Whistleblower fought demons to report crimes
THE courageous revelations of a convicted killer opened the lid on a sordid, dark chapter in the history of a Sligo school.
Paul Gordon (45) is the unlikely whistleblower whose lonely battle for justice has lasted 37 years.
The depraved teachers who targeted him for sexual abuse in St John's National School, Sligo, in the 1970s considered him weak and defenceless.
Born into poverty, and one of a family of 10, he jumped at the chance to do odd jobs for teachers after school. Paul Gordon learned later that his father, a violent alcoholic, was "pimping" his son to one Marist brother who abused him throughout his primary school education.
By age nine he was drinking alcohol, by 11 he had started taking drugs and by 14 he had quit school. In a fit of rage on Sligo docks in 1983, he attacked his father with a crowbar, killing him, and dumped his body into a river. The 19-year-old was convicted of manslaughter of his father, Edward (52), and sentenced to eight years in prison.
He was released from Mountjoy jail in 1990. By then he had nothing left to lose. Ostracised by his community, he fled to England, developing a heroin addiction and ending up on the streets. But he finally disclosed his dark secret to a policeman who urged him to return home and report the crimes to the Irish authorities.