Thursday 27 October 2016

Lawyer calls for commission of investigation into paedophile

Conor Feehan and Saoirse McGarrigle

Published 26/09/2016 | 02:30

Paedophile Bill Kenneally is appealing his conviction
Paedophile Bill Kenneally is appealing his conviction

A lawyer representing the victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally says there is clear evidence Gardaí were made aware of his actions, but he was allowed remain at large despite making admissions of guilt when questioned.

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Human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin has called for a commission of investigation into why action was not taken sooner against the Waterford-based former basketball coach.

Brendan Kenneally is reportedly no longer a Fianna Fáil member
Brendan Kenneally is reportedly no longer a Fianna Fáil member

Kenneally pleaded guilty to 10 sample counts of indecent assault and was handed a 14-year sentence at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court in February this year. He is now appealing the severity of his sentence.

He preyed on young teenage boys in and around Waterford city in the 1980s and used sport and basketball to groom them before carrying out the horrific abuse.

"It is clear from what witnesses say and what has come out in the media that there are grounds for an investigation," Mr Mackin told the Irish Independent.

"A multitude of facts point to a deliberate sabotage and cover-up by a variety of State parties, including Gardaí, a political party, a health board and the Church.

"There is a question of what victims would have been protected if more action was taken earlier."

Mr Mackin said one of the victims maintains that the alleged failure of the Gardaí to submit a video that was seized during a search of Kenneally's house in 2012 amounts to it being "buried". It allegedly shows Kenneally engaging in a sexual act with a minor.

"It is not clear why it was not presented to the DPP. It is not too late now either. It could give rise to further prosecution,"he explained.

Bill Kenneally is a cousin of former Fianna Fáil TD, senator and Minister of State Brendan Kenneally, who this weekend said he was told his cousin was a sex abuser in 2002, but he didn't report the matter to Gardaí.

Abuse victim Colin Power told RTE News last night: "We believe there's a whole lot of unanswered questions. We're looking for the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to give us an inquiry."

Political sources have said Brendan Kenneally is no longer a member of the Fianna Fáil party.

Chairperson of Waterford Comhairle Dáil Ceanntar for Fianna Fáil John O'Leary said party members "will have a conversation" about the case in the coming weeks.

Irish Independent

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