Belfast Telegraph

Suspected associates of abuser held over 'assaults'

By Greg Harkin

Two suspected associates of jailed Donegal child sex abuser Michael Ferry have been arrested in the Republic over links to a possible paedophile ring.

Two houses were searched in what a source described as an effort to find evidence relating to child sex abuse against young boys over a 20-year period.

It is understood the searches were of properties belonging to two men who were suspected of being known to Ferry, the school caretaker jailed for 14 years last month after pleading guilty to a series of sex offences, including rape, between 1990 and 2005.

The suspects were being held at separate Garda stations in Glenties and Letterkenny.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that the pair were detained and were being questioned about "serious assaults".

It's thought that four men who claim they were abused by a third man who may also have been known to Ferry have made fresh allegations to gardai in Glenties in the past few days. The allegations relate to abuse of boys aged nine and 10 in the mid-1990s.

The case of Ferry (56) created huge controversy when it was revealed he raped four boys after he was allowed to return to his old job at an Irish language summer school in Gweedore despite being convicted in 2002 of the sexual assault of a pupil and being placed on the sex offenders' register.

Ferry worked at the school in an unofficial capacity, doing odd jobs and driving a bus, while continuing to abuse children at the premises. His victims were not pupils at the school.

In the wake of Ferry's conviction, gardai have been investigating claims that he was involved in a child sex ring with up to four others.

Parents have confirmed that six boys made allegations against one of Ferry's associates in the 1990s.

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