Sex offender allowed move back into family home

Man had lived apart from family as part of Tusla safety plan
Sex offender allowed move back into family home

Gordon Deegan

A father and convicted sex offender is to be immediately allowed to return home to live with his wife and children after spending more than two and a half years apart.

The man moved out of the family home in September 2020 as part of a Tusla safety plan for his three children aged under 18.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency (CFA) intervened after discovering that the man is a convicted sex offender.

Now, after living alone away from the family since September 2020, Judge Mary Larkin at a family law court sitting has been told that the man can immediately move back into the family home.

Risk assessment

This follows the outcome of a positive risk assessment and solicitor for Tusla, Kevin Sherry told Judge Larkin that his instructions are to withdraw all proceedings in the case.

The parents in the case had given sworn undertakings that there would be no unauthorised access of the children for the father and the parents would not see each other.

Mr Sherry said that all required sworn undertakings can be vacated.

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) was appointed by the court to be the independent voice of the three children in the family law proceedings and a solicitor for the GAL told Judge Larkin that the GAL is supportive of the father’s return to the family home.

Since last year, Tusla has overseen supervised access between the father and his children.


The man was convicted in 1999 of the sexual abuse in 1995 of two girls under the age of 12, and he received a four-year suspended prison sentence.

The sex offender had kept his sexually deviant past a secret from his partner and their children.

In 2021, a Tusla Interim Care Order (ICO) application to remove the children from the care of their parents was rejected after the parents gave the sworn undertakings.

In rejecting Tusla ICO application, Judge Bernadette Owens said previously that none of the three children concerned or any child since the man's sex offence conviction from 1999 had made a disclosure of child sex abuse against the man.

On the final day of the four-day hearing into the CFA application in 2021, an adult son of the couple said that he was “devastated” when a social worker told him that his father was a sex offender.

The GAL told the hearing that she had spoken to the father and that “he is very apologetic for everything that has happened to his children, particularly the threat of them being removed from their mother’s care”.

She said that the father “regrets deeply the deceit and silence over the years”.

The GAL stated that it is very raw for the children having the information about their father’s past “and the information is very well known in their community”.

Along with the 1999 conviction concerning the offence in 1995, the man also received the Probation Act in a court in 1982 after three of his sisters made complaints of a sexual nature against him.

In the case, Tusla only acted after an adult son of the man from a previous relationship made a disclosure in 2018 expressing his concern for the risk posed by his father to the three children aged under the age of 18.

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