Belfast Telegraph

No apology over Donagh abuse case

The Health Minister has failed to apologise to the Assembly after an error he made over the Donagh child sex abuse case.

Last week Michael McGimpsey admitted he wrongly told MLAs that a doctor who gave evidence in the court case was not a health trust employee.

The minister faced a call for his resignation over the matter and was due to make a formal statement, but the Speaker said Mr McGimpsey would make the statement on Tuesday instead.

William Hay told MLAs: "All I can do, in the strongest possible way, is to encourage ministers to come to the House, especially when information that a particular minister has given is incorrect."

DUP MLA Arlene Foster said Mr McGimpsey's failure to make the expected statement had set an extremely dangerous precedent that ministers can pick and choose when they come to the House.

The call for the Health Minister to step down over the incorrect information given to the Assembly was made by Paul Givan of the DUP.

Mr Givan made his remarks during a joint committee meeting on Thursday when health and justice ministers were providing evidence on the Donagh abuse case.

Both departments have been heavily criticised for giving contradictory evidence on what happened during the court case against the McDermott brothers.

James and Owen Roe McDermott were allowed to return to their home in Donagh in June after they were deemed mentally unfit to stand trial for sexually abusing children in the County Fermanagh village over a 30-year period.


From Belfast Telegraph