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Brother Thomas Cuthbert Ford

Brother Thomas Cuthbert Ford

Former Damien High School Dean of Students

Convicted of beating abandoned children – Hidden in the United States – Admitted abuse

Brother Thomas Cuthbert Ford, a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States, was accused of violently beating five boys at Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland 1956-1959.

He was removed from Canada and sent to the United States to avoid allegations. In the US, he taught in an elementary school Newark, NJ, and other schools in the Northeast and Hawaii.

Ford was charged with nine counts of beating abandoned children in Canada in 1996 and fought extradition, hiding in the United States until 2000, when he pleaded guilty to savagely beating a child in a shower, which left the young teen unconscious. Ford was sentenced to five months in jail.

Victims and witnesses, who say that Ford walked the halls of the orphanage with a 3-inch leather strap, began complaining of the abuse as early as 1975. Ford admitted the abuse at his sentencing.

Ford was the 11th member of the Irish Christian Brothers religious order to be convicted of physically or sexually abusing boys at the now-closed Canadian Mount Cashel Orphanage from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Ford was dean of students in charge of discipline at Damien from 1972 to 1975, years after superiors knew he viciously beat children. He died in 2008.


Damien High School yearbooks (available at Honolulu Public Library)

Newark Star-Ledger:

Bergen County Record:

To date, the Irish Christian Brothers and the Diocese of Honolulu have not publicly disclosed that Ford worked at Damien. They have not reached out to victims, nor informed the community of Ford’s crimes.


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