Calm urge in Donagh over village sex abuse

Residents of the County Fermanagh village of Donagh, where four brothers sexually abused children over 30 years, have appealed for calm.

A legal loophole meant two of them, James and Owen Roe McDermott, were allowed to return home after being deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

In a statement, Donagh Community and Voluntary Forum said an “immediate reassessment” was needed.

They called for “a speedy reduction in the high-risk factors that now exist”.
‘Difficult time’

Representatives of various community groups in the village met on Monday to discuss the case, which caused widespread shock and anger in the area.

They emphasised that relatives of the brothers were “not responsible for the actions of other family members and are a valued part of the community”.

“They deserve respect and support at a difficult time,” they added.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust said in a statement that it “understands there are concerns in the Donagh community”.

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

John McDermott was jailed for nine years earlier this month 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, 61, and Owen Roe McDermott, 52, were deemed mentally unfit to stand trial. They were given lifetime sexual offences prevention orders.