Gardaí arrest sports coach over alleged abuse of boys
Total of 12 men made abuse complaints against man in Waterford
Gardaí have so far been in contact with over 30 men in addition to the 12 who have made a complaint.
The man who is in his early 60s was arrested at his home this morning at 8am and brought to Waterford Garda station for questioning.
He is being held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours before they are either charged or released.
The arrest follows an extensive investigation by gardaí after they received complaints from 12 men that they were abused by the man when they were teenagers.
Detectives began the investigation after a man in his 40s came forward last December alleging that he was abused by the sports coach as a teenager in the 1980s.
The man gave gardaí the names of other boys whom he believed may have been abused by the sports coach and gardaí began an extensive investigation.
A senior Garda source confirmed to The Irish Times that a total of 12 men have now made formal statements of complaint to gardaí in Waterford that they were abused by the coach.
Gardaí have so far contacted over 30 men and, in addition to those who have made complaints, more than 20 other men are considering whether to make complaints .
The man who made the original complaint and another man living abroad who also made a report to gardaí alleged that they were abused by the man between 1984 and 1987.
However The Irish Times has learned that among the new complainants who have come forward are two men who have alleged that they were abused by the man in the 1970s.
It’s understood that all the new complainants have made statements alleging sexual abuse and assaults broadly similar to that outlined by the first two men to come forward.
The first complainants alleged that the abuse began when they were aged 14 and continued until they were aged 17 and 16.
They both have alleged they were first abused at the man’s home in Waterford city and that it happened on a near weekly basis in various locations while on sports trips.
Yesterday the first complainant to come forward told the Irish Times that he was heartened that so many other men had come foward and urged any other victims to also contact gardaí.
“I’m both delighted and relieved that other people have come forward as it’s been a traumatic time since coming forward and making the initial complaint on my own,” he said.
“However the many other people who have forward have shown great courage and we can now stand shoulder to shoulder in facing this man and what he did to us.
“And to the many others who are contemplating coming forward, I would very strongly encourage them to contact the gardai and stand with us on this.
“Together we can face this individual knowing that we have protected not only our own children but children generally in the community.”