Monday 19 February 2018

'Beast' coach is jailed for 14 years for abuse of 10 teens

From left, victims Colin Power, Jason Clancy, Kevin Keating and Barry Murphy. Photo: Patrick Browne
From left, victims Colin Power, Jason Clancy, Kevin Keating and Barry Murphy. Photo: Patrick Browne
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A sports coach, jailed for 14 years for abusing 10 teenage boys, told investigating gardaí that he may have molested more than 20, a court heard.

Former sports coach Bill Kenneally (65) was jailed as Judge Eugene O'Kelly told him he had systematically groomed and then exploited the teens for his own sexual gratification.

The judge noted that Kenneally's activities bore all the hallmarks of the systematic behaviour of predatory paedophiles in that the abuse suffered by each teen was very similar in nature.

Kenneally also had the same modus operandi in grooming each of the boys - impressing them, befriending them, giving them gifts of cash and sports gear and then exploiting them for his own sexual gratification.

He also took photos of the semi-naked boys as a form of "insurance against disclosure" of the indecent assaults.

Judge O'Kelly described this as a form of "blackmail".

"This was all manipulative grooming for the abuse that was to follow. This is an aggravating factor," Judge O'Kelly told Waterford Circuit Criminal Court.

Kenneally also told one teen after abusing him that no-one would believe him if he reported the abuse because the coach came from a prominent political family.

The judge imposed 17-month prison sentences for each of the 10 counts which involved different teens.

However, he directed that each of the sentences be served consecutively, making a total term of 14 years and two months.

"I do not want them (the victims) to leave this judicial process thinking they were not heard," the judge said.

Kenneally was also put on the sex offenders register for life.

The judge said Kenneally's use of items such as handcuffs, blindfolds and binds were an additional aggravating factor in the indecent assaults.

One half-naked teen was tied to a tree in an isolated Waterford forest and then abandoned by Kenneally, who only returned several hours later.

Kenneally, who is single and an accountant, is a former Irish national basketball coach.

Four victims - Jason Clancy, Colin Power, Barry Murphy and Kevin Keating - waived their anonymity to speak about what they had suffered.

All paid tribute to Judge O'Kelly and the sentence handed down.

"It is a relief to see that beast of a man jailed," Mr Keating said.

"We are all ecstatic at the sentence. We are delighted the judge paid so much attention to the victim impact statements," Mr Clancy added.


"He was a monster," Mr Power said. "I am a little in shock at the length of the sentence. But I am delighted. Justice was done," Mr Murphy said.

Jason Clancy (45) contacted gardaí in 2012 to make a formal complaint about Kenneally.

The trial also heard that another family contacted gardaí about Kenneally in 1987 over concerns about his links with their teenage son.

Kenneally made admissions in 1987 but no prosecution was taken because the teen's family did not make a formal complaint.

Kenneally, formerly of Summerville Avenue, Waterford, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of indecent assault between October 31 1984 and December 31 1987 against teens aged between 12 and 16 years.

Irish Independent

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