June 2005

Former Brother Jailed for Abuse 

A former Marist brother has been jailed for three years for sexually abusing two former pupils at St John’s National School in Co Sligo during the 1970s.

Known as Brother Agnellis, Peter White of Celbridge Abbey in Co Kildare pleaded guilty to eight sample charges of abusing the two boys who were aged between nine and 11 at the time.

At Sligo Circuit Court, Judge Miriam Reynolds said the torture perpetrated by White was unfathomable. 

She said the boys were subjected to serial abuse by White who would follow them out to the school toilets and abuse them.

White, now 74, also admitted to hanging children by their anoraks on a hook on the back of the classroom door.

He agreed he was over physical with the boys and described himself as a hard man at the time.

White is the third teacher from St John’s to be sentenced for indecently assaulting pupils. 

His trial was told that he had inflicted “unfathomable torture” on the two small boys entrusted to his care. White followed the boys into the school toilets where he indecently assaulted them. Trial judge Miriam Reynolds said that he had used his cunning and his position as a teacher to terrorise these children in the classroom, where they should have felt protected and safe.