Former hurling coach Séamus Kilroy faces jail term for abusing boy

Victim Neil Connaughton waives anonymity to tell of impact of indecent assaults

Judge Tony Hunt told defence barrister John Shortt that he could take it that he would be imposing a custodial sentence

Judge Tony Hunt told defence barrister John Shortt that he could take it that he would be imposing a custodial sentence

Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 01:00


A former GAA coach and mentor was remanded in custody last night for sexually abusing one of his underage players.

Séamus Kilroy (57) had been found guilty by a jury at an earlier sitting of Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court of three counts of indecently assaulting Neil Connaughton when he was a 10-year-old star player with Athleague-Tremane Hurling Club in Co Roscommon.

The offences had all occurred in 1983, when Kilroy, former inter-county hurler with Roscommon, was a trusted family friend.

The court heard Kilroy, a farmer and electrical technician, of Clooneyourish, Athleague, indecently assaulted the boy in his car down a by-road and later assaulted him sexually in a field. He also later assaulted him in his van.

In a victim impact statement in court last night, Neil Connaughton waived his right to anonymity and told how the abuse had destroyed his life.

He had become addicted to alcohol, had lost his self-confidence and had nightmares about Kilroy. He had only managed to get his life back together through the love and support of his wife, Marguerite.

He had greatly feared Kilroy would go on to abuse his son and even took days off from his job in the Prison Service to drive past his school to ensure his car was not parked nearby. He had made his statement of complaint to two gardaí as he was being treated at St John of God’s in Dublin. “I’ll not be a victim of what happened. I’m here to declare that Neil Connaughton is a survivor”, he said.

Judge Tony Hunt told defence barrister John Shortt that he could take it that he would be imposing a custodial sentence and remanded Kilroy in custody to Longford Circuit Court next week for sentence.

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