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Foroige investigates Ferry claims

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Pearse Doherty TD has expressed concern that a Foroige centre may have employed Michael Ferry

Pearse Doherty TD has expressed concern that a Foroige centre may have employed Michael Ferry

Pearse Doherty TD has expressed concern that a Foroige centre may have employed Michael Ferry

Ireland's leading youth organisation is investigating whether serial paedophile Michael Ferry worked as a youth leader at one of its clubs.

Foroige is understood to be examining files to see if the 55-year-old convicted sex abuser was a volunteer in the 1980s when the club was based in Derrybeg, Co Donegal.

Colaiste Cholmcille, which runs Irish language summer courses at the building, has also admitted the former school caretaker helped with classes even after being found guilty in 2002 of abusing a child.

Gardai have confirmed they are widening their investigation amid fears of a paedophile ring.

Another alleged victim has come forward in recent days, claiming more than one perpetrator was targeting children in the Gweedore area of west Donegal.

Locals said the former Ard Scoil Mhuire building - where school caretaker Ferry raped and abused children for more than a decade - was the base for the Foroige youth club.

Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty, who grew up beside the school which is owned and run by Colaiste Cholmcille said there was clearly a cause for concern.

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"While I never attended Foroige as I was too young at the time, it's my understanding that Mickey Ferry was one of the participants and indeed leaders in the Foroige group at the time there," he said.

Foroige has confirmed it is trawling through records to establish if Ferry was connected to the youth movement in the past. It is understood files show he was not actually employed by the organisation but it has yet to establish if he was involved voluntarily with its activities in west Donegal.

It is believed the Foroige youth club in Derrybeg collapsed in the late 1980s and subsequent attempts to set it up again foundered. The organisation could not say exactly when or why the club was shut down.


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