John Boyne reports alleged Terenure College abuser to Garda

Sexual abuse complaint made against former teacher in south Dublin school

John Boyne confirmed he recently made a statement to gardaí in relation to the alleged sexual abuse. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

John Boyne confirmed he recently made a statement to gardaí in relation to the alleged sexual abuse. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Author John Boyne has made a statement to the Garda alleging he was sexually abused by a former teacher in Terenure College in the 1980s.

He contacted gardaí following the sentencing of another former teacher in the south Dublin school, John McClean, who sexually abused 23 schoolboys between 1973 and 1990.

McClean (76), who was an English teacher and rugby coach at the school, was last month sentenced to eight years in prison.

He had sexually abused students while fitting them for costumes in school plays, in his office as first-year form master, and also while examining sports injuries. Since his sentencing, a number of further alleged victims have come forward.

Mr Boyne wrote about alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of another teacher in the fee-paying school, in an article for The Irish Times following McClean’s imprisonment.

Mr Boyne, author of the novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, confirmed he recently made a statement to gardaí in relation to the alleged sexual abuse. He told gardaí the abuse occurred when he was a pupil in Terenure College in the 1980s.

The former teacher accused of abuse by Mr Boyne had previously been charged over the alleged indecent assault of another pupil in the school.

The man had been acquitted on two counts of indecent assault and six counts of gross indecency by a jury following a trial in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2004. The charges related to alleged incidents dating from the mid to late 1980s.

The jury could not agree in relation to six further counts of gross indecency, and a second trial was to take place, but did not go ahead.

Speaking to The Irish Times, the complainant in that case said he had not wanted the second trial to proceed, following the ordeal of the first trial. The man has since emigrated and has lived abroad for a number of years.

Age of consent

During the first trial, the accused said the sexual relationship he had with the past pupil had begun when the student was at the age of consent.

The issue of whether the complainant had been 15 years of age, which had been the age of consent related to the charges at the time, was the focus of the trial, according to a legal source involved in the case.

The trial heard that following a phone call from the complainant in 1998, the teacher disclosed what he described as “inappropriate sexual activity” with the past pupil to the school principal, and afterwards went on extended sick leave.

The former teacher had worked in the school at the same time as McClean. During the criminal investigation into McClean’s abuse, gardaí had been aware of concerns related to this second former teacher, but were unable to pursue the matter at the time without a complainant.

The man had been interviewed by gardaí, but only as a witness in order to corroborate some statements and points of fact made by victims in relation to McClean.