Sunday 19 November 2017

Sex abuse swim coach being sued by victims

David Looby

Ger Doyle.
Ger Doyle.

DISGRACED SWIMMING coach Ger Doyle (pictured) is being personally being sued by four of his five victims.

New Ross Town Council, for whom Wexford town native Doyle worked as manager of the New Ross Kennedy Memorial Swimming Pool, is also being sued by the four victims of the child abuser.

It is understood the hearings will be run together before a High Court judge.

The four victims, who cannot be identified, have brought a case to the High Court against both the Council and Doyle in relation to the abuse they suffered while he was manager of the New Ross Kennedy Memorial Swimming Pool in Barrack Lane, New Ross, which is run by the Council.

The case is due up before the court on October 8 in relation to three of the defendants, while there is no case listing as of yet for the fourth victim.

Such cases in the High Court, if successful, lead to pay outs of over €38,000 and in some cases hundreds of thousands of euros.

The 52-year-old former national and Olympic swimming coach of Emmett Place, Wexford town, was sentenced to six and half years in prison in July 2012 after being convicted of 35 sex-related offences against children committed over the space of a decade.

Doyle, who also lived in New Ross, had pleaded not guilty before Judge Alice Doyle at Kilkenny Circuit Criminal Court to one charge of sexual assault and 34 charges of indecent assault.

The offences took place at New Ross Swimming Pool between January 1981 and December 1993, at a time when Doyle was manager of New Ross Swimming Club and manager of the pool.

After a five-day trial in July, the jury returned a unanimous verdict on the sexual assault charge and 34 indecent assault charges.

Doyle had previously been convicted of the offences at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court and sentenced to six and half years in prison, but subsequently a re-trial was ordered on a legal technicality following an appeal to the High Court.

In sentencing Judge Doyle said there was a complete absence of insight on behalf of the defendant. There was also a failure to express any sorrow for his conduct.

'These offences were secretly done and carefully planned for the complainants were manipulated into accepting what kind of punishment they should receive. He assaulted these young boys, breached their trust and that of their families. He manipulated these children over a ten year period,' added Judge Doyle.

Judge Doyle took into account the one year and 20 days which the defendant had already served, which was to be credited off the six-and-a-half year sentence.

Five different people made the complaints against Doyle, with the assaults carried out on boys from ages ten to 15 years.

The court heard how Doyle abused five boys. In one instance he put his hands inside the swimming togs of one of his victims and touched his private parts. Another victim told of having his pants pulled down and being slapped on the backside, while another victim spoke of how Doyle measured his penis and indecently assaulted him. Some of the children recalled being threatened that they would be reported for bad behaviour if they didn't let Doyle touch them.

When contacted by this newspaper, a New Ross Town Council spokesperson said the body would not be making a comment in relation to the case until after all the hearings are concluded.

Affidavits have been sworn in the case at the High Court and the matter is expected to be heard on October 8. Irish Public Bodies legal representatives are representing New Ross Town Council in the cases.

Wexford People

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