Wednesday 13 December 2017

How Doyle went from national hero to hate figure

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

HE went from being a national hero who put Irish swimming on the map to a hate figure.

It's hard to imagine the hold that convicted child abuser Ger Doyle (51) once had on his native Wexford.

The manager of the swimming pool in New Ross had coached young swimmers to international success.

But, all the time, he had a dark secret. Doyle was a paedophile who preyed on children.

Yesterday, details of his life emerged as his defence pleaded for a more lenient sentence. The court heard how Doyle's parents, and one of his brothers, are deceased.

He started working in New Ross swimming pool when he was only 19 years of age, but quickly worked his way up the ranks to become manager.

He took an interest in competitive swimming and started to coach children in the swimming club.

Doyle was supposed to attend the Olympics in 2000 but had to pull out when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. He had aggressive chemotherapy but later developed heart problems.

However, he recovered and went to the Olympics in Athens in 2004 as a national coach. Today, he's on a cocktail of prescription drugs.

Irish Independent

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