Wednesday 21 March 2018

File sent to DPP over school role in caretaker abuse case

Greg Harkin

GARDAI have submitted papers to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after a notorious paedophile was allowed to continue working on a school premises.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has confirmed the DPP is now considering a new garda file linked to the Michael Ferry case.

The child abuser is currently serving 14 years for a litany of sex offences against young boys on school premises in Co Donegal.

The Irish Independent revealed yesterday that an internal HSE report found glaring mistakes in the case which allowed Ferry to abuse again after he had been convicted and put on the sex offenders' register. Ferry attacked his victims at the Ardscoil Mhuire, a former secondary school used by the Colaiste Cholmcille, an Irish language school for children visiting the Gaeltacht.

It has now emerged detectives have submitted a file to the DPP, focusing on the role of Colaiste Cholmcille in allowing Ferry to continue working at the school as a caretaker after a previous conviction in 2002 for child abuse.

When Ferry was jailed in July last year, Mr Shatter ordered a high-level garda investigation.

A Justice Department spokesman told the Irish Independent: "Minister Shatter has been advised in an interim report of an ongoing garda investigation into issues arising in relation to this matter and is being advised of progress in the investigation.

"However, as the investigation is looking at the question of any criminal behaviour which may have arisen and, in this context, the submission of papers to the Director of Public Prosecutions, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this stage."


The North Western Health Board -- later the HSE -- had been informed by gardai on at least three occasions that Ferry was a danger to children.

An internal report by the HSE has found the organisation failed to properly monitor Ferry's movements.

Denis Naughten TD said the case had raised the need for new laws which would allow parents to be informed when someone is convicted of child sex offences.

"This case highlights the need for parents to be given access to appropriate garda information so that they can protect their own children from exposure to predatory paedophiles," said Mr Naughten, who recently published a bill which would strengthen post release monitoring of child sex offenders.

Irish Independent

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