Child sex offender McDermott not at Holm

Fundraisers at Bow Street
Fundraisers at Bow Street

According to the authorities there is no truth to claims on social media that convicted child-abuser John Michael McDermott was recently rehoused at Holm Terrace, Dromore.

Local residents were reportedly convinced a recent newcomer - wh0 has since been relocated, The Leader understands - was the notorious Fermanagh man described by a Crown Court judge as “one of the worst” sex offenders in Northern Ireland.

John Michael McDermott, from Moorlough Road, Donagh, County Fermanagh, was jailed for 10 years following his abuse of eight children.

A concurrent 12-month total jail term was imposed earlier this year after he admitted abusing a ninth victim.

McDermott (64) was one of four brothers responsible for what another judge had previously described as a “tidal wave of abuse” in the village.

He was the only one of the brothers to stand trial for child sex abuse.

Two others, James McDermott (62) and Owen McDermott (54) were to have stood trial with him in 2010, charged with sex offences dating to the 1970s and 1980s.

However,the pair were deemed unfit to stand trial due to mental disability.

A fourth brother, Peter Paul McDermott (62), took his own life the day after he went on trial for his role in the abuse.

Following John McDermott’s release from prison in recent weeks, fears took hold in Dromore that he was living at Holm Terrace.

Among those to contact police and probation authorities to raise local concerns were Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Dromore Councillor Paul Rankin.

However, while there has been little by way of official comment in respect of the individual suspected by residents, assurances have been given that it was not, in fact, John Michael McDermott.