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Dance teacher ordered to pay €500 a month to woman he abused

Michael Quigley at an earlier hearing.

Michael Quigley at an earlier hearing.

A LOCAL judge has ordered a well-known Irish dancing teacher to pay €500 a month to a woman he was found to have sexually abused.

Michael Quigley (70) from Barnhill Park, Letterkenny had been ordered last year to pay €400,000 compensation to his former pupil, Ms Dana Doherty, by the High Court in Dublin.

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However, at Wednesday’s civil sitting of Letterkenny District Court, his barrister told Judge Paul Kelly his client simply does not have the means to pay the money.

Mr Denis Murphy SC also challenged the jurisdiction of the court in hearing the application.
Mr Murphy said that Quigley was only surviving on €339 a week from his pension.

Ms Doherty’s solicitor, Ms Orlagh Sharkey of Callan Tansey Solicitors in Sligo, told Judge Kelly that he directed at the last hearing that Quigley should provide details of all or any of his accounts for the whole of 2014 and for January of this year.

She said Quigley was also asked for receipts for January showing his day-by-day expenditure.
“I did not get the outstanding documents,” Ms Sharkey told the court.

Ms Sharkey added that she had summonsed Quigley’s wife, Alice, to appear in court. However, she was not in a position to cross-examine her without the statements her husband was to produce.

Quigley underwent two criminal trials in Letterkenny on indecent assault charges but, in both, the juries were unable to reach verdicts.

Ms Doherty then took a civil action and was awarded €400,000 in the High Court. The same court ruled that an interim payment of €50,000 be made to Ms Doherty, pending any appeal. He unsuccessfully appealed the finding last July to the Supreme Court.

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Mr Murphy argued that, as the Supreme Court had made no order against his client, the matter was, technically, still before the highest court in the land and could not be heard by Judge Kelly.

Judge Kelly dismissed the argument and refused to put a stay on his order in the event of an appeal to the circuit court.

The judge said he was satisfied that, at the very least, Ms Doherty was entitled to some payment of the €50,000 she had been awarded.
“It’s not for me to say that, in the absence of an order from the Supreme Court, this effects the balance of the amount of compensation.
“Ms Doherty is entitled to that amount (€50,000) and she has been waiting a long time for it. Mr Quigley failed to comply with my order and I grant a payment of €500 per month to the applicant, based on the last statement he gave.”

See Friday’s print edition or subscribe to our digital edition for full report.

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