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Victim calls on abusive brothers to leave village

By Claire Weir

A victim of the brothers who terrorised a generation of village children has spoken of their return to the area as “like something from a horror movie”.

The man said his life was made “a living hell” by the McDermott brothers as he grew up.

He said the brothers abused him between the ages of eight and 15, and that he couldn’t wait to get away to London aged 17.

James (61) and Owen Roe McDermott (52) were allowed to return home to Donagh, Fermanagh, in June after they were declared mentally unfit to stand trial. “It was like a living hell,” the victim told the BBC.

“I couldn’t wait to get out of there and when I did it was the best day of my life, I was 17 years old. I remember sitting in school and looking out the window and seeing one of these boys passing by, wondering when one of them would jump out from behind a tree or pull you behind a bridge or to those chicken houses, a lot of the abuse went on there.

“I said in court that they were like meerkats, just popping up everywhere.”

The man said he knew what was happening to him at the hands of the brothers was wrong, but that he felt it was his fault and carried that guilt for many years.

The man broke down before detailing how back in those days, no one in the village would have spoken to the authorities.

“There was no belief in the authorities. It was the way the place was, you weren’t allowed to speak to the police,. If you did you would worry for your own life.”

He said that writing his experiences down had been therapeutic but he had been unable to tell his wife about his ordeal until his abusers were finally arrested.

He finally broke his silence after reading a local newspaper online.

He called for the wider McDermott family to take a stand and called for the brothers to leave the area and seek treatment.

The man also spoke of his shock that they had been allowed to return to the community where they wreaked havoc.

“It’s unbelievable that these two paedophiles are back living in the community, it’s like something out of a horror movie.”

The man says he is now pursuing a law degree and is in a “better place” than he was before he told the PSNI of the abuse.

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