Sex abuse ‘rampant’ in parts of Donegal

Child sex abuse is rampant in parts of Donegal and has been for many years, according to a source involved in social work in Donegal.

Child sex abuse is rampant in parts of Donegal and has been for many years, according to a source involved in social work in Donegal.

“There are concerns now that some kind of paedophile ring involving Michael Ferry has been operating in the Gweedore, Dungloe and the Rosses area but a high profile community activist expressed the same concerns about another area in north Donegal as far back as the 1990s. This stuff has been rampant for years,” the source said.

“There are people who have been convicted for sexual offences living and working in communities with free access to young people. Some of them may be on the Sex Offenders Register, while others served their time before the Register was drawn up. In either case, there seems to be little or no monitoring of such individuals and whether they are allowed associate with children and young people.”

The comments were made following the arrest under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act of two men in West Donegal on Monday morning. The men, who are both in their 60s and are understood to be from Crolly and Bunbeg, were released on Tuesday, following questioning at Letterkenny and Glenties Garda Stations. A garda spokesperson said that neither of the men was charged and “there are no further developments at this time”.

While gardaí would only confirm that the arrests were made as part of their investigation into “serious assaults”, local sources suggest that the arrests may have related to investigations following the conviction of Michael Ferry for the sexual abuse of four young men in Gweedore.

Locals told the Democrat that one of the men arrested had worked at a school in the area.

“People are of the view here that the conviction of Michael Ferry won’t be the end of it, that there is more bad news still to emerge,” one local man told the Donegal Democrat yesterday.