TD cites retired official in child sex abuse allegations


Details were given in the Dáil last night about a retired senior official in the Department of Education who is alleged to have been involved in a Dublin-based child sex ring. At the time he was supposed to be investigating alleged child sex abuse.

Fine Gael chairman Mr Phil Hogan gave details last night about the official, who retired some years ago and who "has been implicated by a victim in a rent-a-boy sex ring with convicted killer Malcolm McArthur".

He referred to "astonishing revelations of a perceived and systematic cover-up of rape, gross indecency and abuse of children from 1978 to 1990". The official "is the golden thread weaving through a number of centres where children were in some cases tortured and forced to have sex with animals".

Mr Hogan condemned the Department for its failure to take action about the official and said it was not good enough to say it was voluntarily disclosing documents to the Laffoy commission on child abuse.

"This man has never come to the attention of gardaí," he said, but "his name keeps coming up with journalists speaking to health board officials". Mr Hogan asked, "Does anyone really care within the Department about what happened to these poor youngsters who were put in the care of the State and then abused?"

The Minister for Education, Dr Woods, said: "I care very much, the secretary-general of my Department cares". He added that they would give any information they could, and would co-operate fully. He said, however, that his Department had no information on any cases which compared to newspaper reports.

Mr Hogan said the official was linked to investigations into sexual abuse in residential centres in Kilkenny city, Cappoquin, Co Waterford, and Clonmel.

He was named by a male abuse victim who said he had sex with the man.The victim said he was 17 years old and working as a prostitute at the time.

The official was alleged to have been with convicted murderer Malcolm McArthur when the two picked up the rent boy on the Quays in Dublin. Malcolm McArthur has served 20 years for the murder of a nurse in the Phoenix Park and another man, and was later found in the home of the then Attorney-General.

The prostitute recognised the Department official. He had met him while a resident of St Joseph's school in Clonmel, when the man was a Department inspector.

Mr Hogan, referring to the story which appeared in the Ireland on Sunday newspaper last week, said the official also investigated sex abuse by convicted paedophiles and "gave one of the worst offenders a clean bill of health".

He said it was alleged that all of the abuse took place at the time the centre was managed by Nora Wall, a former Sister of Mercy nun whose conviction for rape of a 10-year-old child was quashed by the court of criminal appeal in 1999.

The official was guilty of "gross incompetency at the very least and at very worst there was something very dark and dirty behind him hidden from public view", Mr Hogan added.