‘Lessons learned’ from Donagh abuse case

McDermott Brothers

McDermott Brothers

A NEW REPORT has suggested that clerical errors made in the handling of a Fermanagh sex abuse case, has meant that in future court orders will be accurate.

The case was that of brothers James and Owen Roe McDermott, Donagh, and the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland has said that lessons have been learned, the BBC reported.


“The Donagh case highlighted a number of weaknesses and, while the errors did not have a material effect on the outcome or the disposal of the case, they undermined public confidence in the criminal justice system at that time,” said Brendan McGuigan, chief inspector of CJI Northern Ireland.

In the Donagh case, inspectors said that weaknesses existed in the system caused by: the failure of court personnel to maintain a timely and accurate case record at each stage; limitations within the IT system; human error in transcribing; assurance checking against original court records that were inaccurate in the first place; some technical errors; failure to issue notification orders to defendants.

The CJI said improvements in the system since have reduced the risk of this happening again.

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