Sunday 17 December 2017

GAA coach jailed for sexually abusing juvenile player

Brian McDonald

A GAA coach who sexually abused a star juvenile player was jailed for three years.

Seamus Kilroy (57), who also played inter-county hurling for Roscommon, had denied three counts of indecently assaulting the ten-year-old boy in 1983.

But a jury sitting at Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court had found him guilty on all three counts and sentencing was adjourned to the court sitting in Longford until today.

A farmer and electrical technician, Kilroy, of Clooneyourish, Athleague, Co Roscommon was described by Judge Tony Hunt as ‘a pariah’.

Evidence was heard at his trial of how he had taken the 10-year-old victim in his car on the pretext of showing him a training video of the under-age parish hurling team.

But instead he took him down a country road and indecently assaulted him in a car and later in a field.

He subsequently indecently assaulted him in his van, before his victim told him to ‘f*** off’.

Kilroy had been a trusted friend of the victim’s family and had regularly repaired electrical items in the family home. After the third incident, the victim asked his parents not to have him fix anything else for the family, but was unable to tell them what had happened.

In a victim impact statement, the victim, who is now 40, waived his right to anonymity and told of the damage the abuse had caused in his life.

He believed he had brought the abuse on himself by sending out some kind of signal and thought he was gay. He later realised he was not and never was gay.

He took to drinking at age 15, because alcohol numbed the pain and he drank heavily for a number of years. In 2007 he was hospitalised with liver failure and on his 35th birthday he was told he was losing his fight for life.

But he recovered after 49 days in hospital and, with the love and support of his wife, he made a statement of complaint to gardai in St John of God’s treatment centre in Dublin in 2010.

“I’ll not be a victim of what happened,” he told the court in his victim impact statement.

Judge Tony Hunt noted that Kilroy had shown no remorse and no recognition of the jury verdict against him.

“He is now labelled as a sex offender and he lives in a small community. He has, by his own conduct, labelled himself a pariah and it’s difficult to feel sorry for him”, the judge said.

He had enjoyed a position of respect in his community for many years to which he was not entitled. He would now live his life under the cloud of his conviction.

“In and out of prison he is set for a lonely and marginalised existence”.

Judge Hunt sentenced him to three years in prison and made it a part of his sentence that Kilroy subject himself to post-release supervision by the Probation and Welfare service for a further 18 months. 

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