Brother Richard Doheny (real name John) was considered a “great man” by parishioners.
Following his death in 2009, David Bradbury of the Australian Labor Party posted a glowing tribute to Brother Richard on an online forum, stating “Brother Richard… will always be held in the highest esteem by those who knew him and served with him”.
“Brother Richard was a man of devotion and commitment. He was devoted to his God and committed to his sport and to shaping the minds of the young men he taught, coached and mentored,” Bradbury wrote.
But there’s a dark truth behind Brother Richard’s “commitment” to the boys he taught and coached at Patrician Brothers schools in the 1970s.
You won’t read about it online.
His crimes have been buried by the Catholic Church.
In this article, we aim to expose Brother Richard for what he really was.
Brother Richard’s history from Ireland to the Patrician Brothers in Sydney
He became a Patrician Brother in Ireland and was renamed “Brother Richard”.
In 1956, he came to Australia. He was 21-years-old at the time.
For the following 52 years of his life, he lived and worked at Patrician Brothers schools in Fairfield, Blacktown, and Granville until his death in 2009.
He was a teacher, rugby league, and cricket coach.
The sexual abuse of Year Five boys at Patrician Brothers Fairfield the media won’t tell you about
Recently, one of our clients came forward and told us about his experience at Patrician Brothers Fairfield in the 1970s.
Our client started at Patrician Brothers Fairfield in 1973. At the time, Catholic Church schools were co-ed up until Year Four. From Year Five to Year 12, the students were segregated.
When our client was in Year Five, his teacher was Brother Richard. According to our client, Brother Richard would fondle the penises of Year Five boys at the back of the classroom. It was through the pants. He didn’t place his hands under their clothes.
This happened twice to our client.
Brother Richard was also known for bringing his dog to class. No one dared to whisper in Brother Richard’s class – he had trained his dog to growl and bark if the boys whispered or turned around in class, where Brother Richard fondled boys and masturbated.
The boys were terrified of Brother Richard and his aggressive, ever-watching hound.
The horrors of camping with Brother Richard
There was once a retreat site near Campbelltown where the school would take the children for camping excursions.
One night, Brother Richard had the boys line up naked outside to use the bush shower. He was standing at the shower to soap up the boys and refill the shower bag with a hose.
Brother Richard poked fun at our client. He made our client line up three times for a shower so he could gawk at his naked form.
Some of the other boys had their genitals soaped up and fondled by Brother Richard. Our client was lucky enough to avoid this.
Our client was just a child when this happened. He managed to stay at the school for 10 months before he ran away and finished his schooling elsewhere.
Online outrage from former students after MP David Bradbury “praises” Brother Richard
As we said, you won’t read about it online. Not in the expected places like social media, news websites, and published police reports.
Instead, our client’s experience has been corroborated via an online forum called Open Australia. Following MP David Bradbury’s tribute to Brother Richard on the forum, countless former Patrician Brothers students have commented and recounted the sexual abuse Brother Richard and his “flea-ridden” dog inflicted when they were children.
Here are just a few comments backing up our client’s statement.
- “I find it so strange when I read such glorified and positive comments about Brother Richard. He was my school principal at Patrician Brothers Granville in 1985 and 1986. He was also my English teacher in Year Six. I found Brother Richard to be a brute of a man, always accompanied by his flea-ridden mutt who assaulted me and many other students on a regular basis with his rubber strap.
I remember living in absolute fear of him. I remember clearly being brutalised by him on many occasions – once for spelling the word “inclusive” incorrectly. I also remember him lining us all up naked in the group shower at school camp in 1985 and repeating over and over in his Irish accent “isn’t it beautiful boys.”
The man was a pig and I am so glad he has left this world. So whilst you glorify him, I detest him, his memory, and the evil actions he visited on us “boys”. What a hideous start to our lives and a detestable introduction to the Patrician Brothers” – Brandon 2010.
- “I, too, attended Patrician Brothers Granville during the mid-’80s. I can also confirm Brandon’s comments. Brother Richard was an evil predator of young boys. I remember that dirty unwashed dog of his in the classroom and his bag on the floor with porn in it.
He was the only person in my entire life that scared me to death. I, too, felt the sting of his rubber strap the first week at school for taking shelter in the corridor from the rain.
School camps horrified me. He would watch us shower and if he didn’t think we washed enough, he would reach in and wash us himself. I ended up swallowing detergent and burning my throat to get out of camp.
Playing handball before school, I broke his office window with the tennis ball. I passed out in fear – not for getting in trouble or breaking the window, but for Brother Richard. He grabbed me by the neck and kept me in his office all day. I missed all my classes.
That’s when, to my horror, I saw what he’d been doing to another student who rarely attended classes because he spent all day, every day in Brother Richard’s office. I was forced to sit in the corner of his office and watch him with his hands down this student’s pants while sitting on his lap. He ordered me to approach. If I had a knife, I would have cut my own throat.
I could go on, but I can’t stop shaking. I know for a fact there are others out there who are glad this evil monster is now burning in hell for his sins” – Carlos 2012.
- “I’m shocked at Bradbury’s insensitive ignorance. I can only imagine that he must be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Maybe Bradbury is suffering more than the rest of us. Maybe he is more affected – I cannot believe that there is even one person on this earth that would ever surrender a good word in regards to Richard. I also remember Richards’s cruelty and perversion. I remember going away on a school camp and having to stand bare naked in a field in front of Richard and some other men. I was only 10 years old (shame, shame, shame). Back in the classroom, I can still remember the Pixie with the Irish accent and his mongrel dog roaming the room. I remember his ugly screwed-up face getting excited as he paced the room repeating the phrase “it’s normal to have a stiffy boys, who’s got a stiffy?”. I remember these words as if it was only yesterday. I was terrified of Richard. I used to cut chunks of hair off my head. I tried to make myself look less appealing to him to avoid his attention. I still have some of these Year Five pictures of my hacked-up haircuts.Things got so bad for me that I jigged school for three months. When my mother found out about my absence, she went to the school to talk to Richard about my fear of going to his school and just then, by chance, she witnessed his dog biting a fellow student. She addressed the dog’s behaviour with Richard but he ignored her and my mother withdrew me from the school.When I read Carlos’ post about smashing Richard’s window, it brought back immediate fear. I felt the absolute fear Carlos must have felt at smashing Richard’s window. I once fell off the pathway into his garden and I got belted badly. If I had smashed his window, I would have run out of the playground and into an oncoming car. I would have killed myself. No way would I be facing him if I smashed his window” – Tony 2014.
We will not stand for paedophile priests who have not been punished – but we will stand for you
Brother Richard was never punished for the crimes he committed against young boys at Patrician Brothers schools throughout New South Wales. These issues were never addressed.
He wasn’t even given a slap on the wrist.
At Kelso Lawyers, we fight against paedophiles and offending institutions who used their power to abuse innocent children. While the damage cannot be undone, we strive to achieve some peace of mind and compensation on your behalf. We’ll make the offending institution pay for what they’ve done.