Wednesday 22 November 2017

Boarding school sex case evidence 'compromised'

Specialist garda unit heads investigation; Anger at five-day delay over complaint; Education Minister 'concerned' at attack;

King’s Hospital school in Palmerstown, Dublin
King’s Hospital school in Palmerstown, Dublin

Ken Foy, Eilish O'Regan and Niall O'Connor

Gardaí are deeply concerned that evidence may have been compromised after an alleged sex assault in a leading boarding school was not reported to officers for five days.

Detectives have launched a full investigation into a complaint that a 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted at the prestigious King's Hospital school in west Dublin.

It emerged that eight pupils, all of them young teenagers, have been suspended following the alleged incident at the Church of Ireland-governed school in Palmerstown on Thursday of last week.

But the incident was not reported to gardaí until Tuesday of this week - and the school has failed to clarify the reasons for this despite a series of queries from the Irish Independent.

The boy was allegedly sexually assaulted in an incident involving a hockey stick, in a dormitory of the school - which charges nearly €16,000 a year for a seven-day boarder pupil.

Specialist officers are expected to interview the eight suspended male pupils as part of an investigation which is being led by gardaí based in Lucan.

Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon also said he was concerned at any delay, and pointed to clear guidelines which put an onus on schools to notify authorities without delay.

Education Minister Richard Bruton will seek a full briefing on the developments. A source said the minister was concerned about any delay involved.

Irish Independent

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