independent

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Coach used club to access children

Published 02/08/2014 | 00:00

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Ronan McCormack

Ronan McCormack used Eastern Harps GAA club to gain access to young children.

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Ronan McCormack used Eastern Harps GAA club to gain access to young children.

That's according to one of his victims who was abused when he was aged between 11 and 12.

Now 41, the victim said his introduction to the club should have been a great time in his childhood.

He said: "Because of Ronan McCormack, this period of my life has been destroyed forever.

"Ronan McCormack used Eastern Harps Club to gain access to young children like me.

"He became friends with my parents and used that friendship to get to me.

"When I was 11 and 12 years old I didn't realise at first what he was doing to me.

"When I did realise that McCormack's behaviour towards me wasn't normal I was too embarrassed to say it to anyone.

"I bottled it up in the early years as I felt ashamed.

"I could never concentrate in school as this was always on my mind.

"I felt that I couldn't continue in school so I left when I was 15.

"When I was 16 I told my mother about it.

"It was devastating for her as she felt that she had let me down so badly because McCormack had become so friendly with her.

"She asked me to do something about it at that time but I told her I couldn't as I was too ashamed and embarrassed.

"Over the years since then I found it extremely difficult to develop any relationships with girls as I felt that I had low self esteem and no confidence.

"When I was younger I found it difficult to deal with other adults and in particular if they showed any act of kindness to me.

"Even to this day I am nervous of other men invading my space as it always brings me back to that time with McCormack.

The victim said he was now nearly over protective of his own children.

He said: "They have often asked to sleep over in their friends' houses and it would bring me back to those horrible times when I stayed over in McCormack's house."

He sad he found the trial extremely difficult and the hours of re-living the awful times of my childhood in the witness box very painful.

The most difficult part of the trial process was when he had to tell his eldest children about what had happened to him.

"This had a devastating effect on me.

"Even now, two months on from the trial, I find myself breaking down when I'm alone.

"On occasion when I consume alcohol out socialising and when I return home, if I'm alone for a period of time, I find myself breaking down in tears and find it hard to cope.

"I have been offered counselling to help me cope and I think it's a route I will go down and hopefully some day closure will be brought to this, and I can get on with my life."

McCormack was convicted of 14 counts of indecent assault against the victim on dates between July 1st 1983 and August 31st 1985.

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