Victims pleased as Bill Kenneally fails to have sentence reduced

Colin Power says he is relieved that child abuser ‘facing into the type of sentence he deserves’


Three of the men abused by former sports coach Bill Kenneally have welcomed the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss his appeal against the severity of his prison sentence.

Jason Clancy and Colin Power were in the Court of Appeal in Dublin on Thursday for the legal proceedings involving the jailed 67-year-old from Waterford.

The three judge court upheld the term of 14 years and two months imposed on Kenneally by Judge Eugene O’Kelly in Waterford Circuit Court after he pleaded guilty to 10 sample counts of indecently assaulting 10 teenage boys in the 1980s.

Mr Clancy decided to go to gardaí in Waterford in 2012 and his complaint triggered the investigation that led to Kenneally’s conviction.

Speaking to The Irish Times after the appeal was heard, Mr Clancy said he was relieved and delighted that Kenneally’s sentence was affirmed.

“You see many a person stepping out on those steps outside the Criminal Court of Justice here in Dublin over the years and they are just devastated at the results of an appeal or whatever but we got a really good result today and we are delighted.

“I couldn’t praise Mr Justice (George) Bermingham and his fellow judges enough here today and Judge Eugene O’Kelly in the original court case too, I think they have all done a great service to the country today.”

‘Model of sentencing’

Mr Power said he was “relieved more than anything” after the decision of the court. He said “you often see appeals where they disagree with the original judgement but they said the last day and they said it again today that this was a model of sentencing.

“I definitely thought something was going to come off just because it was so long but we’ve just spoken to the other lads on the phone and they are all just very emotional – there were lots of tears and lots of relief all around that Kenneally is still facing into the type of sentence he deserves,” he said.

Barry Murphy, another of Kenneally’s victims, had been in Dublin last month when Kenneally’s legal team made their submissions in support of his appeal.

“I’m absolutely over the moon. If I am honest, I didn’t see any other outcome other than the 14 years based on what I heard the judges saying the last day when his legal team made the appeal. I said in my own mind there is no way there are going to shave anything off this fellow’s sentence,” he said.

“Their decision today is a real vindication of the sentence handed down by Judge O’Kelly who was very thorough in his approach to the case after hearing the evidence and how it impacted on us all. It’s a good days work and it’s another chapter closed for us now and we move on to the next one.”