A COURT has heard that a former under-age hurling manager embarked on "a serious catalogue of crime" in abusing two young boys – one a club hurler – in the 1980s.
At Ennis Circuit Court, former chairman, PRO and founding member of the Ennis-based Banner GAA club, James 'Tony' Maher (69), of Clonroad Beg, Ennis, pleaded guilty to 18 separate counts of indecent assault on the two boys on dates between January 1, 1982, and April 15, 1985.
The court heard that one of the victims was a player on the Banner club's under 12 and under 14 teams in the early 1980s when Maher served as manager of the two teams.
The boy was aged 12 when the abuse started in January 1982 and continued until March 1984 when he was one month away from his 15th birthday.
In victim impact statements read out in court, both victims said that they had each attempted suicide in the years after the abuse stopped and had become addicted to alcohol.
In his victim impact statement, the former under-age Banner hurler said: "If there is a God, I hope this man will burn in hell."
Det Garda Ryan said that in interviews, Maher made full admissions and volunteered additional dates in which he committed abuse on the boys.
The detective said Maher admitted: "I can see the wrong I did."
Judge Carroll Moran said that "this is a difficult case and I will consider the matter very carefully" and remanded Maher on continuing bail for sentence at Ennis Circuit Court on January 14.