The chief executive officer of one of Ireland’s largest Irish colleges, Colaiste na bhFiann, has backed calls for the police to order a review into sexual allegations against the recently deceased Domhnall Lubhlai.
The TG4 Irish language documentary, aired earlier this week on Irish television, alleged that O Lubhlai, dubbed “The Irish Jimmy Savile” had admitted to the police that he had abused “scores” of his students while working as an Irish and religion teacher in Clondalkin.
O Lubhlai had also worked for Gael Linn, an Irish language advocacy group, where he organized children’s camp vacations to the Gaeltacht (Irish colleges). He was also the founder of Colaiste na bhFiann, in Rosmuc, Co Galway, in the 1970s and hosted a TV show in the late 1970s.
The documentary claimed that O Lubhlai plied the children with alcohol and told them there was only one bed and they would have to share. One of the alleged victims, Gearoid O Crothar, said he was abused for more than three-and-a-half years in the early 1970s.
O Lubhlai had been brought to court at the end of 1990s on 56 other charges of sexual abuse against children. This case was thrown out of court due to O Lubhlai’s defense that he had been highly medicated while speaking to police.
New evidence and victims unearthed by this documentary reveals that O Lubhlai could have abused hundreds of children over decades. O Lubhlai died last month at his home in Mullingar, County Westmeath.
Now Caitriona Ni Cheallaigh, Colaiste na bhFiann’s chief executive, has agreed with the TG4 documentary and says the police should review their files in relation to O Lubhlai. She also said Justice Minister Alan Shatter should order an inquiry.
She told the Irish Independent, “Particular evidence, including tapes and a file, which were central to the case, went missing.
"It's not satisfactory and it meant Domhnall O Lubhlai was walking in and out of secondary schools all around the country selling a book he had written.
"He was doing that as a free agent and that was very distressing for his victims," she told the Irish Independent.
"This is a man who was a huge character and central to Irish language and education in general.
"He was widely regarded right across the country and it's quite amazing that even in 2013, people still refuse to believe that it was true."
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he has requested information from the gardai on the criminal investigations which took place. He declined to comment until further research had been carried out.
The Rape Crisis Network Ireland’s executive director, Fiona Neary, said police reviewed all of their files. She said, “Mr O Lubhlai has allegations against him that date from 1955 up to the present day. It appears that at least two opportunities in 1991 and 1998 were presented to the gardai to investigate allegations against this very influential and powerful figure.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore