McElwee Advised On Child Drug Dangers

RTÉ News has learned that Dr Niall McElwee had been working alongside the gardaí in recent months to advise parents of the dangers for children at risk from drug abuse. This is despite a report about his arrest in the Netherlands sent to garda management by a midlands-based sergeant three years ago.

The senior childcare expert resigned from the Athlone Institute of Technology last week after revelations about a conviction for a sexual offence. He has since left Ireland to travel to Scotland. In his most recent talk at a national school in Co Offaly last February, Dr Niall McElwee shared a platform with a Tullamore-based detective garda to talk about the misuse of drugs.

It is understood that this is one of several presentations given by Dr McElwee in conjunction with garda experts on drug abuse since he was convicted at a court in Amsterdam of attempted indecent assault against a US girl. In a separate development, a Galway city councillor has asked the HSE West to re-evaluate the vetting process used after it emerged Dr Niall McElwee had worked one-day per week for six months in a centre for children at risk in Salthill.

This is despite the fact that he was subject of a complaint for showing improper material to students at the Waterford Institute of Technology. Cllr Val Hanley said he wants to know why the Waterford incident was not raised during the vetting process.

HSE West said that Dr Niall McElwee worked in a supervised setting with workers at Aras Geal, a HSE facility for children at risk in Salthill, but was never involved in one-to-one contact with children at the centre. There are no allegations against the 43-year-old lecturer with regard to his behaviour with children or adults.