedere from 1969 until 1978. He died in 2000, the order said. 

The Jesuit Order said they it has been contacted by other people who said they were abused by Marmion while they were young students. 

One former Belvedere College pupil reached out to the order in early 2019 about his experience.  

Fr Leonard Moloney has met with this survivor. He said the survivor wanted to “reach as many former students as possible” by making Marmion’s name public. 

“They have spoken of sexual abuse and physical and emotional bullying by him. We believe that the secrecy imposed by Joseph Marmion may still be preventing some victims and survivors from accessing help and support,” a statement from the Jesuits said. 

Fr Moloney said:  “This man also conveyed to me that he believed others who were abused may be helped by the recognition that they too were dreadfully harmed.

“We are acutely aware of the pain and distress that many have had to hold and continue to hold, years after the original experience.

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.

“It is a matter of profound regret to me personally and to the Society of Jesus that children were abused whilst in our care. We are truly sorry. Words are never enough.”

The order said disclosures of sexual abuse were received by the school from concerned parents in 1977. 

Marmion was then removed from Belvedere in 1978. 

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He spent a year on sabbatical in Paris with the Jesuit Community Saint Francois Xavier before being assigned to the Gardiner Street Jesuit Community.

In 1990, he was appointed chaplain to St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

“We recognise that these subsequent appointments should not have been made,” the Jesuit Order said today. 

Marmion also taught at Crescent College in Limerick and Clongowes Wood College in Kildare. The Jesuit Order said that “every effort” will be made to communicate this information about Marmion to former students at all of these schools. 

Fr Moloney said: “We have in the past apologised and invited victims and survivors of abuse by members of the Society to come forward and to seek help. We do so again today. These efforts must always be continuous.”

Anyone with information regarding abuse should contact gardaí, Tusla or the Jesuit Safeguarding Office on 089 2644400 or email safeguarding@jesuitlink.ie

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