Wednesday 25 April 2018

Salacious tale of lust and loathing in a school in the Irish midlands

The drama reads like a bad soap opera that has found its way into the High Court, writes Maeve Sheehan

LOUIS O'KEEFFE was watching television late on a Saturday night in the house he shared with his bachelor pals in Tullamore when Mary O'Toole rang the doorbell. It was 13 years ago but, according to Mr O'Keeffe, it was "a bizarre enough occasion to remember." Among his housemates was Jim Mooney, a teacher in Tullamore College whom Mrs O'Toole has accused of bullying and sexual harassment.

But according to Louis O'Keeffe's evidence last week to the High Court in Mrs O'Toole's legal action against the school authorities, it was Mrs O'Toole who was making a nuisance of herself that night.

According to his account, it was close to 2am when the doorbell rang. Louis, being nearest, answered it to a woman he had never seen before. She asked to speak to Jim. Louis asked her to wait, and then fetched his housemate from the garage. He returned to his television, leaving Jim and his guest to have a chat in the hall.

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