A public meeting has been held in Enniskillen to discuss revelations of historical child sexual abuse.

About 50 people attended Tuesday's night's meeting during which organiser and alleged abuse victim Caroline Wheeler said “the walls of silence” must be broken down.

It follows a long-running investigation by The Impartial Reporter newspaper after more than 60 people came forward to claim they were sexually abused as children.

The meeting was addressed by a panel which included health experts and representatives of support agencies, including Women’s Aid.

A man who, who said he was a survivor of abuse, told the audience of about 50 people: “I am a survivor of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

“I know many victims are afraid of speaking out because of the impact it may have on others. That is another form of abuse. Keeping us quiet. Why is their peace so important and ours who were abused as children is not? Predators will not suppress us anymore.”  

It’s claimed the abuse has taken place in different towns and villages across Fermanagh by different men and women, including businessmen, teachers, principals, Orangemen, sporting figures, members of the clergy and highly regarded people who abused their positions of trust.

Father Brian D’Arcy, who was abused as a young cleric said society in Fermanagh “has listened” and added that the revelations have given victims a voice.

“It may even give justice. But nobody is with you in the dark of night when the horror comes back, of the innocence stolen from you by somebody who should have known better.”

“There is a prevailing attitude of “that should be dealt with quietly.” That what abuse is all about.”