Wednesday 16 August 2017

Roddy Collins: 'I walked in on paedophile with boy at Irish football club'

Roddy Collins
Roddy Collins
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Irish soccer pundit Roddy Collins has claimed sex abuse at football clubs is rife.

In an interview with the Irish Star, the former manager revealed that he walked in on then Bohemians FC worker Colin Goggin massaging a young boy at the club.

Collins claimed he contacted authorities about the events which took place in the 1990s. Goggin (53) was later convicted for sexually assaulting two boys.

The revelations came as a series of sex abuse scandals rocked British football.

"It's rife," he told the Irish Star. "What's happening on the telly in front of my eyes is the tip of the iceberg. I would say to anyone to step forward and expose these people."

Collins, a brother of former Boxing champion Steve Collins, claimed that he encountered Goggin with a child, who was naked from the waist down, in a physio room at Dalymount Park in 1998.

"I was going out by the little car park by the changing rooms and there was a little shed there.

"I went in and there was a child about 12 or 11 naked from the waist down and your man [Goggin] was rubbing the back of his leg.

"I had a horrible feeling. I was looking around and saying 'Where is the parent?' Where is the supervision?"

Collins said he informed the club of the incident and objected to Goggin travelling on an overnight trip to Donegal.

He later spoke to gardaí who were investigating Goggin in 2007. They asked him his opinion of the worker and Collins recounted the physio room incident.

Goggin was jailed for three years for sexually assaulting two teenage boys and for possession of a large amount of child pornography in January 2015.

A Bohemians club spokesman told the paper they had received no official allegations about the worker.

"I have spoken to four people that were involved in the youth section at the time and they said that no allegations were ever made to them whatsoever."

The spokesman said workers believed Goggin was a "very odd character" and they later decided it wasn't appropriate for him to be around the club.

UPDATE: Bohemians released a statement on their official website on Monday evening.

"Bohemian FC has launched an internal investigation following allegations made in a newspaper report today.

"The newspaper alleges that a former club volunteer was involved in an inappropriate incident with a minor 18 years ago.

"The report’s allegations, made by the club’s then first-team manager, Roddy Collins, were first communicated to us by a journalist at the newspaper on Sunday evening.

"We immediately began investigating these allegations so far as this is possible given the lapse of time."

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