Belfast Telegraph

DUP's Foster will meet police over abuse claims in Fermanagh

Discussions: Arlene Foster
Discussions: Arlene Foster
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

DUP leader Arlene Foster will today meet with senior police detectives over alleged child sex abuse in Co Fermanagh.

Specialist police officers have been assigned to 19 historical sex abuse investigations which have been highlighted by The Impartial Reporter in Enniskillen.

The police initiative was triggered by a series of reports in the newspaper, which has provided a platform for victims to tell their stories over several months.

They have recounted experiences of historical sex abuse in the county as far back as 40 years ago, with many identifying bus driver David Sullivan as their abuser.

Detectives previously stated that five of Sullivan's alleged victims have come forward following the high-profile exposé.

The newspaper says it has received allegations of at least 60 perpetrators.

Serious child sexual abuse was also allegedly carried out by John McElholm, who was principal of St Paul's Primary School in Irvinestown over 30 years ago.

It is claimed that McElholm, who died in 1995, abused his position by preying on innocent children and sexually abusing them in school.

Speaking ahead of today's meeting, Mrs Foster said: "Over a number of months there have been many people who have come forward to tell their story courageously.

"It is important that any cases are dealt with by the PSNI in the most appropriate manner, given the sensitive nature. I would urge that in any incidence, victims of such abuse speak to the PSNI, giving any information which may help in inquiries.

"Where wrongdoing has taken place it must be properly and thoroughly investigated.

"I want to ensure that victims have proper and full support of our justice system. Their voice should be heard."

The PSNI has said investigations are ongoing, including reviews of cases previously reported, as well as new cases.

See pages 12&13

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