January 8, 2015

A well-known Irish dancing teacher from Donegal has said he simply does not have the means to pay €400,000 to a young woman he was accused of sexually abusing.

Michael Quigley at an earlier court appearance.

Michael Quigley at an earlier court appearance.

Michael Quigley, from Letterkenny, had been ordered to pay the compensation to his former pupil Dana Doherty by the High Court.

But the 70 year old told Letterkenny District Court yesterday that he was only surviving on €339 a week from his pensions.

Quigley, of Barnhill Park, told Ms Doherty’s solicitor Orlagh Sharkey “I have not made any effort because I’m not in a position to pay anything. My only assets are my pensions.”

Quigley said he had nothing left once he had paid his bills when outlining his statement of means.

Ms Sharkey challenged him on his claim that he paid half – or almost half – of the mortgage on his home.

“This is in direct contradiction to a statement made by your wife to the High Court in which she said in evidence and in an affidavit that she paid all of the mortgage on your home,” said Ms Sharkey to the witness.

“That’s not the case,” replied Quigley.

He added that he didn’t have any bank accounts, but rather a credit union account into which his pension is paid.

Quigley told the court that he used that account to withdraw his pension and to pay bills and also revealed he had Stg£5,919 in the credit union account in Derry.

Judge Paul Kelly asked Ms Sharkey how much her client was looking for and was informed Ms Doherty was seeking €1,000 per month.

Ms Sharkey said Quigley’s statement on his monthly expenditure was ‘entirely contradictory’ set against previous court hearings.

Quigley’s wife Alice, she said, had claimed in one court to the sole owner of property whereas in court yesterday Quigley was now claiming the ownership of the property was “a joint exercise”.

She added: “Alice Quigley is a retired national school teacher in receipt of a very healthy pension.

“Mr Quigley fails to appreciate the serious nature of the High Court judgement against him and he has made no effort whatsoever to compensate our client.”

Judge Kelly ordered that Quigley should provide details of all or any of his accounts for the whole of 2014 and also this month.

He also asked for receipts for January showing his day by day expenditure.

All this information should be given to Ms Doherty’s solicitors Callan Tansey Solicitors in Sligo and to the court by the end of February, the judge added before adjourning the case until March 4th.

Quigley underwent two criminal trials in Letterkenny on indecent assault charges but, in both, the juries were unable to reach verdicts.

Ms Doherty then took a civil action and was awarded €400,000. He appealed that award and last July the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.