The Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter has said that the investigation is ongoing into circumstances surrounding a Gweedore man’s presence at a school after he was convicted of child abuse.
The matter was raised by Deputy Pearse Doherty who submitted a parliamentary question to the Minister’s department in recent days. The Deputy asked the Fine Gael Minister if the final Garda Siochána report had been prepared into the matter. He further questioned the Minister as to whether the report would be made public. Deputy Doherty received the answer to his questions from the Minister on Tuesday last.
The Minister said: “I am informed by the Garda authorities that the investigation into the matter which the Deputy refers to is ongoing. The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.”
Last year, the Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, asked the Garda Commissioner to investigate if, after the first conviction, gardaí and the HSE had contact with the school management.
Michael Ferry, 56, from Carrick Boyle, Gweedore pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 38 sample charges of rape, 18 sex assaults and two charges of production of child pornography between July 1990 and September 2005. Ferry had been convicted of sexually abusing a boy in 2002. In July, 2011, Ferry was sentenced to 18 years in prison for molesting and raping four more boys in the same school. The final four years of the sentence were suspended.
The abuse happened at Ard Scoil Mhuire in Derrybeg, which is a former school building which was used for Irish language courses in summer. The boys were not pupils at the Irish language school. The boys, aged between ten and 17 years old, were sexually abused on an almost weekly basis, some for as long as four years.
Last summer, the directors of the school, Coláiste Cholmcille, who ran the school said it was “factually incorrect” to say that Ferry continued in his role as caretaker after 2002. A HSE report is due to be complete within the coming weeks. While the report is to be made public, the HSE have yet to confirm whether those affected will be given the report ahead of the publication date.