Belfast Telegraph

McGimpsey faces calls to resign

Stormont's Health Minister has faced calls to resign after he admitted giving the Assembly incorrect information on the controversial case of two paedophile brothers.

Michael McGimpsey apologised for telling members that the NHS did not employ a doctor who advised a judge that James and Owen-Roe McDermott should live back in the Co Fermanagh village of Donagh where they committed their abuse.

The revelation that the doctor did in fact work for the Western Health and Social Care Trust prompted an angry response from political rivals, with the DUP's Paul Givan going so far as to ask the Ulster Unionist to consider his position.

"There is something more you can do than apologise - you can go," he told the minister during a committee hearing at Stormont. "You really need to think seriously, are you up to the job?"

The McDermotts abused children in Donagh over a 30-year period, but were judged mentally unfit to stand trial.

The subsequent court orders by the judge allowed them to return to live in the village, prompting a public outcry.

The Lord Chief Justice has since written to Justice Minister David Ford explaining that the judge received advice from a "doctor C" on suitable residency during the case.

On Tuesday, Mr McGimpsey told the Assembly that Dr C, who informed the judge he could not envisage the brothers living anywhere other than their family home, was not an employee of the trust.

On Thursday, he told a joint hearing of Stormont's health and justice committees that he had made a mistake and confused Dr C with a Dr B - an independent medical witness who was also involved in the case.

"So when I told the Assembly that Dr C wasn`t employed by the trust that was incorrect and I apologise for that," he said.

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