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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.



Conall says ‘there are hundreds, if not thousands, of broken souls out there’

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Conall and his brother Craig were both sexually abused at their preparatory school.

Craig recently died under tragic circumstances and Conall is determined to continue pushing for an investigation into the abuse.

Conall grew up in the 1960s. His parents worked away from home, so they sent their children to boarding school. From the age of eight to 11 years, he suffered repeated physical and sexual abuse by the headteacher. His brother was also abused by the same man, and another teacher. 

He describes the school as ‘a place of fear and loneliness’ where children were strictly controlled. 

The abuse began as soon as they arrived at the school. Conall relates that he was beaten, often naked, by the headteacher, who used heavy implements, including a cricket bat. The abuse by the headteacher also included sexual abuse. Conall didn’t tell anyone about this for fear of making things worse for himself. He adds that he did not recognise it as abuse at the time, but assumed it was ‘a normal form of discipline at a boarding school’. 

Conall says he did not spend much time with Craig when they were at school, and he didn’t know at the time that his brother was also being abused by the headteacher. 

The abuse ended after another boy who was being abused told his parents. A police investigation followed and Conall, his brother, and several more pupils were interviewed. 

The headteacher denied the offence and took his own life before the court case. Conall only discovered this when he saw it in a discarded newspaper. From then on, he says, nothing else was said to him about the matter again. He says that he and his brother wondered if they were responsible for the death of the headteacher. 

Conall’s behaviour deteriorated after this and he became more rebellious. He went to another school but found it difficult to settle in, describing it as ‘cold and without love or care for its pupils’. He thinks that because he was new to the school, no one noticed the disturbing change in his behaviour.

He has suffered pain and stress throughout his life. He has sought therapy through his GP but found the services offered unhelpful. 

Conall believes that failures by the police and others left a lot of boys vulnerable to continuing abuse. He is still struggling to obtain details of the investigation into abuse at his school.

He feels strongly that parents need to be aware that abuse happens in schools and should listen to children and be alert to problems. His experience has led him to believe that, too often, schools are likely to sweep anything under the carpet that might damage their image.

Conall hopes that sharing his experience with the Truth Project will help other victims and survivors.

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