18 Aug 2022

Man claims sister made false claims of sexual abuse against him

Man claims sister made false claims of sexual abuse against him

A man who claims his sister made false claims that he sexually abused her has launched a High Court challenge over the Child and Family Agency's refusal to rescind a notice about him to the Garda Vetting Bureau.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says his sister made the false accusations against him following a conflict within the family home in relation to their late mother's estate.

The court heard that the man had lived in what is now former family home with his mother and a sibling for many years. 

Four years ago, he claims his sister, along with her adult son, moved into that property with them.

A few months later the man claims that he, and other family members, asked his sister and her child to leave the property because of their alleged bullying and aggressive behaviour towards him.

Sometime afterwards the man, who now resides at a different property, was informed by the CFA that his sister had alleged that he had sexually abused her on several occasions during the early 1970's.

The man denied the allegations, and informed the CFA that the allegations were made as a result of his sister of being asked to leave the former family home.

Despite his denials the CFA concluded that the allegations were founded. He claims that decision is tainted and the investigation process carried out following the complaint was flawed and unfair.

He said that a social worker that made the initial finding against him had done so without any robust or meaningful analysis of the allegations, had wrongly made a finding that he was a paedophile and had committed unnatural and criminal offences against his sister.  

Arising out of that finding a Specified Information Notice was issued to the National Garda Vetting Bureau.

The man who is aged in his sixties,  successfully appealed the CFA's finding.

An appeal panel held that his denials of the allegations had not been properly taken into account, or stress tested by the CFA.

The appeal panel also noted that the social worker who made the finding against him had wrongly stated that there was no evidence to support the man's claim that the allegations were in response to a conflict within the family.

Following the appeal, he sought to have the notice rescinded immediately. 

However, he claims that the CFA, due to its initial finding, have refused to do this. 

Represented by Michael O'Higgins SC, the man has brought judicial review proceedings where he seeks an order quashing the CFA's refusal to rescind the notice issued about him to the Garda Vetting Bureau in 2019.

He also seeks an order preventing the CFA from disclosing any information to any other parties, until the High Court action has concluded.

He further seeks a declaration that the CFA's refusal to rescind the notice is a breach of his constitutional rights, including his rights to privacy, family, fair procedures and his good name.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Charles Meenan. The matter will return before the court in July.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.