Daniel Kelleher, the victim of sex abuser Leo Hickey, has said he won’t give up until he knows who is responsible for letting the former Dunderrow school principal take up a position in Ballincollig.
Leo Hickey (77) from Realt na Mara, Skevanish, Innishannon had denied eight counts of sexually assaulting Daniel while teaching at Scoil Eoin Boys National School in Ballincollig on dates between November 1991 and June 1992.
But the jury of five men and seven women at Cork Circuit Criminal Court took just an hour and five minutes in March to unanimously convict Hickey.
Hickey was last week sentenced to three years in jail with two years suspended, and some of the year in jail has been back-dated, meaning Hickey will be free again within the year.
Speaking to RED FM this week, Mr Kelleher said his abuser was given a ‘slap on the hand’ for his abuse.
‘I don’t have faith in the courts anymore,’ he told the radio station, adding: ‘He is alive because I have faith in God.’
Daniel said that Leo Hickey had ‘lied the whole way through’ the case.
‘He tried to come across as a good teacher, a respectable human being, he is just an evil man. Even the way he looked at me leaving the court. It was his last hope of getting at me.’
‘If he had put his hands up and confessed, asked for help, pleaded guilty, I would have forgiven him. Not for what he had done, but as a person.’
Daniel said he now wants to find out who allowed Hickey to pick up his teaching career in Ballincollig, after abusing Louise O’Keeffe in Dunderrow, outside Kinsale.
During his sentencing hearing for the Dunderrow abuse, defence lawyers made the case in mitigation that Hickey, realising that he was attracted to little girls, removed himself from Dunderrow and applied to work in a boys’ school as he was not attracted to young boys.
But Ms O’Keeffe, who successfully sued Ireland at the European Court of Human Rights over the failure to protect her from abuse by Hickey, said that the State had also clearly failed Daniel Kelleher by allowing Hickey to also abuse him after he abused her.
‘I want to find out who was responsible for moving him,’ Daniel said this week. ‘He was a principal, he was demoted, he was picked up and placed in Ballincollig. Who is responsible for this?’
‘I am not going to stop until I find out who is responsible for Hickey being moved,’ he continued. ‘I am not going to stop until I find out. This isn’t 1940, 1950, this is only a few years back.’