Monday 20 November 2017

'Sex abuser is trying to avoid paying me €400,000 damages'

Dana Doherty and her partner, Fintan Gallagher, leaving the High Court. Photo: COLLINS
Dana Doherty and her partner, Fintan Gallagher, leaving the High Court. Photo: COLLINS
Michael Quigley and his wife Alice outside the High Court in Dublin following yesterday’s hearing. Photo: COURTPIX

Tim Healy

A WOMAN who was awarded €400,000 a year ago after a judge found that she had been sexually abused by her Irish-dancing teacher has challenged his transfer of property into his wife's name.

Dana Doherty (42) claims that Michael Quigley was attempting to stop her getting the money when he transferred the ownership of two properties to his wife Alice.

The High Court heard yesterday that Ms Doherty had not yet received any of the money because there is a stay on the award, pending an appeal by Mr Quigley to the Supreme Court.

Ms Doherty, a national school teacher, is seeking a High Court order setting aside the transfers, which took place eight and 12 years ago.

She disputes Mr Quigley's claim that he is a man of no means because he is living on a pension.

Ms Doherty claims that Mr Doherty received a substantial payment when he took voluntary redundancy as a printer with the 'Derry Journal' newspaper in the late 1990s.

She also claims that he made money from his dancing classes in Derry and Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Mr Quigley (68) argues that Ms Doherty has no right to challenge the transfer, which he says was done in order to get a loan to extend the family home because he was retired and could not get a loan in his name.

He says it was also done before Ms Doherty brought the case, which resulted in the €400,000 award.

Mr Quigley argues that Ms Doherty is not a creditor of his and therefore cannot avail of the fraudulent-conveyance law, under which her challenge is brought.

The properties are the family home at Barnhill Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and a site at Meenagowan, also in Letterkenny.

Appeal

The case opened yesterday before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan but was later adjourned until next December, on consent of the parties, to allow Mr Quigley seek an early hearing of his appeal in the Supreme Court.

In her action over the sexual abuse, which was heard last year, Ms Doherty said his assaults on her began at 12 years of age and increased in seriousness as she got older.

They occurred over a number of years, at the dance classes as well as when she was being driven home from classes by him.

On one occasion, he abused her when she was sleeping in his family home while there was another young girl in the bed with her, she said.

Mr Quigley denied all her allegations. He claimed that they had been made up to get back at him because she was in love with him and he had spurned a suggestion that he should leave his wife and live with her.

He was charged with indecent assault and underwent two trials in which juries were unable to reach verdicts before the DPP decided not to pursue the matter further.

Ms Doherty then brought her action for damages, claiming that Mr Quigley had taken her childhood from her.

In July of last year, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said the proposition by Mr Quigley that Ms Doherty had concocted the allegations to get back at him because he had spurned her was wholly unconvincing.

By contrast with her account and evidence given by a number of witnesses for her -- including two other women who accused him of indecent behaviour -- Mr Quigley's evidence was "inconsistent and unconvincing," the judge said. He added that Mr Quigley had failed to refute the evidence showing him to be an abuser of children.

Irish Independent

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