Belfast Telegraph

We couldn’t stop return of abusers, says trust

By Lisa Smyth

The head of the Western Trust has said they were powerless to stop two paedophile brothers|returning to the Co Fermanagh village where they sexually abused children for over 30 years.

Elaine Way, chief executive of the Western Health Trust, has said the social worker tasked with|overseeing the supervision of James (61) and Owen-Roe|McDermott (52) could not stop the pair returning to their family home.

Giving evidence to the|Stormont health committee|yesterday, Ms Way insisted she had sought legal advice on the matter and that the trust was legally obliged to adhere to a court ruling allowing the brothers to remain in the family home in|Donagh.

The tight-knit community of Donagh, which was described at Stormont yesterday as a hamlet, was outraged when the pair walked free after they were found guilty of a litany of sex attacks on neighbours, including children, spanning over three decades.

However, it emerged during yesterday’s hearing the pair had remained in the family home throughout the police|investigation and court|proceedings.

Ms Way said even after the|McDermott house came under|attack, the Western Trust was still unable to compel the brothers to leave the area.

However, following discussions with the family, the pair were|voluntarily admitted to hospital.

Belfast Telegraph


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