Gweedore sex abuse victims to sue

Two of the victims of Michael Ferry, the Gweedore man sentenced to 18 years’ prison for abusing young boys, are to sue both him and the owners of the school at which the abuse took place.

Two of the victims of Michael Ferry, the Gweedore man sentenced to 18 years’ prison for abusing young boys, are to sue both him and the owners of the school at which the abuse took place.

Patrick J Sweeney, a Dungloe-based solicitor, told The Sunday Business Post that he has been instructed to initiate civil proceedings in relation to the abuse.

He said he would seek damages on behalf of his clients from both Ferry as well as the owners of the school, as he continued to be hired by despite a being convicted of a sexual assault on a minor in 2002. That case of abuse, the paper said, took place in the 1980s.

After Ferry’s recent conviction for the sexual abuse of four young men between 1991 and 2003, it emerged that the directors of Coláiste knew of his earlier arrest in 2001 and conviction in 2002.

Although the directors said they dismissed Ferry after his arrest in 2001, they confirmed that he had been paid for caretaking work at the college by them after that. They said the school was vacant “for nine months of the year” and that Ferry was never allowed on the premises unaccompanied after his first arrest.

However, last week, one of Ferry’s victim’s, Derek Mulligan, told reporters “he had a shed at the back with two bunk beds and was there morning, noon and night.”

Mr Sweeney told the Sunday Business Post that he is currently in trying to establish who owned Ard Scoil Mhuire at the time of the assaults. Once he does that, he has been instructed to initiate civil proceedings “without delay”.

establish ownership of the school at the time of the abuse of his clients.

Concos, the representative body for Irish language schools, asked Coláiste Cholmcille to withdraw its membership.

Gearóid Brosnacháin, the chairman of Concos, siad it was his understanding that a 2008 agreement between the organisation and the Garda central vetting unit means that Irish-language schools were required to seek Garda vetting on ‘‘all employees’’.

He said: “‘This agreement, as I understand it, applied to every single person who worked at a school, including bus driver, caretaker, teacher and anyone else who had unsupervised access to children at any time.”