Campaign mounts over historic sexual-abuse allegations cover-up in Fermanagh

Sex abuse victims protest publicly demanding justice

Northern Ireland is a society scarred by its history. The legacy of the conflict over the national question is everywhere apparent; painted flags, kerbstones and murals mark territories and promote narratives. But just as the history of the working-class has been excluded consciously from these ‘green’ and ‘orange’ narratives so too is the hidden legacy of sexual abuse of children which until now has largely been left unexplored.

Fermanagh journalist, Rodney Edwards, deputy editor of the local newspaper, The Impartial Reporter, was investigating reports of a paedophile ring operating in the county when he started to receive more and more reports of sexual abuse spanning decades into the past. A common feature was that the victims had reported the incidents to the police but there was an apparent failure to investigate or see the cases through.

The cases were predominantly reported during the period of the long armed conflict, known as the ‘Troubles’.

Those whose names have been made public span the breadth of society. One alleged prominent abuser, David Sullivan, worked as a bus driver and was reportedly responsible for a range of abuses of children (sometimes on school buses) in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of those abused by Sullivan claim that he abused them in conjunction with unnamed prominent businessmen. Sullivan’s dismembered body was found in the early 2000s and the culprit for the killing has never been found.

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