The garda (police) and state child protection organization Tusla are investigating an alleged sex assault in which a hockey stick was used on a 13-year-old boy in one of Ireland’s most expensive private schools. Eight students have been suspended from €16,000-a-year King’s Hospital school near Palmerstown, Co. Dublin, following the reported dormitory attack on the boy which has stunned all Ireland. The governors of the school met last Saturday to discuss why the assault wasn’t reported to the authorities for four days.  The governors said following their meeting they fully support the external investigations which have been launched into the matter.

The Irish Times, which was first to report the assault, said that as many as 15 pupils crowded into a four-bedroom dormitory when the incident took place. A garda investigation is now also trying to establish if any similar incidents had happened at the school in the past. Officers are expected to examine mobile phones belonging to the teenagers in the dormitory.  At least four phones are suspected of having recorded the attack.

Senior garda officers investigating the event said that while there would be a full inquiry, they were deeply concerned that the alleged attack wasn’t reported earlier.  They feared crucial forensic evidence that might have been available in the immediate aftermath of the crime could have been destroyed.

King’s Hospital is one of Ireland’s oldest Protestant schools, and there are two Church if Ireland bishops on the board of governors.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said in New York last weekend that he was concerned at allegations of a sexual assault and that the incident was not reported to gardai for four days.

“I’d be very upset if that allegation is true,” he said.

He noted that Ireland has very strong child security systems and children were protected under the Constitution and by Tusla.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said there was no doubt that the alleged incident was disturbing.  He said if there was need to review any element of Ireland’s child-care codes they would be reviewed in the light of findings into the King’s Hospital incident.

The King’s Hospital school in Dublin.