Northern Ireland

More Donagh abuse claims to be investigated - victim

James McDermott and Owen-Roe McDermott were declared unfit for trial in June
Image caption James McDermott and Owen-Roe McDermott returned to live in Donagh in June

It is understood police are to carry out further investigations of child sex abuse in the village of Donagh.

A victim of brothers James and Owen-Roe McDermott has said it is alleged other people took part in the abuse.

He said the Fermanagh brothers were alleged to have passed information about victims to other paedophiles.

Police said they cannot comment on the specifics of the investigative process but would investigate any allegations reported to them.

The brothers' victim said: "Information has come up that there has been information about victims being passed between the McDermott brothers and other people taking part in similar activity.

"And I have it from very high authority that the police child protection team are going to be asked to go in and carry out further investigations into these allegations."

Psychiatric unit

Two of the four brothers at the centre of the abuse scandal in Donagh have been admitted to a psychiatric unit.

The Western Health Trust said James and Owen-Roe McDermott had entered a facility on a voluntary basis.

They were allowed to return home to the village in June after they were declared mentally unfit to stand trial.

Survivors of the abuse welcomed their transfer to hospital but said it would not solve the problem in the long-term.

A women abused as a young girl by two of the brothers said the decision to allow them to return home to the village in the first place was "beyond comprehension".

She added: "How do you treat an alcoholic in a pub?

"You cannot have these two people getting treatment for what they have done while sitting looking out a children's playschool or a children's play park."

Between them, four McDermott brothers, from Moorlough Road in Donagh, faced 60 charges of abuse spanning five decades.

John McDermott was jailed for nine years in June for the abuse, which was described as frequent, regular and persistent.

Peter Paul McDermott took his own life during his trial on abuse charges involving two young boys.

James and Owen-Roe McDermott were given lifetime orders banning them from being with children, and a two-year treatment and supervision order placing them in the care of social services.

'Decent thing'

Survivors who attended a public meeting on Monday issued a statement following the brothers' admittance to hospital.

It said: "While we welcome the decision taken by the extended McDermott family, we don't believe it was a situation that should have developed in the first place.

"We are also very aware that the admittance for treatment is voluntary and means that the McDermott brothers are free to leave at any time.

"We realise that the family were put in a difficult position but this is down to failings in the law.

"While the decision gives a much needed reprieve to all concerned it doesn't solve the whole problem.

"The law still needs to be changed and we need a permanent solution to this issue for the wellbeing of the community and all involved."

The Donagh Community Forum said the move would give provide "much-needed breathing space".

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