The father of a woman who claims she was sexually abused by several Orangemen decades ago says he raised the allegations with the Orange Order during a meeting in Enniskillen.

John (not his real name) submitted his resignation from the Orange Order when the full extent of what his daughter was claiming to have experienced emerged.

He says he was asked to attend a meeting in Enniskillen where a panel of three men [whose names he has provided to this newspaper] questioned him on his reasons for resigning.

“I told them the truth, I told him that some of their members had abused my daughter, I told them one of them had propositioned my wife,” he said.

He claims “nothing was done” about those he had named and now says the institution “must expel” those men at the centre of the allegations.

He says he resigned because some of the alleged perpetrators were members of his lodge and he “could not bear being in the same room as them”.

He also claims when another lodge invited him to join a few years ago the request was blocked by his former lodge because of the sex abuse allegations and still is.

He chose to spoke to this newspaper, independently, after following the plethora of sexual abuse allegations being made right across the county in recent months.

It has been a difficult pill for John and his wife to swallow as for years they watched in agony as their daughter Sara (not her real name) hit the self-destruct button and found solace in a bottle of vodka and spoke of an ever increasing desire to end her life.

They couldn’t work out why she was, as a John puts it, “temperamental and difficult” and then their world fell apart when she revealed in extensive detail the trauma she claimed to have been through as a result of their two passions: the Orange Order and the church.

“In 1998 she told me what she had gone through, we couldn’t believe it. We didn’t believe it. Maybe we didn’t want to believe it.

“We could never understand why she was such a difficult girl to deal with when she was growing up. We have since realised why she was the way she was. At first we doubted her, we doubted the things she did or said. Now we can understand why she was so temperamental because we have spent the years that have passed piecing things together.

“I know she was telling the truth, I know she was abused by those men,” he said, his voice trembling as he spoke.

John recalls that moment over 20 years ago when his daughter was admitted to a clinic to receive help for her longstanding problem with alcohol. But all, he says, was not what it seemed.

“When she was admitted to the clinic in Omagh with alcohol issues we spoke to the doctors and nurses who said what they had seen had nothing to do with alcohol, that there was something more, something deeper that was causing it. Then it emerged later what it was, she had been abused.

“Neither the wife or myself knew there were things like that going on around us, we weren’t suspicious in our minds, we found it all very hard to believe at first,” he said.

But over the years John said his view changed as he began to learn more about the alleged perpetrators, some of whom were members of the same Orange lodge as him.

“We believe it because of the men she has mentioned. Over the years we have seen and heard things which has verified her story further.

“For instance one of the men that she has accused we used to run about with, we socialised with him and his wife. We know what he was like.”

John recalls driving to an event with his wife while the man and his wife were in the back of the car, in between them sat a young girl, about 14 or 15 years old who was attending another event in the same town.

“We were giving her a lift and this other bloke and his wife were in beside her. When we were on our way home this bloke said ‘I bet I’ll have the trousers off this girl before we get home and attempted to take them off’. He was not doing it just for fun,” said John, believing he was “sexually motivated”.

He claims this particular man, the same school bus driver who Sara has accused of abusing her, “had a thing for young girls” and recalls how he used to brag about giving another girl lifts in the middle of the night.

“She was still in school and would have arranged with him pick to her up when she wanted to go places. He said she would have got out through the window and he’d pick her up and leave her home. Who knows what went on during that time,” he said.

“It is not nice hearing that as a parent, it is terrible,” said John.

He also claims that one of the Orangemen his daughter has accused of sexually abusing her also attempted to abuse his wife.

“My wife used to go out to the band practice and there was one evening I couldn’t go out to take her home so this man drove her home and before he got back to our house he pulled into a layby and propositioned her.

“He then went on and abused my daughter,” he said.

John said he had no option but to resign from the Orange Order after 30 years.

“I was a member of the Orange Order for many years but because of what happened to my daughter I resigned. There were members of my lodge that she had accused of abusing her and I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting with those people so I submitted my resignation,” he said.

Years later he was summoned to a meeting with the Orange Order after it was suggested to him that he re-join a different lodge.

But in order to re-join John would need the permission of his previous lodge which include among its membership some of the men his daughter has accused of abusing her. That permission, even today, has not been granted.

“That’s because some of the people she accused are still in the lodge and those people linked to them have said they will resign if I return even to a different lodge,” he said.

John has described those who he believes abused his daughter as “evil” and wants the police and the Orange Order to act.

“If members of the Orange Order are guilty they should be prosecuted by the courts and they should be expelled. There should be no place for anyone who does this in the Orange Order for that matter,” he said.

He says he was “not surprised” to learn some individuals within the institution did nothing about the allegations, as claimed by his daughter and another alleged victim.

“I am quite sure that some in the Orange Order have no qualms in protecting themselves,” he said.