Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh 'paedophile ring' victim tells of abuse

Kevin Brown (left) with Spotlight reporter Stephen Dempster
Kevin Brown (left) with Spotlight reporter Stephen Dempster
David Sullivan
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

One of the victims of an alleged paedophile ring in Co Fermanagh has spoken for the first time about the three-year cycle of abuse he suffered at the hands of at least 20 men.

Kevin Brown is the first victim to waive his right to anonymity after going public with his story earlier this year.

The Enniskillen-based Impartial Reporter has spoken to more than 50 people who claim they were abused as youngsters by a paedophile ring.

Both Protestant and Catholic men, living and deceased, have been accused of being involved in the abuse ring since Mr Brown, the first alleged victim, came forward eight months ago.

The allegations have been made against over 60 men as a result of the newspaper's investigation, which began in March.

Mr Brown told BBC NI's Spotlight programme last night that at least 20 men had molested or raped him.

He said the abuse he suffered began when he was 12 years old and continued for more than three years.

He claimed he was aware of about a dozen other boys who were being abused by men in this group.

BBC Spotlight: Fermanagh Abuse Secrets spoke to other alleged victims, who wished to remain anonymous, but said they were also molested by men in the Enniskillen area in the same period.

Mr Brown has claimed his abuse began in public toilets at Nugent's Entry in Enniskillen.

"One evening I was walking through Enniskillen, I went to Nugent's Entry to the toilets and there was somebody in the cubicle," he said.

"I could see there was a person in there; I could see the feet and hands. They kind of ushered me in and I went inside and the man shut the door behind me."

Mr Brown said that the man assaulted him in the toilets and when he got out he was sick on the pavement.

"I remember feeling really numb," he said.

Mr Brown and others have said men abused them elsewhere in the Enniskillen area - in houses, cars and other public places.

Many of those who spoke out as part of the high-profile local newspaper expose have identified school bus driver and youth club leader David Sullivan as their abuser. He did not abuse Mr Brown, but is accused of abusing others. Sullivan disappeared from his home in Enniskillen in August 1998 and his body was found in bogland near Belcoo 18 months later. No one has ever been charged with his murder.

Mr Brown said that before now he has always felt too scared and ashamed to go public.

"I haven't done anything wrong in this," he said.

"For me to move forward and heal, I need to speak up and be counted, not just for myself but all the other people that have been abused."

Specialist police officers have been assigned to 19 historical sex abuse investigations in Co Fermanagh, nine of which are linked to the notorious school bus driver. The PSNI has said it has identified that there may be links between some men who have committed crimes on more than one victim but added it has no information to suggest there was a network of abusers in the area.

But some of the victims who spoke to BBC Spotlight insist there was a network and have noted that the police team who investigated Sullivan's murder said then that they believed he could have been part of a paedophile ring.

A number of rallies have been held over recent months in Enniskillen in support of the alleged victims and calling for the PSNI to act more quickly.

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