Appalling | 

Paedo who paid mothers to abuse their kids organised bouncy castle parties

For the first time, a close pal of Timmy Duggan's speaks of his shock and revulsion at his horrific crimes

Timmy Duggan

Patrick O'Connell

Evil child sex predator Timmy Duggan organised bouncy castle parties for kids - at which he photographed young girls and later shared their images on social media.

An investigation by the Sunday World, during which a sickened former best friend of Duggan's described the 35-year-old paedophile as the ultimate 'Jekyll and Hyde,' has discovered how:

The vile badminton champ organised the parties in aid of a named charity in the car-park of a supermarket;

The paedo worked in outlets of major chains in Cobh, Killarney, Drimnagh in Dublin and Ballina, Mayo over the past decade - but would cut contact with friends for months at a time before getting back in contact;

And, when Gardaí eventually arrested Duggan, he lied to his best friend that the charge was for the statutory rape of a 16-year-old who had flirted with him at a house party in Cork.

On Wednesday, details of how 'charming and charismatic Kerryman' Duggan had paid women to allow him to sexually abuse their children stunned the nation.

Originally from Moyvane in Kerry, but appearing in court with an address in Tralee, Duggan pleaded guilty to nine separate charges, contrary to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, before Tralee Circuit Court sitting in Limerick.

Duggan admitted he "paid money" for "obtaining a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation" from women, including the children's mothers, on different dates, in different locations.

It is understood he met the women through online dating websites, on social media and a classified ads website, and paid thousands of euro for photos and videos of children, and for using the children for his sexual gratification.

None of the women who profited from making the children available to Mr Duggan can be named, in order to protect the identities of the children.

All of the child victims, as well as their siblings, have been taken into the care of the State and separate prosecutions are ongoing against the mothers.

Such was the trust Duggan generated locally in Kerry before details of his crimes became known, he was allowed to organise bouncy castle parties for kids by one major supermarket chain.

In messages and images obtained by the Sunday World, Duggan wrote: "Having a fun day in the car park Saturday from 12 to 4. Why not pop in there's bouncy castle games live music and dance and a petting sheep, going to be a good day out!"

One musician who participated in the 'family fun day' organised by Duggan told the Sunday World that in the context of his crimes, she is now 'horrified' that she ever had anything to do with him.

Today, also for the first time, a close pal of Timmy Duggan's speaks of his shock and revulsion at the crimes of someone he regarded for more than a decade as 'my best friend.'

"I was on a management course with Timmy in 2010," he said.

"He was the front of the group, very chatty and very charming, and any night out was usually organised by him.

"He got on with everyone.

"He was very popular with girls … he wouldn't be the best looking, but he always played up the country accent in Dublin.

"He'd make everyone laugh.

"He did two blocks of college and then his dad fell ill so he ended up having to go back to Kerry to look after him. He never came back to college after that.

"There was 40 people in the course and there's very few people you'd actually remember 12 years later - but everyone remembers Timmy from the course.

"And we've been friends since then."

But evidence that something wasn't quite right with his friend began to surface in 2019 - the last time Timmy would meet his best friend in person."

"The last time I saw Timmy was in 2019 at a night-out in Kilkenny," he said.

"There was a bit of a row that night in one of the pubs.

"He bumped into this guy that he didn't like and he ended up taking off.

"And it was weird because we'd had plenty nights out and he would never have been like that.

"But I was only talking to his ex-girlfriend last night and she said he went back to Ballina that night. That was the last time I saw him in person.

"He ghosted everyone after that night."

Further evidence that something was very wrong with Timmy Duggan came in 2020 when he refused to return messages to his pal ahead of an important wedding.

"While it was being organised, I made efforts to reach out to him to ask him if he was going to the wedding or what!

"I had to keep hounding him and then I got a text off him saying: 'I'm in trouble.'

"I asked what kind of trouble.

"And he said it was serious enough that he had to get counselling. I ended up ringing him at 2 or 3am in the morning.

"Eventually, what I got from him was that he had been at a house party in Cork and there was this 16-year-old girl at it who was flirting with him.

"He said he ended up sleeping with her and then, when she went home the next day, she told her parents and they went to the guards. So now he was up on statutory rape charges.

"And that was all I knew before the article was sent to me on Wednesday."

The former best friend said the article left him reeling.

"We were close … I lived with him.

"He was very hard-working and he progressed well with all the companies he was with.

"When he moved down to Killarney, he was with a toy store for a while and then a discount store.

"He worked in Ballina for a while also and he was with a girlfriend there for a good while and she didn't have a clue until January 2019.

"She didn't know he was at this even though the dates coincide to show he was up to sh*t while he was with her.

"He was a Jekyll and Hyde..

"It's bonkers … it's so hard to believe … if he hadn't pleaded guilty to it, I would still be thinking it was some kind of mix-up.

"And the fact these other women pleaded guilty to allowing him do this … that's absolutely mental, too.

"When I read the article, I don't know how I felt.

"Essentially, it is like he died, because I have lost a best friend regardless … I'm never going to talk to him again … whether he gets a suspended sentence or he goes away for life. This wasn't just the one incident. You're looking at six or seven years of this.

"I'm sure the guards were very thorough in their searches but I don't know if they knew he was in Ballina for 18 months, or that he was in Cobh, or that he was in Killarney or even Drimnagh for nine months.

"There could be people coming out of the woodwork on this for a long time to come."

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