Sex abuse teacher is struck off Irish dancing organisation

Dana Doherty leaves court last Friday with her partner, Fintan Gallagher. Photo: Collins 1007CD63
Dana Doherty leaves court last Friday with her partner, Fintan Gallagher. Photo: Collins 1007CD63

The partner of a woman found by the High Court in Dublin to have been sexually abused as a child by an Irish dancing teacher from Derry has paid tribute to her “courage and resilience.”

Last week, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that Michael Quigley (68), from Barnhill Park, Letterkenny, could be named after the High Court ordered him to pay 400,000 euro to his victim, Dana Doherty (42), a schoolteacher from Letterkenny.

Mickey Quigley.

Mickey Quigley.

Mr. Quigley - who has consistently denied the abuse claims and is believed to be lodging an appeal against the award - was found to have sexually abused Ms. Doherty, one of his dance pupils, over a seven year period in the 1980s.

During the case, the court heard that Mr. Quigley underwent two criminal trials in Letterkenny on indecent assault charges but that, in both, the juries were unable to reach verdicts.

Last night, Ms. Doherty’s partner, Fintan Gallager, said he hoped the court ruling “will now ease Dana’s pain... and that she will be able to let go of her painful past and look forward to the future.”

Mr. Gallagher also paid tribute to two fellow Irish dancers who came forward to corroborate Ms. Doherty’s evidence of abuse.

“Together these three have stood strong and have illustrated that little girls grow up into courageous women who are not afraid to speak out.”

Mr. Gallagher added: “We are forever grateful to the family and friends whose love and support from home made all of this bearable. Dana’s voice has finally been heard and the truth has now been told. Finally, I would like to say to Dana, to this resilient and tenacious woman who has fought for 18 years to clear her name, it’s over now.”

Meanwhile, the commission for Irish dancing in Ireland has confirmed that it has cancelled Mr. Quigley’s registration.

An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha said his registration had been called with “immediate effect.”