Father of former swimming star 'delighted' at sentence

Fri, Jan 29, 2010, 00:00

THE 6½-YEAR sentence of former Irish Olympic coach Ger Doyle for sexually abusing boys was welcomed yesterday by Aidan O’Toole, the father of former Irish swimming star Gary O’Toole and one of the whistleblowers who first exposed abuse being carried out by Derry O’Rourke and others.

After the sentencing yesterday, Mr O’Toole said he was delighted for the five victims in the case.

“There is a sense of victory today and I am delighted for the victims and I am delighted that another paedophile has been exposed. It gives me personal satisfaction for my family and friends that another paedophile has been exposed. The main thing is that children in general have been saved by the exposure of these people in the courts.”

Mr O’Toole expressed disappointment at the lack of any representation from Swim Ireland at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court.

“They have a child protection officer that should be part of it. They haven’t played the role they should have been playing.”

Mr O’Toole said he reported paedophilia within Irish swimming for years and was ignored.

“They wouldn’t listen to anybody. I wrote letters over the years and I never even got a reply.”

Only one of the victims attended the sentencing of Doyle yesterday for 34 counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault on five boys aged between 10 and 15 between January 1981 and December 1993.

Some of the victims’ families clapped in court when they heard the verdict. One of them told Doyle to “enjoy” his sentence as he was led away in handcuffs to the waiting prison van.