Gardai interview: Judge has asked the Gardai to interview a father accused of sexually abusing his daughter. Why has it taken so long to carry out this interview? Sexual abuse is occurring too frequently in Irish society. There appears to be no deterrence to stop predators/perpetrators. Worse is where there are false accusations – this needs to be clarified to clear the name of someone if they are falsely accused.

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Judge calls on gardaí to interview man accused of sexually abusing his daughter ‘as a matter of urgency’

 8th September 2022

A judge has called on gardaí to interview a father accused of sexually abusing his daughter “as a matter of urgency”.

At the Family Law Court, Judge Mary Larkin said: “I hate to say it but if the man went down to Supermac’s and stole a burger he would probably be interviewed within the week.”

She made the comment after the solicitor for the man said it may be a number of months before gardaí interview her client on the matter.

The solicitor said a complaint was made against the man to Tusla of sexual abuse of his child two weeks after a Circuit Court judge struck out a family law appeal by the child’s mother.

She said that an independent child expert last year recommended in a report that the father should have sole custody of his daughter.

The estranged couple are currently going through divorce proceedings.

On the need for gardaí to interview the man as a matter of urgency, Judge Larkin said: “You can’t leave someone out there being accused and not being aware of what he is accused of – when it is his own child.”

She said that “the lives of these people are to be held in abeyance while the powers that be take their time in doing their job”.

A social worker for Tusla told Judge Larkin that she could not detail the specifics concerning the child sex allegation as gardaí have asked Tusla not to disclose any specifics.

The solicitor for Tusla said his clients are anxious not to undermine any garda investigation.

The solicitor for the man said her client did not see his child for six weeks after the allegation was made but that access has now resumed and the child is subject to an interim Tusla safety plan.

Judge Larkin said the mother had previously alleged that her ex-partner had given their daughter a long lingering kiss on the mouth at an access visit. The judge said she concluded that this did not happen.

Judge Larkin told the court: “I am extremely concerned about these new allegations and I have concerns about the credibility of some of the parties and I don’t say that lightly.”

The Tusla social worker said the child in the case had “made clear and concerning allegations” to Tusla staff.

The social worker said she has not witnessed the child show any fear towards her father.

Judge Larkin said the access arrangements for the father – which take place with the father’s girlfriend in attendance – are to remain in place and adjourned the case to next month.

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