Monday 16 September 2019

Sports journalist arrested on child sex abuse allegations

Tom Brady Security Editor

A FILE is being prepared for the DPP on a prominent sports journalist who was arrested amid allegations he sexually abused a child.

The well-known writer was detained just over a week ago amid allegations that he had unlawful sex with the teenage girl.

The sexual contact is alleged to have started while the journalist was coaching and mentoring the girl and other members of an underage GAA team. The man was detained by gardai on September 25.

He was questioned at Ballymun garda station before being released without charge, with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

If the journalist is charged and convicted of statutory rape, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The garda probe dates back 18 months, having started toward the end of March last year -- when the journalist's daughter allegedly discovered text messages he had sent to the girl on an old mobile phone.

The journalist had given the phone to his daughter, who was collecting old mobiles to donate to a charity. It is alleged she found the texts, as well as photographs of the young camogie player, while putting a new SIM card into the phone.

His daughter showed the texts to other members of her family and they contacted the gardai and handed over the phone.

Gardai carried out a detailed interview with the girl with whom the journalist is alleged to have had sex.

She gave them her account of her relationship with him in the months leading up to the alleged statutory rape and afterwards.

But there was a delay in talking to the journalist as he was in hospital receiving psychiatric care.

During this time a second girl came forward and also alleged that she had inappropriate contact with him.

The fresh allegation concerned a girl at a different Dublin GAA club to the original complainant.

Just over a week ago, detectives made the significant move of arresting the man after being given the green light by medical experts.

They are still reviewing material from the interview before the file will be sent to the DPP.

Last April, St Vincent's GAA football and camogie club, based in Marino on the northside of Dublin, issued a statement distancing itself from the sports journalist.

The man had been a member of the club and a mentor to an underage team at St Vincent's until September of last year, but had not mentored another team since then.

The girls involved in the allegations were not members of St Vincent's.

Irish Independent

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