Nazareth House, Glasgow

Nazareth House, Glasgow


FOR four decades, David Murphy systematically violated the children in his care in the most degrading and callous fashion.

Murphy, 69, admitted abusing 30 boys at St Margaret’s children’s home in Elie, Fife, and will be sentenced tomorrow.

He was allowed to prey on boys because the establishment – churches, schools and police – turned a blind eye.

The tragic truth, according to Scotland’s leading childcare expert, is that Murphy is not the exception – he is the rule.

According to Professor Kathleen Marshall, who led the inquiry into one of Scotland’s worst scandals, nothing has changed.

Yesterday, Sandy Reid, 43, who exposed the abuse scandal at St Margaret’s, Elie, and sparked the police investigation which led to David Murphy’s conviction, claimed he had also been abused at another two Fife homes – Greenbanks in Leven and Ovenstone, near Pittenweem – 30 years ago.

The Sunday Mail has obtained a confidential report which shows Fife Council were made aware of the allegations in January, 1999. The council have passed Sandy’s compensation claim to its insurers.

Sandy said: “I’m pleased Murphy has finally been brought to justice for the things he did to me and the other boys at St Margaret’s. The abuse I suffered was absolutely horrific.

“But Murphy wasn’t the only one who abused me. The other people should also be made to pay. It wasn’t just one bad apple.

“There were a lot of child abusers looking after kids in Fife during the 1960s and ’70s.”

The council is already facing dozens of potential damages claims from former residents of St Margaret’s. They have passed on Sandy’s complaints to Fife Police.

Professor Kathleen Marshall fears thousands of children have been abused over decades because the care home system was a haven for paedo-philes. And the authorities failed to investigate claims of sickening and widespread abuse because no one wanted to know.

More than 800 cases against institutions are now in limbo because of legal red tape and indifference.

Yesterday, Professor Marshall called on the churches and children’s organisations which ran homes where children suffered to acknowledge their failures.

She spoke out after the Scottish Executive indicated that a Children’s Commissioner will be appointed to protect the country’s most vulnerable youngsters.

Talking about the difficulty in uncovering the facts, she warned: “Taking a defensive posture won’t help anyone. There must be much more openness about what happened in the past. There needs to be more openness in terms of information and access to records.”

Kathleen, based at Glasgow University, was the driving force behind a report on horrific abuse at three Edinburgh homes.

The probe came after “child carers” Gordon Knott and Brian Maclennan were jailed for abusing kids in the ’70s and ’80s.

Professor Marshall now claims those cases were only the tip of the iceberg. She believes abuse went undetected in Scotland’s residential schools, orphanages and care homes for decades .

She said: “Sadly, there was such a huge lack of awareness, because nobody was there to investigate and there was a strong resistance to believe what these children were saying.

“It only takes one or two persons with evil intent to exploit that situation and we can see how this has all happened. In those days, there was no understanding of the compulsive nature of the paedophile.

“This is not simply a problem for Scotland. History has shown abuse occurred in Ireland, Wales and England, too.

“This is an example of how it’s too easy to ignore troublesome children or people. They are labelled and discriminated against. Some children would have tried to speak out, but the process would have been so intimidating, many would simply give up.

“In one case we investigated in Edinburgh, a boy told how he was encouraged to back down after he complained. The abuse started again that night. We desperately need to change the way we respond to such allegations.

“Because there is a huge fear of being associated with such allegations, good, caring people are being frightened off.”

Professor Marshall is fully behind the move to have an Independent Commissioner for Children, with powers to investigate past abuse as well as present-day problems.

She warned: “Setting aside the claims of victims of the past is simply saying they are only out for the compensation money. It’s shocking, but it’s something we hear time and time again.”

Her call comes after Scots lawyer Cameron Fyfe announced 800 victims were yet to be told if they were to get Legal Aid to fund their bids for compensation. The civil actions mainly involve Catholic schools and homes, run by the De La Salle Brothers, Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

It is estimated that the Catholic Church in Scotland faces a legal battle that could cost upwards of pounds 20million. The Church has yet to apologise to any of the victims involved.

It is still reeling after the recent conviction of Sister Alphonso, real name Marie Docherty, for cruelty against children at homes run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.

Cameron Fyfe says he has been severely hampered over the progress of around 800 civil actions involving abuse because of hold-ups by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

He said yesterday: “We have been waiting for months and still no further funds have been forthcoming.

“Hundreds have been so badly traumatised, they desperately need counselling and psychological help. Their lives have been ruined. And so have the lives of their families.

“Many of them haven’t even been able to enjoy a happy, loving relationship with their own children because of the horrific abuse they were subjected to while in care.

Beasts at work all over Scotland



Last year, Peter Blaney, 54, was jailed for six years for sexually abusing two brothers at the home 30 years ago.


Evil nun Sister Alphonso was found guilty on four counts of cruelty to children in her care, over 35 years. Victims were beaten and force-fed.


Hundreds of former residents have come forward with claims of horrific abuse in the home, run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth. The religious order is worth pounds 154million.



Former residents claim they were beaten, force-fed and made to wear soiled underwear on their heads. They claim they were scrubbed with strong disinfectant until their flesh bled and burned.


The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul are being sued by former residents, who claim they suffered beatings and force-feeding.


The Daughters of Charity also ran Bellevue, which has since closed. There are allegations of beatings and force-feeding.


Former residents of the List D school claim they were subjected to electric shock punishments in home-made torture chambers, were beaten with whips and sticks and forced to eat their own vomit.


Police are interviewing former residents of the List D school who claim they were physically abused there more than 30 years ago.


A former cook at the school, Bill Franks, 68, was jailed for three and a half years for the rape of two young boys at the school between 1979 and 1982. Both his victims tried to kill themselves in despair.


Paedophiles Gordon Knott, 47, and Brian Maclennan, 55, were jailed for a total of 27 years in 1999 for a horrendous catalogue of abuse against children in their care during the 1970s and ’80s.


David Murphy, 69, has been warned to expect a jail sentence after admitting 30 offences against boys in his care at the local authority home, dating back 40 years.



Evil careworker Iain MacDonald, 42, was jailed for 18 years in 1996 after subjecting a wheelchair-bound boy to vile sexual abuse for three years at the Leonard Cheshire home.

Sunday Mail Glasgow, 25/02/01

17 responses to “Nazareth House, Glasgow

  1. Hi This is my wife now aged 45 still in trauma no compensation as the cica and the
    procurator fiscals office have lost records destroyed them or being very unhelpful and data protection mad.

    Justice will be served via the internet.

    Email me if you have been in Nazareth House cardonald Glasgow between 1975 and 1985.

    Media Solicitors please get in contact.

  2. Mags lynch

    I was in Nazareth house in the 70s and it is a memory I will never forget,nuns I’m sorry to say I hate them I used to be scared of them but I no myself I’m better than them I would like to see if the nun that used to beat me would face me now I would rip her head of its over 30 yrs ago and I can still remember it and me only a tony little girl,it’s hard to talk about it I got so much torture my skin used to get scrubbed with disinfectant because I was dirty and I was lucky that I had some hair left I was there with my 2 sisters and my baby brother I can’t remember every detail but I remember enough

    • Linda Nolan

      Me too mags , after nearly 10 years in there from late 70s think every child who was in there suffered damage a lot of damage done to small kids , by people who are meant to be good .. I hate the Catholic Church evil nuns and priests and some staff time they were held responsible for how they treated all of us . I have recently just found the enquirey statements on line and been reading them , all 3 homes in Scotland run by nuns all the stories them poor poor kids what they went through , but the statements are all of similar abuse in all the homes bloody sickening . It brought back so many memories reading them things that have been buried deep for years . I am lucky I was only abused once a punch from a nun evil bitch , my big sis saw to her though ..- poor sisters of Nazareth used to drag which unlucky child had been naughty that day and take them begging outside marks and Spencer’s all the way along a very busy argyle street to stand with collection cans on a busy Saturday afternoon .. I will never forget that as it was normally me the unlucky one who had been a bad girl ..was that your surname in the convent mags ?

  3. marian

    I am looking for Rose Angel who lived at Nazareth House Kilmarnock Rose is my sister but doesnt know it as she would be told she was an only child Rose was born in September 1944 and was left on the steps of a Catholic Church in Glasgow by our mother. I have been searching for Rose for 20 years now. Can anyone help us get together. My birth name was Elizabeth Angel.

  4. isabel andrews

    i was in nazareth house cardonald from 1965 – 1976 with my two sisters why does this include people from my era

  5. Paula

    A was a abused by sister Gerard more people have come forward CID CANE TO TALK TO NE ABOUT IT THAT Ws in 1982 lawyer didn’t want to take the case further but my life is destroyed because of this evil women whom is still alive and is a mother but what she did to me abd others has destroyed me

  6. Paula

    A was mentally and phi ally abused by sister Gerard nazareth house cardonald

  7. Pingback: Scottish Paedophilia: Institutions, Care Homes, Schools & Paedo Rings – WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE??

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  9. Pingback: Nazareth House, Glasgow – freshstartfoundation

  10. FreshStartFoundation

    Everyone joanne my wife wants to share thoughts and ideas pls email her she remembers sister gerrard as well and staff member kay adams

    • Linda Nolan

      I was in Gerard’s group to , my name is linda Nolan I was at 1st in sister joachims group in the late 70s , with my big sister Brenda Nolan can you ask your wife to contact me

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  12. Margaret ward

    I would like to know if there any help for the survivers that was in nazareth house in Middlesbrough north east of England. I and my siblings were there from 1965 to the 70s.

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