Thursday 18 January 2018

GAA coach can't challenge finding he represents risk to children

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Stock picture

Tim Healy

A GAA coach has been refused permission to bring a High Court challenge to a finding by the Child and Family Agency (CFA) that he represents a risk to children.

The man, who cannot be identified, had sought to challenge the CFA's 2013 finding after an investigation into an allegation he sexually abused a girl when she was aged between six and 16..

The CFA found he was a risk to children and third parties should be informed of this.

The man, who denies the claims, appealed the CFA's finding. That appeal has yet to be heard.

Last December, he launched proceedings claiming the investigation process, which resulted in the finding, was fundamentally flawed

The court heard he had been involved for some years in underage coaching of GAA players but has voluntarily agreed to stop coaching youngsters.

The CFA  opposed his application.

In his ruling today, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said he was refusing to grant the man leave to bring his case against the CFA because he did not provide a sworn statement grounding his application.

He had sought to rely on a sworn statement from his solicitor but this was "hearsay in essential respects," the judge said.

The man's claim he was denied natural justice "must be made by him and not by someone on his behalf."

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