Sinn Fein TD tells of his lucky escape from abuser
Published 21/07/2011 | 05:00
A HIGH-PROFILE TD believes that he escaped the clutches of paedophile Michael Ferry during an incident when he was a child.
Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said Ferry had loaned him and some friends a tent to camp out and slipped a note to them, saying he would call to check on them that night.
The Donegal TD revealed that they immediately went home, rather than waiting for Ferry to return.
He also recalled how the paedophile pretended to be a black belt in karate so that he could have contact with children.
"He (Ferry) would say he was a black belt in karate. He would be grabbing you and throwing you to the ground," Mr Doherty said.
"What sparked my memory was one of the victims in the court mentioned how Mickey would throw him to the ground and start by tickling him. Looking back now, when I put myself back into the situation, that type of behaviour was completely inappropriate."
Mr Doherty said many teenagers in the area "hung around" the premises at Ard Scoil Mhuire where Ferry was the caretaker.
Meanwhile, one of Ferry's victims, Derek Mulligan, yesterday described his abuser as "a monster" and the Irish-language college building where he had lured young boys as "his lair".
Mr Mulligan, who waived his anonymity after Ferry's conviction this week, said the caretaker had groomed him and others, enticing young boys to the building by giving them money.
He revealed the abuse deeply traumatised him, prompting a suicide attempt when he was 16. Mr Mulligan kept the abuse secret for 11 years before telling his family.
He subsequently sought the help of a local doctor, who reported the matter to gardai.
Mr Mulligan said Ferry's conviction had finally given him a chance to get on with his life and he appealed to other victims of abuse to report it to the authorities.