Tuesday 21 November 2017

My close encounters with a predatory paedophile

Child rapist Kevin Carroll could have been stopped years earlier, writes Nicky Larkin, who knew him and his reputation

Monster: Kevin Carroll escaped a child porn charge on a technicality, then worked with children for the next 12 years Photo: Courtpix
Monster: Kevin Carroll escaped a child porn charge on a technicality, then worked with children for the next 12 years Photo: Courtpix

Nicky Larkin

His reign of terror lasted over two decades. The dogs on the street knew he was a paedophile - just never convicted. That finally changed last Friday, when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for two counts of raping a seven-year-old.

Kevin Carroll, from my hometown of Birr, operated as a choirmaster and drama teacher from the early 1990s right up until his conviction. In 1993, he established the Camcor Singers - the choir he named after the river that flows through Birr - who won multiple Community Games All-Ireland titles. His national success afforded him the protection of a loyal cabal of incredibly naive Birr parents, who worshipped the ground he walked on.

I had a lot of dealings with Kevin Carroll, in various capacities. As a child and teenager, I competed every year throughout the mid and late 1990s, swimming for Offaly in the Community Games All-Ireland Finals in Mosney.

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