Monday 23 April 2018

Doyle council braced for flood of lawsuits

Ger Doyle
Ger Doyle

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

A LOCAL authority is bracing itself for a flood of compensation claims after a public swimming pool manager was jailed for abusing little boys.

Ger Doyle (51) is the third Irish Olympic coach to have become embroiled in a sex assault scandal involving children.

The former manager of New Ross swimming pool, who also travelled to the Olympics in Athens in 2004 with the Irish swimming squad as a coach, will be pursued in the civil courts by his victims.

However, Doyle's former employer -- New Ross Town Council -- is expected to be hit by compensation claims.

The Irish Independent has learned that a number of victims have contacted a solicitor in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, to initiate proceedings in the civil courts.

Doyle showed no remorse for his crimes against five boys who were aged between 10 and 15 years when he abused them from 1981-1993.

He repeatedly denied his sick acts -- and forced his victims who are now adults -- into the witness box.

Doyle, of Emmet Place, Wexford, was sentenced to six and a half years on Wednesday.

New Ross town clerk Ger Mackey yesterday confirmed to the Irish Independent that the local authority is expecting civil actions.

Disbelief

Mr Mackey said the town council will issue a more detailed statement later today.

There were calls yesterday for the Kennedy Memorial Swimming Pool in New Ross, which first opened in 1975, to be bulldozed after the new pool opens in the town next year.

Locals said the old facility, where Ger Doyle was manager from the age of 19, had too many "painful memories".

One woman recalled her "shock" at when the allegations of abuse first emerged, stating that parents were in "total disbelief" and initially thought there was "no substance" to the claims.

Cards in support of Ger Doyle were even placed around the viewing stand of the swimming pool after he stepped aside while matters were under investigation. Another woman who reported Doyle to gardai said she first became suspicious when he admitted to sleeping in the same bed as a child while a group had been attending a trip away.

However, he argued that he had the explicit permission of the parents in this case.

"We couldn't understand how he would do this when there was a camper bed on the floor and another child was sleeping in that.

"He changed the sleeping arrangements after they had been approved for a trip."

Irish Independent

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