A new documentary claims that Domhnall O Lubhlai, who has been branded the “Irish Jimmy Saville”, sexually abused dozens of boys over two decades.
The families of some of his alleged victims estimate that O Lubhlai could have abused up to 100 boys while he was teaching Irish and religion between 1971 and 1991.
O Lubhlai, an Irish language advocate and founder of one of Ireland’s largest Irish colleges Colaiste na bhFiann, allegedly attacked children, telling them there was only one bed available during trips to the Gaeltacht, forcing them to sleep with him.
In 2000 O Lubhlai went to court charged with 56 counts of sexual abuse against 11 children. The case was thrown out when O Lubhlai claimed he had been on medication when he spoke to the police.
The TG4 documentary investigators said O Lubhlai, known as “Donal Lovely,” admitted to the police that he had sexually abused boys.
However he was never brought to trial for these crimes and he died last month at his home in Mullingar, County Westmeath.
The TG4 documentary said the children were given alcohol when they reached the Irish college and they were then told they would have to share a bed with him. During his career O’Lubhlai worked for Gael Linn, organizing children's camps in the the Gaeltacht and teaching in Clondalkin. He presented an RTE TV show in the late 1970s.
Gearoid O Crothar, an alleged victim, claims he was abused for more than three and a half years in the early 1970s.
Documentary maker Sorcha Ni Mhonachain spoke to one of Lubhlai’s students Liam O Maoladha about the allegations during the documentary. He said he lives with deep regret for not speaking to the police.
He said, “I do not know why I didn’t. I’m not proud of that.”
O Maoladha did speak in 1998. He was one of five men who testified against O Lubhlai but the trial collapsed.