Wednesday 25 April 2018

Young man reported sex abuse sports coach after reading about Jimmy Savile victims

Sports coach and election tallyman Bill Kenneally pleaded guilty to 10 sample counts of indecent assault

Bill Kenneally
Bill Kenneally
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A garda investigation into indecent assaults by a sports coach and election tallyman was triggered by a young man who got the courage to lodge a formal complaint after being inspired by the UK victims of Jimmy Savile.

The young man contacted Gardai to make a formal complaint about Waterford sports coach and Fianna Fail tallyman, Bill Kenneally, after he had read about the Savile victims and realised that what was done to him as a teen was very wrong.

Kenneally (65), who is single and an accountant by profession, appeared before Waterford Circuit Criminal Court today for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting 10 teenage boys.

Kenneally pleaded guilty to 10 sample counts of indecent assault when arraigned last December.

All the charges related to incidents in Waterford in the 1980s when Kenneally was involved as a volunteer in a number of sports clubs.

Five of the charges related to indecent assaults committed by the defendant at his then home.

Two involved indecent assaults at two other locations in Waterford.

The remaining three charges related to indecent assaults at unknown locations.

All the charges related to dates between October 31 1984 and December 31 1987.

The young boys were aged between 12 and 16 years when the indecent assaults occurred.

Judge Eugene O'Kelly was told by Det Garda Maureen Neary that the abuse involved the defendant plying the teens with alcohol and cigarettes as well as paying them money in amounts which always involved the number seven.

He would also give them football strips of such popular Premiership clubs as Manchester United and Liverpool.

Kenneally would also take the teens away on day trips.

He would strip the teens, masturbate them or require them to masturbate him.

On occasions, he would handcuff the youngsters.

In one case, he demanded that a teenage boy give him oral sex in his car when it was parked near Kilkenny Castle.

He also took Polaroid photographs of youngsters partially clothed and, in one case, twisted the boy's testicle to make him smile.

He then told the youngster he would keep the photograph as proof that the teen had enjoyed what had happened.

Kenneally refused to hand over the photos with one teen terrified the photographs would be used against him.

One teen was abused in what Kenneally called "a beating" because of a practical joke he had earlier played on the sports coach.

On another occasion, a teen queried precisely what Kenneally was doing to them.

"You don't think you are getting the money for nothing," the teen told Gardai he was informed by the defendant.

One victim said he was required, with another teen, to tie and handcuff Kenneally to a tree and then masturbate him.

When he was first confronted by Gardai following the launch of the investigation in 2012, Kenneally asked whether the incidents involved were historic.

Det Gara Neary said Kenneally told them when questioned about the first complainant: "I more or less tied him up and molested him."

Noel Whelan SC, for the State, said Kenneally's plea to 10 sample charges was accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Judge O'Kelly had adjourned sentencing until today to allow for the preparation of victim impact statements by the various victims.

The sample charges relate to a total of 65 charges which were originally signalled by the State.

Kenneally appeared before the court today having been remanded on bail since December.

Judge O'Kelly was previously told by defence counsel, Elaine Morgan SC, that a recent Supreme Court ruling had indicated the fixed penalty for indecent assault in such circumstances was two years.

The sentencing hearing continues.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News