Friday 9 December 2016

Writer's role at GAA club probed by gardai

Shane Hickey and Tom Brady

Published 19/04/2011 | 05:00

GARDAI investigating a complaint of statutory rape against a prominent journalist have been examining his history while at a well-known Dublin GAA club.

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Officers yesterday met management from St Vincent's GAA football and camogie club, where the writer was previously a member and a mentor to an under-age team.

It is understood the investigating gardai questioned whether there were any concerns raised about the conduct of the writer while he was with the club, which is based in Marino in north Dublin.

Gardai are investigating claims he had sex with an under-age girl. She has been interviewed by gardai about the complaint.

The probe was launched three weeks ago after the writer's daughter allegedly discovered text messages he had sent to the girl on an old mobile phone.

It is believed the teenager at the centre of the issue was not a member of St Vincent's.

The writer was a member of the club up until the end of last year, when his membership lapsed. He was also a mentor to an under-age team up to last September, where he was involved in the management of the team.

Sources last night told the Irish Independent that gardai questioned members of the management at the club about what he had done while in the club and whether there had been any concerns raised about his behaviour.

It is understood there were no worries expressed about the conduct of the journalist until the allegations of under-age sex emerged in recent weeks. The writer is being treated in a medical facility and has not yet been interviewed by gardai.

Mentor

A spokesman for the club refused to comment on the matter. St Vincent's, which is a leading GAA club in the capital, issued a statement on Sunday distancing itself from the journalist.

The statement said the person was no longer a mentor with the club and that the complaint against him had nothing to do with anyone connected with the club. "There is not now and never will be a place for any risk to any child in St Vincent's," it said.

It is understood the issue arose when the writer's daughter found texts while putting a new SIM card into the phone he had given her.

Irish Independent

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