Friday 28 October 2016

Child abuser is named after legal ruling

Greg Harkin

Published 18/07/2015 | 02:30

Yesterday, Sarah Jane O'Callaghan, defending, told Judge Mary Ellen Ring that the trial was likely to take two weeks
Yesterday, Sarah Jane O'Callaghan, defending, told Judge Mary Ellen Ring that the trial was likely to take two weeks

A close friend of notorious Donegal paedophile Michael Ferry has finally been named after a legal ruling.

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Retired engineer John Barrow (72) of Station House, Crolly, Co Donegal, was found guilty on child sex-abuse charges at Letterkenny Circuit Court in May.

A judge banned naming him at the time for legal reasons.

Last night, at Letterkenny Circuit Court, Barrow was jailed for two years on two counts of sexual abuse against a boy in west Donegal in the 1980s.

The victim, now aged 41, had told Judge Francis Comerford that he was indecently assaulted on two occasions.

On the first occasion the pensioner offered him IR£5 to row his boat onto a lake for a fishing trip in 1984 where he assaulted him. On another occasion, the victim said, he was told to take a pornographic magazine to a bedroom. The pensioner then got into the bed beside him, touched him and committed another sex attack.

Shaking as he gave evidence, the alleged victim said he didn't tell anyone about the incidents until 25 years later.

Giving evidence to the jury, the pensioner had denied even knowing the victim.

He said he would never allow a child to row a boat on the lake near his home as it was too dangerous.

However, the jury took just two hours on May 6 to find the man guilty on both counts.

The victim said, in his victim impact statement, he became a very angry child and the abuse affected him throughout his life.

Jailing Barrow, Judge Comerford said it was an extremely serious case "with no expression of remorse about the harm he caused".

He added that the incidents were "still a living reality" for the victim.

Barrow couldn't be named in May for legal reasons.

He was a close friend of school caretaker abuser Michael Ferry.

Ferry (61) is serving a 14-year sentence after pleading guilty to dozens of sex attacks on young boys at an Irish-language college in Gaoth Dobhair.

Ferry had returned to his job as a caretaker to sexually abuse more young boys despite a 2002 conviction for abusing a boy when he was just 11.

Several victims are suing the State.

Irish Independent

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