THE father of an alleged historical child sex abuse victim in Fermanagh, who sadly died this year, has been told by police that as his daughter is now not available to give evidence, the hope of getting a conviction is not good.

The woman was allegedly abused by members of the Orange Order when she was a junior member of an Orange lodge in Fermanagh during the 1970s. It is alleged that several senior members of the organisation contributed and encouraged sexual assaults, battery and the rape of the young member.

Legal proceedings began earlier this year but the woman, who cannot be identified, died before her case could reach a conclusion. Following her death, the woman’s father has pledged to carry on fighting for justice on her behalf.

Speaking of his late daughter, he said: “My daughter’s passing has left us with a gap that we don’t know how to fill. The one thing that gives us comfort is that she carried out a lot of good work, and it hasn’t been in vain.

“We know that she is at peace now, away from the strife that she had suffered over the years.”

The man told this newspaper that, following his daughter’s death, he was visited by a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer who is investigating the case.

She explained to him that it would have been necessary for his daughter to give more evidence to assist the investigation.

“They said that would have a big bearing on the results of the case, and because she wouldn’t be there, there would be less hope of a conviction. That’s one of the things that is worrying us, that there may not be a conviction,” he told The Impartial Reporter.

When contacted about this matter, a spokeswoman for the PSNI stated: "We do not comment on individual cases however our inquiries into the allegations of historical sexual abuse in County Fermanagh are ongoing and Public Protection detectives are actively working on all of the reports made to us and are focused on gathering all relevant evidence. Files will be submitted to the PPS in due course for consideration."

The Sunday Independent revealed this week that a writ is to be filed at Belfast’s High Court against the Orange Order within weeks, following the allegations that some of its members sexually abused the woman as a child.


Human rights lawyer Kevin Winters of KRW Law in Belfast has initiated the civil action on behalf of the family of the alleged victim.

In correspondence, seen by The Sunday Independent, the Orange Order is to be “put on notice” by KRW over claims the victim sustained “repeated sexual assaults and rape” on the grounds of at least two Orange Halls from the age of eight.

During an interview for Silent No More, a BBC documentary which aired last year, the woman alleged being sexually assaulted while attending band practice at the Orange Halls in the height of The Troubles.

She recalled how she had “kicked, bit and screamed” in a bid to stop the men from touching her, and claimed that on more than one occasion her underwear was removed by one of the men as part of a “sick game”.

“The boys had to get a pair of the girls’ knickers off and hang them on the flag pole where the Union flag would go. We were hunted like foxes,” she said.

Making a heartfelt appeal through this newspaper, the deceased woman’s father is asking for others who have been impacted by his daughter’s alleged abusers to come forward and speak to the PSNI.

He said: “We would hope that the press would maybe help to bring some people forward to give evidence and help with gaining a conviction.

“We are concerned about all the children that have been abused, and all of the families that have been affected by it over the years.

“We know that there are other people out there that haven’t come forward, and we think that they will possibly come forward now.”

His voice beginning to break, he added: “This has been going on for over 40 years, and it would be great to get some closure on it.”