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'Why wasn't he stopped?' asks abuse victim of school caretaker

Derek Mulligan has demanded answers from the Donegal school where he was molested by employee Michael Ferry.

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court
Image: infomatique via Flickr

ONE OF THE victims of Donegal school caretaker Michael Ferry has demanded answers over his horrific ordeal.

Mr Ferry was yesterday sentenced to 18 years for molesting and raping four boys between ten and 17 years old at Ard Scoil Mhuire in Derrybeg, Co Donegal between 1990 and 2005. Justice Paul Carney told the Central Criminal Court that the 55-year-old had remained working in the school despite being convicted of sexual assault in 2002.

Derek Mulligan, 24, yesterday waived his right to anonymity as one of Mr Ferry’s victims. He spoke out publicly today, asking: “Why was he still allowed to be in that school when they knew what he was capable of? Why did they not stop it? Is there more to the story than what’s there?”

In an emotional interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he urged other abuse victims to speak out. He said coming forward was “the best thing that ever happened to me. Because if you don’t talk about it, it’s in your own head. And it’ll take over.

I can’t take it any more. I want people to see that they’re not on they’re own. To make a stand. Because it can ruin one’s life. And I’ve been through everything, I don’t think it can hurt any more than what it’s already hurt.

Mr Mulligan also spoke about being groomed by Mr Ferry, who the court heard yesterday would give his victims alcohol and cigarettes and make them watch pornography. “I was just a kid kicking a football around,” Mr Mulligan said. “A vulnerable child, but thinking I was clever.

You don’t see him grooming you until it’s too late. You don’t see it coming. And then you question yourself – why did I let this happen to me? You become ashamed of yourself.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter today called on the school managers to explain Michael Ferry’s employment. “It is unacceptable that this individual having being reportedly convicted for child abuse of a student nine years earlier continued to be employed as a caretaker,” he said.

Read more: Convicted sex offender returned to school job to abuse again >

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Michael Freeman

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