Tag Archives: timeline

sullivanScreen Shot 2017-03-31 at 14.03.44From top: Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan leaving the Justice Committeee hearing yesterday; Deputy Commissioner Dónall O’Cualáin, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, and Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality yesterday

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan appeared before the Oireachtas justice committee yesterday to field questions on the near one million phantom breath tests and 14,700 wrongful motoring convictions.

Further to this…

A timeline of events…

2009: An Garda Síochána start recording Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints on PULSE.

May 15, 2013: A report by assistant commissioner John O’Mahoney into the quashing of penalty points by gardaí is published and finds there is no widespread quashing of penalty points.

October 1, 2013: The Comptroller and Auditor General, which was given information by Sgt Maurice McCabe, issues a report which finds one in five motorists avoided penalty points because their cases are not pursued. For 2011 and 2012 – the C&AG found approximately 2,900 cases were terminated for around 700 vehicles, with three or more cases terminated each.

March 26, 2014: Justice Minister Alan Shatter apologises to Sgt Maurice McCabe and former garda John Wilson for telling the Dáil in October 1, 2013 that the two whistleblowers didn’t cooperate with Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney’s report into the quashing of penalty points.

April 11, 2014: Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar writes to the acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan about information that was sent anonymously to Gay Byrne, chair of the Road Safety Authority. The information, allegedly from a Garda reserve, contains allegations concerning the way in which MAT checkpoints are being carried out in the west of Ireland. The information also contains allegations that road traffic legislation is not being enforced.

April 24, 2014: An Garda Síochana are made aware of discrepancies in breath test figures. On the same day, Assistant Commissioner of the Western Region Dónal Ó Cualáin submitted a report in respect of road traffic enforcement in the western region. Mr Ó Cualáin advises that the issues raised will be placed on the agenda for the Garda’s next Regional Performance and Accountability Framework meeting.

May 2014: In a letter to the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána states that it has looked into the claims regarding MAT checkpoints and is satisfied that correct procedures were in place for MAT checkpoints that did take place. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald tells this to the Dáil on March 28, 2017.

May 8, 2014: Garda Nick Keogh, a member of the drugs squad in Athlone, makes a formal complaint to the confidential recipient Judge Pat McMahon about a garda in the drugs squad and their alleged involvement in the supply of heroin in Westmeath, Offaly and Longford. Garda Keogh also claims a State mobile phone was supplied by a senior garda to a suspended garda whom Garda Keogh alleges has links to drugs trade in Co Westmeath.

On the same day, Independent TD Luke Ming Flanagan speaks about Garda Nick Keogh in the Dail, saying:

“At this time, Garda Nicky Keogh – that is his name and he is proud of it – from Athlone Garda Station is presenting information to the confidential recipient, Mr. Justice Patrick McMahon. Given the gaping hole that there is in legislation in this country, which means the avenue of the Ombudsman commission is cut off, he has no option but to go to the confidential recipient. He has been left with no choice but to go public because since last week when the man voted by this Government to be Taoiseach laughed at what he brought to me the word at his local Garda station is that he is a whistleblower or, to use a word being used by many people, a snitch.

“His allegations are serious, including a cover up of an original file which was stolen, with the original incident being removed from the PULSE system; the creation of new statements and appearance of new original information; non-compliance by the Garda with the court order for disclosure and at least one of the accused being threatened by a garda to plead guilty on the day of the court case.”

[Garda Nick Keogh]’s greatest concern with the drugs operation in November 2009 is that there was a systematic and orchestrated effort by high-ranking Garda officers to induce and coerce citizens, in this case citizens with no previous criminal conviction, to buy drugs from drug dealers, putting them in personal danger, and sell the drugs in turn to undercover gardaí without making any profit, thus boosting crime detection figures concerning arrests, charges and convictions. The result of this operation was that these mostly young citizens of the State, who had no previous drug convictions, now have serious drug convictions.”

“Finally, a further aspect of grave concern regarding the planning of this operation was that the list of persons nominated to be targeted had a notable omission in that a significant and well recognised drug dealer in the area who has long been associated with a senior member of the drugs unit was excluded.”

Continue reading

oadsafetyFrom left: Denis A Cusack, Director, Medical Bureau of Road Safety, Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid,, Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Maggie Martin, Research Manager, Road Safety Authority, outside Store Street Garda Station in Dublin as they launched a Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochana drink drive safety campaign last Summer.

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Top: Figures showing significant discrepancies between the number of breath tests recorded by PULSE and the number of tests recorded by the actual devices; Director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety Professor Denis Cusack on Morning Ireland

This morning.

On Morning Ireland.

Professor Denis Cusack, director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (above), spoke to RTÉ’s Cathal Mac Coille about the near one million breath tests that gardaí recorded they took between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2016, but conceded last week they didn’t take.

Professor Cusack explained the MBRS’s role in supplying breath tests to An Garda Síochána and outlined the timeline of events from when the MBRS first became aware of concerns about breath tests, in July 2014, up to An Garda Síochána requesting the MBRS’s database on March 8, 2017.

Readers will note how An Garda Siochana have already said that on April 11, 2014, the then Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar wrote to the Garda Commissioner [Noirin O’Sullivan] about information that was sent anonymously to chairman of the Road Safety Authority Gay Byrne.

The information contained allegations in relation to the manner in which Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints were being performed in the west of Ireland.

Mr Varadkar passed this information on to Ms O’Sullivan but, almost a year later, on January 8, 2015, a report issued by the gardaí to the Department of Justice and Equality found it was not possible to identify the author of the information sent to Mr Byrne and so it was not possible to progress the matter.

Further to this…

Denis Cusack: “We’re responsible for approving, in other words, checking out that the device is fit for purpose. We’re also responsible for testing it from time to time which we do every six months, every single device in the country. And we also supply the device, the breathalyser to the gardai. And we’ve about 1,200 that we supply to garda stations nationwide.”

Cathall Mac Coille: “Just to be clear about this, because you’ve got a breathalyser in front of you and I know you’re going to explain to us what you do with it: you check out and approve and issue every single one, not batches?”

Cusack: “Well, what happens is the board of the bureau is presented with a report, whenever there’s a new device so, for example, shortly we’ll again be going through a process for the roadside and Garda station drug testing device. So, a report is drawn up, this is called the Drager Alcotest 6510. So, after a competitive process, a number of manufacturers will have put in their devices, we’d look, which is the most suitable, all of that specification is then given to the board which says, ‘yes, we approve this device’ and that is what is meant by approval. And then each device is approved by that process, not individually but we test each and every single device every six months to make sure that it’s still doing what it’s meant to do. And indeed, if there’s ever a problem in between times, the garda will bring it to the bureau.”

Mac Coille: “And the device you have in front of you there, has it a specific number on it? Issued by you?”

Cusack: “Yes, each device is Garda station specific so we know that, when a device is brought in and…each device is Garda station specific so when it’s returned, every six months or so, and if it’s not returned we follow up and remind the gardai that they’re meant to return it because we need to test it to make sure that it’s still well within what it should be doing.”

Mac Coille: “And each device can be used how many times?”

Cusack: “Oh, limitless. And that’s how we know. I’m pressing a button now [holds it up to microphone] and, in a moment, it’s going to tell me how many tests have been carried out on this device, I tested it myself again last night at home, so it comes up with a number. So let’s say, for example, a garda has a device at a Garda station, he’s going out to one of the checkpoints, it’ll say test number, let’s say 200, and if the garda returns later that evening and it says 220, the guard knows that 20 tests have been carried out. And the protocol that we’ve recommended is that it be noted and the number of tests done. And then, every six months, when it comes back to us, if, for example, we have that device at 200 today and it comes back in six months time to us with 500, we know that 300 tests have been done and we confirm that with the Garda and that’s how we’re able to do that.”

Later

Mac Coille:When did you first raise the question of the number of tests being carried out? And the number of devices being used with the gardaí?”

Cusack: “There’s been a lot of discussion about this. We need to be very clear. In summer 2014, as part of our process, we have to buy the mouthpieces and I have one here with me that you see there, each one is individual in terms of its packing. It’s to make sure that it’s not contaminated with alcohol and, indeed, nobody wants to put in their mouth something that’s been used by two or three drivers beforehand. So, each breath test, has one mouth piece.”

Mac Coille: “Wrapped in plastic.”

Cusack: “Wrapped in plastic. It’s sealed there, I’ve opened one there and another is sealed. So we buy them every year, we’re buying between 400,000 and 600,000, it costs anywhere between €80,000 and €120,000. We became aware that there appeared to still be a large number…”

Mac Coille: “What do you mean? How did you become aware of it?”

Cusack: “A large number..well, we liaise very closely with the Garda stock keeping, central stock, in Santry. So they ask us, from time to time, and we became aware that there wasn’t a request in and, clearly, on the Garda website, we noted that there were more than, between 400,000 and 450,000.”

Mac Coille: “What?”

Cusack: “Breath tests on the website there.”

Mac Coille: “Carried out?”

Cusack: “Carried out.”

Mac Coille: “In that year? 2014?”

Cusack: “No, over the last year, two previously.”

Mac Coille: “Ok.

Cusack: “So it was very simple. We said, ‘look, you know, the numbers just don’t add up, we need clarification because if those numbers being done, clearly we wouldn’t have expected that there would have been that number of mouthpieces left. So for the purpose, first of all, of actually purchasing them, we had to look at it.”

Mac Coille: “So you wrote to them?”

Cusack: “We wrote to the gardai…”

Mac Coille: “Can you put a date on it?”

Cusack: “Yes, it was in July 2014. I must be very clear. We didn’t know what we were dealing with at the time except that the numbers didn’t add up.”

Mac Coille: “We should mention by the way, just to get the timeline straight, this is after Noirin O’Sullivan has taken over as provisional Garda Commissioner. Later that year she became, she was confirmed as the Commissioner. She was in charge. So in July 2014, you wrote to them and said, was it a question?”

Cusack: “No, it was simply, could you set out, and we, for the equipment. Now usually we didn’t write, we would be able to do this by just our meetings, we’ve very regular meetings with the gardai to make sure that we’re helping them and supplying them with these. So all it was was an alert that something wasn’t adding up. And, some months later, we got a reply to say they weren’t seeking any more but we didn’t order any more mouthpieces for 2015 or 2016. And we keep in close consultation with the gardai. So that’s where it lay until about 2015…”

Mac Coille: “But at that stage, just to be clear. In either 2014 or 2015, did you ask them the question: you appear to be carrying out or, at least according to your records, carrying out more breath tests than you’re using these mouthpieces. Did you ask that question?”

Cusack: “That would have come up in the discussions at the meeting but it…”

Mac Coille: “In 2014?”

Cusack: “In 2014/2015 but I must be very clear: the gardai wouldn’t have known themselves it appears because we didn’t learn of the figures until last Thursday and I’ll come to that in a moment…”

Mac Coille: “But you knew enough in 2014 to ask the question, correct?”

Cusack: “Well, simply, we said: the numbers don’t add up. And it was in the context of the number of mouthpieces we should be purchasing.”

Mac Coille: “Did you have a meeting with them?”

Cusack: “We have regular meetings with..”

Mac Coille: “So you would have met them subsequent to this letter in July 2014. Did you have a meeting with them that year to discuss this?”

Cusack: “Well simply they said we didn’t need any more mouthpieces. So we don’t in any way become involved in in Garda operation matters. We take that at face value.”

Mac Coille: “So you left that there in 2014. In 2015?”

Cusack: “2015, in fact it was on foot of a newspaper article where questions were raised about the numbers of tests. So at that point, I asked the staff, our senior staff, could they actually look at this because clearly the numbers were still not adding up. So, in August 2015 we actually carried out a survey of 200 of the 1,200 devices and what we found at that time was, on the estimation of the average use and so on, for those 200 devices that it appeared that there were not 400,000-plus tests being done on our devices but rather closer to 200,000.”

Mac Coille: “When did you tell the gardai about this?”

Cusack: “We told the gardai, and again it had to be in the sense that we were quite surprised, obviously that there was such a difference so we alerted the gardai…”

Mac Coille: “When?”

Cusack: “In the end of summer 2015.”

Mac Coille: “Can you put a month on it?”

Cusack: “It was August to September 2015.”

Mac Coille: “And, by the way, your communications with the Gardai are to whom, are they to the Commissioner or what level?”

Cusack:We meet with members of what was then the garda traffic bureau but again you must remember…”

Mac Coille: “That’s headed by or was it headed at the time by Garda, Assistant Commissioner John Twomey?

Cusack:Yes and…”

Mac Coille: “So it was to him?”

Cusack: “Well it was to his staff and my staff would have met his staff about that. So it was an alert and, again, nobody knew what they were dealing with at that stage except that there was a discrepancy.”

Mac Coille: “Of 400,000 reported tests but only 200,000, according to …”

Cusack: “And that was the first time we had firm, solid information. So we alerted the gardai and, in fairness to the gardai, they reacted and they said they were going to carry out an audit. They carried out the audit, as I understand it and it’s a matter for the gardai to give the details in 2015 and 2016. And then earlier this year, after the gardai had completed their audit, they then asked us in March if we could share our database information about the devices with them and we’re very happy to do so, to help them in any way and then when they compared their audit with our numbers, they come up with the answer which, again, we didn’t know about until last week and coincidentally, or perhaps it was both good and bad news, it corresponded quite closely to what we had found in 2015 – that there did appear to be twice the number recorded by the gardai as our devices indicated.”

Mac Coille: “And we find that out nearly three years after you first raised this.”

Listen back in full here

Pic: An Garda Siochana

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A chilling chronicle 121 years of influential horror flicks from The Execution Of Mary Stuart (1895) to The VVitch: A New England Folktale (2016) by Brazilian editor Diego Carrera. To wit:

1 year = 1 film. “A History of Horror” is a video essay which proposes a timeline of influential and aesthetically beautiful horror movies around the world since 1895 until 2016.

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From top: Mural in West Belfast; Liam Adams (top); Gerry Adams and his late father

As Gerry Adams rose through the Republican ranks in West Belfast his father and brother were molesting and raping children.

How did the Sinn Féin President deal with revelations of abuse within his own family while suspected paedophiles were being executed at the orders of the Army Council?

Warning: contains inappropriate tweeting.

1942: Gerry Adams Senior jailed for 8 years for shooting policeman. On release from prison, he goes on to found the Felons’ Club, a political centre on the Falls Road in West Belfast, which serves as a social centre for ex-prisoners throughout the Troubles. In 1948 his eldest son, Gerry Junior (“Gerry Adams”) is born, followed by a number of other children, including another son, Liam Adams.

1964: Gerry Adams joins Sinn Fein. Maria Cahill, granddaughter of Frank Cahill, brother of leading Sinn Fein member and subsequent IRA Chief of Staff Joe Cahill, is reported in the Irish Independent, 20 October 2014, as stating that her grandfather recruited Gerry Adams into the IRA.

1970-76:
Liam Adams is IRA commanding officer in the Maze Prison. He marries Sally Corrigan and their daughter Aine is born. According to a source quoted in The Daily Mirror on October 20, 2014, during this period Joe Cahill was photographed abusing a 14-year-old girl in his car and the photographs subsequently used to ‘turn’ him into a double agent. The Daily Mail, of April 19, 2014, also states that during this period, “Sinn Fein figures” were patrons of the Elm Guest House, a celebrity paedophile brothel in London.

1977: Liam Adams commits his first sexual offence against his daughter Aine, then aged 4. The abuse continues for the next seven years, while Liam and Sally are together and (following their separation in 1982) during periods of parental access.

1980: 100 Republican women protest outside the home of Sinn Fein politician and IRA man Martin Meehan against the abuse by his wife, Briege Meehan, of her stepdaughter, Mary Meehan, during his imprisonment.

1983: Gerry Adams elected as West Belfast MP and President of Sinn Fein.

1984: Liam Adams smuggled out of Northern Ireland to America, for unidentified reasons, where he stays for 8 months, initially living with priest Patrick Moloney.

1985: Liam Adams moves back to Dundalk, in the Republic of Ireland, where he subsequently works with Cox’s Demesne Youth and Community Project.

1986: Liam Adams’ daughter Aine, now aged 14, informs her mother Sally of the sexual abuse and rape perpetuated by her father. Sally informs the Adams family, including Gerry Adams, who meets with Aine.

1987: Sally takes Aine to Grosvenor Road RUC Station, where she reports the abuse. Under pressure, Aine does not press ahead with the case because of Republican distrust of the RUC. Sunday Life, December 20, 2009, quotes an ex-intelligence agent as stating that subsequently the RUC used its knowledge of the allegations to turn Liam Adams into a double agent.

1995: Gerry Adams tells Sinn Fein supporters in North Belfast that they should not report incidents such as child and drug abuse to the RUC.

1996: Liam Adams, now the most senior Sinn Fein party official in Louth, seeks nomination to run for Sinn Fein in the 1997 election. He subsequently withdraws his nomination, allegedly at the behest of his brother Gerry, and, according to Gerry Adams, leaves the party at this point. The same year, Gerry Adams’ autobiography ‘Before the Dawn’, in which he refers to Liam ‘affectionately’ as ‘our Liam’, and thanks him for his help, is published.

1997: Gerry and Liam Adams pictured talking and laughing together on a Sinn Fein canvass in Dundalk. The same year, Liam Adams chairs 40th anniversary commemoration at Edentubber for five IRA men killed in the Border campaign and introduces as the main speaker Sinn Fein National Chairman Mitchel McLoughlin.

1997-1998: Sexual abuse of a number of family members by Gerry Adams Senior is disclosed to Gerry Adams, who has ‘no previous recollection’ of the abuse.

1998: Liam Adams warns the media about a child abuse ring in Dundalk and Donegal.

1999: Liam Adams commences part-time work for a youth project in lonard Monastery in Gerry Adams’ Belfast constituency.

2000: 17-year-old West Belfast teenager claims in the Belfast News Letter, September 12, 2000, to have been shot by the IRA after having spoken out about being abused by a senior member of the organisation. This individual, an close friend of a prominent IRA chief, was allegedly allowed to escape to Donegal after admitting offences against young girls in the course of an IRA interrogation. Sinn Fein denies that this person was ever a member of the party and states that it knows nothing about the claims. The same year, Liam Adams confesses the sexual abuse of Aine to his brother Gerry Adams during a ‘walk in the rain’ in County Louth.

2001: The same year, Breige Meehan is elected Sinn Fein councillor for Newtownabbey.

2002: Speaking in relation to Catholic Church sex abuse, Gerry Adams states that the State “has to ensure that no institution in our community is immune from civic accountability”. The same year, a series of meetings commence between Gerry Adams, Aine and Sally regarding Aine’s allegations against Liam.

2003: Death of Gerry Adams Senior, who receives a full Republican funeral. Liam Adams ceases to work at Clonard. Statutory rapist Wally Bowens, having left Ireland with his 14- year old pregnant girlfriend, is reported by the People, August 3rd, 2003 to be posing as ‘Gerry Adams’ brother in law’. Continue reading

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Donegal (top) and Mary Boyle

 Yesterday a man was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of Mary Boyle in 1977.

It has put the spotlight on the existence of a possible paedophile ring that has operated in the South Donegal area for decades.

1977: Six-year-old Mary Boyle disappears while visiting her grandparents’ home near Ballyshannon. An intensive search of the area yields no results.

1998: Speaking to the Irish Independent in his capacity as ‘youth community worker’, Liam Adams, Gerry Adams’ brother, references a ‘very well-organised paedophile ring’, which may have links in Donegal.

2000: Eugene Greene, a priest from Gort an Choirce in the Raphoe Diocese, which covers most of Donegal, is sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment after being convicted of abusing up to 26 boys in a number of parishes within the diocese during the period 1965 and 1982.

2002: Denis McGinley, a teacher from Gort an Choirce, who also abused a multiplicity of victims, is sentenced to 30 months in respect of offences committed between 1978 and 1995.

2004: Allegations that up to 22 men had sexual relations with a 13 year-old Ballyshannon girl in various locations in Ballyshannon, Rossknowlagh and Donegal Town in 2003.

2006: In February, a teenage girl is raped in Bundoran.

2007: Following an almost three-year investigation 6 men are charged with sexual assault on the 13-year-old Ballyshannon girl.

In March, another 13-year-old girl is attacked and raped in Donegal Town by a local man in his twenties. In September, a teenage girl is sexually assaulted by a 22-year-old man on the main street of Donegal Town while walking home from school. In the same month, another teenage girl is sexually assaulted in Bundoran.

Trials of six men charged in relation to the 13-year-old Ballyshannon girl take place. Five men, aged between 22 and 34 years of age, are convicted, four of whom are sentenced to periods of imprisonment of between two and three years, with the other being given a suspended sentence., pleads not guilty, is convicted on two counts, and sentenced to 2 years and six months.. The sixth man successfully pleads genuine mistake as to age and is found not guilty.

2008: In September, a 16-year-old girl is attacked by an 18-year-old youth at the Harvest Fair in Glenties.

Retired Garda Martin Ridge, who led the investigation into Greene and McGinley, publishes a book about the investigation ‘Breaking the Silence’ (Gill & Macmillan). This book alleges that Eugene Greene was known to clergy in Raphoe as a paedophile at least as early as 1976.

2009: In April, a 57-year-old Bundoran man is convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old girl.

2010: In June, it is reported that the gardai have files on 16 additional men who had sexual intercourse with the 13-year-old Ballyshannon girl in 2003 but against whom charges were not brought by the DPP due to insufficient evidence. The girl’s diary records that she had sex 57 times with 22 men over a six-month period.

In July, paedophile William John Paden – one of Britain’s most wanted sex offenders – is arrested in Ballyshannon.

2011: A schoolgirl is raped by a schoolboy after the Ballyshannon Carnival. Two other girls come forward to allege rape by the same boy, whom the Mirror states is “believed to have links to a notorious pervert from the county who was jailed in the past for a sex attack”.

In June, the Irish Independent reports that the gardai have begun an investigation into an organized child sex ring in Donegal.

The following month, paedophile Michael Ferry is convicted of having raped four boys on the premises of an Irish language summer school in Gweedore. Ferry was allowed to carry out odd jobs on the school despite the management being aware of his past conviction for a sexual offence in 2002. Justice Minister Alan Shatter orders an investigation. One of the victims, Derek Mulligan, waives his anonymnity and expresses concern that Ferry – who took pictures of the boys when abusing them – may have been part of a paedophile ring operating in the area. Highland Radio reports that the Gardai are investigating claims against four other persons linked to Ferry. Two men are subsequently arrested and released in what are believed to be Ferry-linked investigations, although no charges are subsequently brought.

An unidentified source involved in social work is quoted in the Donegal Democrat as stating that child sex abuse is rampant in parts of Donegal and has been for many years. In August, the Guardian reports that new evidence has emerged of a lay paedophile ring in Donegal paralleling the church paedophile ring to be detailed in the forthcoming Raphoe Report, in which the Gardai was complicit, and in relation to which an investigation is now under way.

In November, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church publishes the Raphoe Report. This review of sexual abuse in the Raphoe Diocese purports to examine all case files from 1975 to 2010 to determine how allegations and concerns were dealt with. The report identifies 52 allegations against 14 separate priests in the diocese since 1975, eight of whom have left the priesthood or are no longer serving in a ministry and four of whom have been convicted of offenses against children or young people. The only priest named in the report is Father Greene. The Report was described as a whitewash by the local Tirconaill Tribune newspaper, which criticised the reviewers for not having spoken with the persons abused.

The same month, an abuse survivor, John O’Donnell of Flacarragh, demands a full state enquiry into alleged cover up of a 1970s Donegal paedophile ring. Mr O’Donnell alleges that his attempt to report his abuse by a lay church member to the Gardai in 1973 resulted in him being slapped and slung out.

The same year, the Gardai begin a review into the case of Mary Boyle.

2012: In February, a youth is arrested following a sexual attack on a 15-year-old girl in Ballyshannon.

In May, the BBC airs a documentary about clerical child abuse in Donegal “The Shame of the Catholic Church.” The documentary focuses on a secret church inquiry in 1975 when a 14-year-old Donegal boy, Brendan Boland, was questioned by the church after he had disclosed he had been abused by Fr Smyth during time spent by him in a parish Donegal. Three priests took part in the process, among them Cardinal Brady, then Fr John Brady – a canon lawyer, bishop’s secretary and school teacher.

In the documentary, retired Garda Martin Ridge is quoted as saying:-“I don’t believe a week went by in West Donegal where you hadn’t a child or a number of children sexually abused . It’s horrendous. Anywhere you look around here which is so hard to fathom: by-roads, side roads, churches, schools – the abuse here was something unbelievable, unbelievable. And the fact that nobody in the public spoke out about this after the total carnage here.”

2013: A 63-year-old man is convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for 35 charges of indecent assault on two young brothers in Ballyshannon between 1966 and 1971.

A 44-year-old Ballyshannon man pleads guilty to approaching schoolboys in their early teens, showing them porn and offering them money for sex.

Peter Cororan of Falcarragh is sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for the abuse of seven victims, some aged as young as 7, over the course of 16 years.

In October, Liam Adams is convicted of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, over a six-year period between 1977 and 1983.

2014: In January, TG4 programme Micheál Ó Fearraigh: Feall i ndiaidh Fill airs. The programme states that, although an interim Garda report supplied to the Justice Minister in the months following Ferry’s 2011 conviction claims that gardaí had alerted both the school’s directors and the then North Western Health Board (now HSE) about Ferry’s first conviction shortly after it occurred in 2002, the Health Service Executive has yet to publish its own internal report into what actions it took after receiving this information from gardaí.

In April, Arline Murphy, aged 50, from Ballyshannon, publishes her story in the Donegal Democrat, detailing a history of abuse between the ages of 7 and 16 by a number of different Ballyshannon people, both male and female, known to one another.

Gardai investigating the disappearance of Mary Boyle inspect and take forensic evidence from a bowl-shaped area of land near where she was last seen, and where neighbours reported seeing what appeared to be a shallow grave some days after her disappearance. Although they informed the Gardai, no body was found in the spot by the time it came to be searched.

On October 21, it is reported that a 64-year-old man has been questioned about the kidnapping of Mary Boyle. The man, resident in the Ballyshannon area at the time of Mary’s disappearance, is currently serving time for indecent assault.

Mary Boyle: Man arrested over Donegal girl’s 1977 disappearance (BBC)

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