Eamon Dunphy claims that he was 'misled' over extent of Tom Humphries' crimes
Eamon Dunphy said he visited Tom Humphries in hospital after his suicide attempt but said that he was “misled” about the extent of his crimes against his victim.
He described Humphries as “devious” and said he did not realise he had been involved in grooming his innocent victim over a long period.
Speaking on The Tonight Show on TV3 last night, Eamon Dunphy said:
“I went to see him several years ago in Saint Patrick’s (psychiatric hospital) institution and he had attempted suicide at that stage.
“The story that I heard ... was much more benign than the story that emerged and the evidence that was given. It was not about grooming. It was more of a question, I was told, of underage sex which is, of course, serious but he had been a colleague of mine. I went to see him and brought him a book.
“I spent an hour with him because I felt he hadn’t at this stage been charged with anything but I knew this was pending. But I didn’t know the nature of it, the grooming.
“I thought he would be charged with having sex with an underage girl. I did know there was a connection with the gaelic club and he was in a position of authority. But the gravity of it I didn’t know."
Mr Dunphy said that he has compassion for Humphries.
“What I think now is this is a tragedy for two families. In these tragic circumstances, I think Judge O’Connor was, I think, gave just about the right sentence.
"I feel dreadfully sorry for the victim first of all and for all victims.
“And I feel that Tom Humphries’ life is effectively over and has been for many years. He has to live with the shame. His own family he has hurt. He has hurt this girl. I believe that mitigation is part of a criminal justice system and I also believe that redemption is important.
“I would leave judgment to judges. I don’t believe in trial by media.”
When asked if he would have given a reference for Humphries as journalist David Walsh and Donal Og Cusack did, he said “probably not".
"I wasn’t a friend of Tom’s. David (Walsh) was and Donal Og (Cusack) was but I wouldn’t condemn them for giving a letter … I don’t know if they were misled.
“I believe in the early stages when I went to see Tom that I was misled…by someone who may have been misled themselves. If Tom Humphries is the man depicted as devious, wicked and guilty of these offences, he may well have misled people.
“When I went to see him, there was only mention of one girl.”
He agreed with Ivan Yates that Humphries had received “a type of life sentence” as he would never work again. He said “I agree with you but I feel deeply for the victim of this. We have to take into account his fame, his position of authority, which he unforgivably abused.
“When you look at this wretched man now, I think he will suffer greviously for the rest of his life and his family will too and he has been the cause of all of this for his delinquent mind and the sickness.”