A school bus driver accused of abusing children has been suspended from his job after Sunday Life revealed he had continued to ferry children around despite being on bail over historic allegations.
The Co Fermanagh man, who we cannot name for legal reasons, had continued to drive a school bus despite being arrested over a month ago by detectives investigating child sexual abuse.
Sources told this newspaper the man was suspended from his job after Sunday Life's revelations last week.
One source in the area said: "I'm not surprised after what came out.
"There's a lot of parents out there who have concerns. He is innocent until proven guilty but people believe he should have been suspended earlier pending the outcome of the police investigations."
Sunday Life approached the bus driver at the centre of the controversy at his home last weekend and he told our man: "I've nothing to say. I'll speak to my solicitor."
The bus driver and his wife were among 11 people arrested in Fermanagh, Belfast and Londonderry at the beginning of August over sex abuse allegations dating back to the 1990s.
All the suspects, aged from their late 50s to 78, were released on bail pending further inquiries. The school bus driver is a dad who serves as the trustee of a charity, as well as being employed by the Education Authority.
One of his alleged victims came forward with her allegations last year, claiming that the man's wife held her down as he raped her.
Speaking under the assumed name of Sara, she explained: "His wife used to walk around naked. When she first did it, I thought that it was a bit weird, but I thought I was safe when she was there. I was wrong.
"(When his) children were asleep, he came in and all that he was wearing was a pair of bottle-green Y-fronts.
"He got into bed and tried to get off whatever I was wearing. I was pushing him to get off me.
"I heard her (his wife's) footsteps. I thought it was over, I thought she'd make it stop, but she got into bed beside us and held me down so he could rape me. They didn't want to wake the children."
Sara and a number of other alleged victims reported their claims to the police, but the matter was dropped by the Public Prosecution Service because of a lack of evidence.
During the interview last year, she also claimed the bus driver had abused at least one other child.
"This man is a school bus driver. He drives a bus with children on it. How many kids' lives could have been different if the police had listened to me 20 years ago?" she asked.
"I am speaking out in the hope that it helps other victims and survivors and that we can all do more to protect children from these evil predators."
Despite the allegations and despite recently being arrested in connection with the PSNI investigation, the alleged abuser was still driving a school bus until the revelations last week. He is understood to have strongly denied the claims made against him.
A concerned source who did not wish to be named said: "He's very well respected or certainly comes across that way. He's involved in lots of respected circles.
"Although he hasn't been charged with anything, he's the subject of a major police investigation into child sex abuse.
"People are very concerned about the whole thing. If you were a parent whose child had been on his bus at some point, you can understand their concern."
Allegations about the man were first made during the late 1990s. It is believed he was spoken to by police officers at that time.
A spokesman for the Education Authority, which employs 1,200 school bus drivers, said he could not comment on the specifics of the allegations or whether he had been suspended.
"The safety and protection of children and young people are of the utmost importance and remains our highest priority.
"We wish to reassure families and the wider community that we take all reports of alleged safeguarding issues very seriously.
"We work in partnership with other statutory agencies on these matters and, where we are notified of any potential safeguarding concerns about an individual, we take appropriate and immediate action.
"We cannot comment on matters relating to individual employees and it would be inappropriate to comment further."