She should have been safe in primary school among her friends, in the town she lived in, dropped off at the gate each day by her parents. But instead Lynn was summoned to the principal’s office several times a week where he’d close the door, tilt his venetian window blinds so that nobody could see in and sexually abuse her. Then he’d send her back to class. She was about eight years old. 
Her alleged abuser, who is now dead, was regarded as a pillar of the community. He held senior positions in the local community, took part in public events which were largely attended and regarded the school’s priest, the chairman of the board of governors, as a close confidant. 
And the abuse, she claims, did not remain within the confies of his small, dark office but at the Lakeland Forum where he allegedly abused her under the water while teaching her to swim.
The alleged abuse may have occurred around 40 years ago but Lynn (not her real name) remembers it as if it was yesterday. Her life has not been the same since and even now as a 53 year old she can still recall how the “creepy and evil man” stole her innocence all those years ago.
“I remember vividly where the abuse took place; in his office. I always remember the venetian blinds, that’s one thing that sticks out in my mind and they were always titled. You could see out if you were in the office, but nobody could see in the way they were tilted. I remember his big, brown desk at the window and his chair facing out towards the window, so as you went into the office you would have seen the back of his chair facing you,” she told The Impartial Reporter.
Often Lynn was asked to bring the mission box which included donations for charities to the principal’s office and each time this is when she alleges the principal abused her.
“He closed over the door and stood behind. First he talked to me about different things, how you were getting on, he would ask, things like that, then within five minutes the abuse would begin. He rubbed my shoulders, then he worked down under my clothes and chest area, then proceeded to place his hands under my underwear. He molested me, again and again,” she said.
Each time he touched her she froze, she did not know what to do or what was happening.
“I think back, why didn’t I run out of the office? I was so young, I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I went back to the classroom in a complete daze, to think he could do that, to think he could get away with it whenever he liked. He thought children were his property.”
The abuse went on for years and when she was, as she puts it “a bit older and wiser”, she recalls tiptoeing gently to the office and leaving the box of money to help African children outside his door so he wouldn’t abuse her. “I did this so I wouldn’t be abused,” she told this newspaper.
But she couldn’t escape him when he took her class for swimming lessons to the Lakeland Forum where it’s claimed he continued abusing her, unbeknown to the other teachers and children nearby.
“He would have got into the pool with us, he would have been in the water. He would have held you on top of the water so you were learning to swim but when he did this he always, always put his hands on your private area, under my bathing costume. I was no older than nine or 10.
“He lifted you up with his hands placed underneath you, it wasn’t visible to the others who were in the pool or nearby. That’s how creepy he was. Each time I felt isolated, I felt terrible and now when I pass the Lakeland Forum it brings it all back, every time,” she said.
Lynn believes there may be “dozens of other victims” and claims that before her alleged abuser retired from teaching he was “caught abusing a child” by an employee at the school.
 A second source, who worked at the school, has confirmed to this newspaper that “rumours” did surround the principal in relation to inappropriate sexual behaviour towards children.
Lynn added: “I know that I am definitely not the only one.”
She recalls each time the school nurse appeared at the school young girls like her were asked to go into the staff room to get changed where the principal would be watching every move.
“We stripped down to our pants and he always in came in and stared at us. Why was he allowed to come in? Why did the nurse allow him to come in? 
“Maybe because he thought he could and he did, he thought he was untouchable. Sure, he was appointed by the Catholic Church, he was friendly with the priest who was the head of the board of governors. They [the Catholic Church] have a lot to answer for too and how they facilitated this man.”
There are also questions for the Police Service of Northern Ireland whom Lynn first contacted last year but was left less than impressed by the response. Two weeks ago she was told by specialist officers working on historical sex abuse in Fermanagh, uncovered by this newspaper, that police would likely not be taking a formal statement from her.
“I have not been treated very well by the police; it took me 40 years to come forward with this only to be treated it like that. Last year they kept putting me off, then when I got talking to them they looked up the computer and said they couldn’t see anything about him, that his name mightn’t be on anything. They didn’t take a statement. 
“And someone contacted me last week to say we don’t know if we really will get a statement from you because we are so busy. Can you believe that? They never, ever took a statement from me. I feel dreadful. That’s how they treat someone whose whole childhood was taken by a man who should have been keeping me and so many others safe,” she told The Impartial Reporter this week, fighting back tears. 
Yesterday (Wednesday) a PSNI spokeswoman said: “In relation to the reports of historical sexual abuse in Fermanagh, a statement will be recorded from all victims who wish to do so.”


Nexus NI offers counselling and support. For further information visit or to make an appointment contact the Enniskillen office on 028 66 32 0046. The 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline can be contacted on 0800 917 1414 The Rowan, a specialist regional Centre for victims of sexual violence and abuse that offers support and a range of medical services. Free phone helpline is 0800 399 4424 or for more information visit


To report allegations of child sex abuse in Fermanagh phone the Police Service of Northern on 101. Your details will be recorded by specially trained staff and someone will return your call Do you have information relating to the litany of abuse carried out by David Sullivan or other men and women in Fermanagh? If, like ‘Lynn’, you feel strong enough to share your story or information about sex abuse in Fermanagh e-mail or phone us on 028 66 32 44 22.