Gardai to quiz Walsh over claim of indecent assault
GARDAI are preparing to interview 'X Factor' judge Louis Walsh about allegations that he indecently assaulted a young man in a nightclub toilet.
The 58-year-old music impresario strenuously denies the claims.
Detectives are expected to carry out the interview with Mr Walsh before the weekend.
They had been waiting for him to return home from a trip abroad and he was expected to fly back into Dublin last night.
The allegations have been made by a 24-year-old Dublin man, who told gardai he had been touched inappropriately by Mr Walsh during an early morning incident.
Mr Walsh has described the allegations as wholly false and without foundation and said he was confident he would be fully exonerated.
A spokeswoman for the pop band manager said yesterday he would willingly co-operate with any investigation but pointed out that he had not been contacted by gardai about the claims.
"He vigorously denies all of the allegations. Louis categorically denies any wrongdoing and will fight to clear his name. The fact of the matter is that the police have made no contact with Louis whatsoever."
Gardai said last night they were expecting to make contact with Mr Walsh shortly after he flew into Dublin.
The incident is alleged to have taken place in a toilet in the Krystle nightclub in the Russell Court Hotel at Harcourt Street in the city centre around 3am on Sunday, April 10.
The complainant told gardai he had been in a cubicle in the toilet when the alleged incident took place. It is claimed that at least one punch was thrown.
The two men had been talking earlier in a bar in the hotel before Mr Walsh went to Krystle. He had earlier attended a Westlife concert at the O2.
Gardai are expected to put the allegations to Mr Walsh and take a statement from him. They will also examine footage from CCTV cameras.
A file will then be prepared by detectives from Pearse Street station for the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will determine if the alleged incident should be pursued further.
Mr Walsh, from Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, has had a successful career in the music industry and has managed a number of acts, including Boyzone and lead singer Ronan Keating when he opted to go solo, Westlife, Jedward, Shayne Ward, Girls Aloud and his latest group, Wonderland.
But he became a household name when he joined the panel of judges on 'The X Factor' in 2004.