Two mothers are now before the courts charged in connection with the sexual abuse of their children by a Kerry badminton champion, as investigating gardaí prepare to arrest “a number” of other men and women allegedly linked to the crimes.
The Sunday Independent understands that the major investigation into Timmy Duggan (35), of Mountain Lodge, Annagh, Tralee, is “gathering pace”, as a series of arrests of both men and women suspected of facilitating the paedophile’s abuse of children are now imminent.
One source described Duggan as “one of the most serious sexual predators to emerge in recent times”.
One of the two mothers has entered a guilty plea over her role in the abuse by Duggan and is now awaiting sentence, while the second has been charged but has not indicated yet how she will plead.
In addition, it can be revealed that Duggan’s crimes first came to light in 2016 when a father came forward to gardaí after the well-known badminton ace inappropriately communicated with his daughter on Snapchat.
As a consequence, Duggan’s phones and laptops were seized by garda computer specialists, who uncovered images of child pornography on the devices.
On March 30, Duggan appeared in court and pled guilty to a number of charges, including admitting paying mothers to sexually abuse their children.
In total he pled to guilty to nine separate charges, contrary to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, before Tralee Circuit Court sitting in Limerick. He will be sentenced later this month.
Duggan, a former supermarket manager who also worked in the agricultural industry, admitted he “paid money” for “obtaining a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation” from women, including the children’s mothers, on different dates, in different locations.
It is understood he met the women through online dating websites, social media and a classified ads website, and paid thousands of euro for photos and videos of children, and for their sexual exploitation.
None of the women can be named, in order to protect the identities of the children. All of the child victims, as well as their siblings, have been taken into the care of the State.
Duggan appeared before the court via video-link from a prison where he is being held on remand on further similar charges which he has also admitted.
He admitted paying the mother of a seven-year-old girl to use the child “for the purpose of sexual exploitation”, at an address in Kerry, on a date between January 1, 2019 and September 29, 2021.
He also pleaded guilty to paying another woman to “obtain” the same girl for the same offence, at the same location, around the same dates, and that, he “for sexual purposes, invited, induced, counselled or incited (the girl) to touch him” at the same location, around the same dates.
He further admitted two separate counts, that he “did intentionally engage in sexual activity” with the girl’s mother while the child “was present, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification from the presence of a child”.
Duggan admitted an additional three counts of sexual assault of the girl, contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990, as amended by Section 37 of the Sex Offenders Act, 2001, at the same location, around the same dates.
He also pleaded guilty that he “did communicate with another person by means of information and communication technology for the purpose of facilitating the sexual exploitation” of the girl.
In April 2004, Duggan, then 17, began to dominate the local badminton scene in Kerry. An article covered his completion of a treble of wins that year, in securing the Top Part county badminton mixed-doubles championships at Tralee Sports Centre.