GARDAI are investigating claims that paedophile Michael Ferry is just one of a number of abusers who have preyed on young boys in Gaoth Dobhair over the past two decades.

It’s understood up to four other men from the area are being accused of attacking young boys – some of them at the school building in Derrybeg where Ferry attacked his victims.

One of them is brave 24-year-old Derek Mulligan (pictured) whose courage in speaking out about Ferry has helped to expose the level of sickening abuse which took place.

While he was one of four boys for whom Ferry was jailed for 18 years on Monday past, it’s thought there are many more victims who have not yet come forward.

Some of the victims may have been abused by Ferry and some of the other men.

One source told donegaldaily.com that the Ferry affair may be much worse than has been reported so far.

“There are many other victims who have not as yet come forward,” said one source.

“And there may have been many more abusers.”

Mr Mulligan and others were abused after Ferry was convicted of other child sex offences in October 2002.

Mr Mulligan finds it incredible that happened – and is furious with a statement issued by the college in Derrybeg in which an attempt was made to downplay Ferry’s position there.

“He (Ferry) was still there until last year,” said Mr Mulligan. “They’ve had a year to issue the statement, they’ve known he’s been in jail…..they knew what he was capable of and what he was able to do.”

Donal O Loinsigh, who co-runs Ard Scoil Mhuire in Derrybeg, issued a statement “denying” that Ferry was “employed”.

He downplayed his position, insisting he was an “odd jobs” man who was supervised at all times.

This is disputed by Mr Mulligan who confronted evil Ferry at the school just 13 months ago where he was still working.

Ferry was paid for his work at the college.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has now received preliminary information from An Garda Síochána in response to his request for information about the circumstances surrounding the continued employment Ferry after his 2002 conviction.

The Minister has been informed by the Garda Commissioner that their records show that on 16 October, 2002 the then Health Board were informed by the Gardaí, in accordance with the Children First guidelines, of the conviction of the person in question and of where he was believed to be working.

Mr Shatter said: “It is the clear recollection of Gardaí that the owner of the school was in court for the criminal proceedings against that person.

“In addition, a Garda subsequently spoke to the owner of the school about the conviction and expressed his concerns about that person continuing to work at the school.”

Minister Shatter added: “I welcome this clarification from the Garda Commissioner.  This makes it all the more necessary for those who chose to continue the employment of this person to explain themselves.”

The owner of the school was unavailable for comment last night.

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