Thursday 17 October 2019

Ex-rugby coach charged with indecent assault on nine boys

Charged: Former rugby coach John McClean leaves the Dublin District Court. Photo: Collins Courts
Charged: Former rugby coach John McClean leaves the Dublin District Court. Photo: Collins Courts
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A former rugby coach and teacher has appeared in court accused of indecently assaulting students at a south Dublin school in the 1970s and '80s.

John McClean (73) is charged with more than 30 counts of assaulting schoolboys at Terenure College over a 17-year period.

He was granted bail subject to conditions when he appeared at Dublin District Court.

The accused is facing trial on the charges and the case against him was adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Mr McClean, with an address at Casimir Avenue, Harold's Cross, is charged with indecent assault on nine boys.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at Terenure College, Templeogue Road, Terenure, on dates between 1973 and 1989.

John McClean as UCD manager. Photo: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE
John McClean as UCD manager. Photo: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

He is alleged to have assaulted some of the boys once and others on multiple occasions - in the case of one alleged victim there are 14 separate counts. A further 13 counts relate to another boy.

Detective Garda Sergeant Jason Miley told the court in evidence that he arrested the accused at Casimir Avenue at 7.40am yesterday and brought him to Terenure garda station.

He was charged there at 9.33am and made no reply to any of the counts after caution.

He was handed copies of the charge sheets, Det Sgt Miley said.

The court heard that the Director of Public Prosecutions was directing trial on indictment.

Defence solicitor Dara Robinson said the accused was consenting to an eight-week adjournment for the preparation of a book of evidence.

When this is ready, Mr McClean will be sent for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Det Sgt Miley said that there was no Garda objection to bail subject to certain conditions, and read these out to the court.

"The conditions have been canvassed and subject to the ruling of the court, they are by agreement," Mr Robinson said.

Judge Dermot Simms granted bail in the defendant's own bond of €500, with no cash lodgement or independent surety required.

Under bail conditions, he is to sign on at Terenure garda station every Saturday between 9am and 9pm, have no contact directly or indirectly with any of the alleged victims or witnesses, and surrender his passport to gardaí within 48 hours.

This can be returned for travel to family members in the UK, the court heard.

Mr Robinson said he was making no other application.

Judge Simms remanded Mr McClean on bail, to appear in court again on January 9.

The defendant, dressed in a black suit with a white shirt and navy blue tie, sat quietly in court during yesterday's brief proceedings. He held one hand up to his face, covering it for much of the hearing.

Mr McClean did not address the court and was clutching a dark overcoat as he stood and left.

He has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to any of the charges.

After taking up bail, Mr McClean walked out of the Criminal Courts of Justice alone and walked to a waiting car, which drove him away.

Mr McClean, an English and drama teacher who also coached rugby, worked at the prestigious south Dublin school for decades before taking up a rugby coaching position in UCD in the 1990s.

Irish Independent

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