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Sports coach held on boys' abuse claims

A FORMER sports coach accused of sexually assaulting more than 30 boys over two decades ago was arrested today.

He faces allegations that he sexually abused the boys during the 1970s and 1980s.

The man, aged in his early 60s, was arrested and taken to Waterford Garda Station where he was undergoing questioning by detectives this afternoon.

 

Voice

The man was arrested at 8am at his home and taken to the station where he can be detained for up to 24 hours before being charged or released.

Garda officers launched an extensive investigation after they received complaints from 12 men that they were abused by the former sports coach when they were teenagers. An RTE interview with the former coach was broadcast recently using voice distortion so that he would not be publicly identified.

RTE later confirmed it handed over a tape of the interview, with reporter Damien Tiernan, to gardai who were investigating the cases. The former coach did not deny the allegations against him when interviewed by the reporter.

The man who made the initial complaint to gardai told detectives the names of several other boys, whom he believed may have also have been sexually assaulted by the coach.

Twelve of the men contacted have made formal statements of complaint that they were sexually abused by the coach.

One of the men who made a complaint lives abroad. It is believed more than 20 other men are considering whether they will lodge formal complaints about the man.

Gardai now believe the alleged sexual attacks on boys go back as far as the 1970s.

 

Trips

At least two of the alleged victims told gardai they were aged around 14 when the assaults began and the abuse continued, in some cases, until they were 17, it is claimed.

They said they were abused at the sports coach's home and the attacks continued almost on a weekly basis while the groups were participating on sports trips to various venues.

Other men who may have been abused have now be urged to come forward

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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