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Letter from David Whelan to Walter Smith, Chairman Former Boys and Girls Association Quarriers, 22/03/2004

From: David Whelan
To: Mr Walter Smith
Date: 22/03/2004

Private and Confidential

Dear Walter

Thank you for your call Saturday 20th March 2004 and allowing me to respond.

As discussed a number of former boys and girls have asked me to contact you as they wish to re engage with Quarriers through the Former Boys & Girls Association.

These former residents have been the victims of abuse both sexual and physical during their time in Quarriers by former houseparents.

A number of former employees have been sent to prison recently, (McBearty, Nicholson, Porteous & Wilson).

Porteous and Wilson are the husband and brother of a committee member Mrs Helen Porteous.

Mrs H Porteous has continued to attack victims in the media even after the Appeal Court decision that the convictions should stand. The Law Lords even commented on the severity of the crimes committed by her husband.

I am led to believe from others who are currently members and have attended functions & meetings that the association have held that Mrs Porteous has used her position within the former Boys and Girls association to undermine the credibility and the truthfulness of the victims all former residents at Quarriers.

I also understand that Mrs Porteous is responsible for cottage eight where former residents are allowed to stay if they wish during their visits to Quarriers.

I am also led to believe that Mrs Porteous has opened mail which was not addressed to her but sent to you at cottage eight as confirmed in our conversation on Saturday. I accept that you believe that is a personal issue between you and Mrs Porteous. But you cannot separate the issue from your role as chairman.

I would not have been aware of this had it not been for the fact that I had mentioned to a member of the association that I was going to write to you in confidence. This is why you have advised me to write to your home address.

You as Chairman of the Former Boys and Girls Association have a duty that any role undertaken by any committee member does not bring the association into disrepute.

I accept that as it currently stands Mrs Porteous has not been convicted of any crime but by her very close association with two of the accused incarcerated, her role and her actions since their incarceration must surely be incompatible with the aims of the former boys and girls association.

You cannot split the current role of Mrs Porteous within the association and the actions she has undertaken within that role.

It places victims in an impossible position who wish to re-engage with the former boys and girls association and I believe there is a conflict of interest due to her involvement in these cases.

I understand that you will seek counsel and advice from Mr Phil Robinson the Chief Executive of Quarriers which as I understand it have donated the use of cottage eight to the association.

The victims who have asked me to contact you wish to come back to visit Quarriers and relive the good and bad experiences with other former residents who alone understand what it means to have been in-care in an institution such as Quarriers.

I am aware that Quarriers have an aftercare social worker Pam Barr but this may not be the route for some of the former residents due in part to the reasons given above.

Some of these former residents need some forms of support also which the association may be able to give.

I personally as it stands currently do not wish to have any involvement with the association but may feel able to do so in the future and would like to thank you for the invitation to do so to me.

I would of course be grateful if you would send me any literature re the association which I can pass on and a copy of your constitution.

For reasons of confidentiality I would insist and ask that my address is not passed on to anyone.

Yours Sincerely

David Whelan

Why did the Association's representatives deny that its past Vice Chair was Pearl Allison in 1982 when asked, and that others were members also who were involved in this campaign of intimidation against the victims!

How many from the Association attended the meeting in Sommerville Weir Hall filmed by Frontline Scotland in support of a convicted paedophile?

David was asked to engage and represent those from the court cases and others affected by these issues.

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