Minister Shatter questions how sex abuser Ferry remained at school

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence is seeking explanations as to how a convicted sex abuser remained in employment as a caretaker at a summer school in Gweedore.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence is seeking explanations as to how a convicted sex abuser remained in employment as a caretaker at a summer school in Gweedore.

The Minister was responding to yesterday’s decision by Mr Justice Paul Carney to impose an 18-year prison sentence for child abuse on Michael Ferry, Carrickboyle, Gweedore.

The court heard Ferry (55), had abused four boys on an almost weekly basis.

Mr Justice Carney said authorities must have been aware that Ferry had a conviction for a similar offence, yet he continued working in the school.

Minister Alan Shatter, TD said today: “I was appalled to learn of the horrific events which resulted yesterday in Mr Justice Carney in the Central Criminal Court imposing an 18-year prison sentence for child abuse on Michael Ferry.

“It is unacceptable that this individual, having being reportedly convicted for child abuse of a student nine years earlier, continued to be employed as a caretaker in the school and to have access to vulnerable children.

“I have asked the Garda Commissioner to report to me on the background to this matter and with particular regard to the contact, if any, local Gardaí had with those in charge of the school and with the local health board subsequent to the first conviction.

“I am particularly calling on those in charge of this school to explain how this individual continued to be employed as a caretaker in the school and whether at any time they considered the risk he posed to children.

“This case yet again starkly illustrates the vital importance of ensuring all those who in their employment come into contact with children are properly vetted so as to ensure, insofar as is possible, that children are not placed at risk by sexual predators.

“It also starkly illustrates the absolute necessity of persons in management positions in the education sector complying with the children care guidelines.”