Tag Archives: Bill Kenneally

Bill Kenneally

You may recall a recent report by Saoirse McGarrigle in The Irish Mirror about how a member of Fianna Fáil claims the party held secret meetings to discuss how it could “contain” the story of Bill Kenneally and his abuse of young boys in Waterford.

Ms McGarrigle reported last week:

The whistleblower said that secret meetings began in 2013 when a criminal investigation began after a number of victims came forward.

“They met under the guise of discussing another problem, but they were actually there to discuss containing the story.”

Readers will recall how Kenneally was convicted and sentenced to 14 years last February, for abusing 10 boys in the 1980s, after victim Jason Clancy came forward. But certain Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.

Readers will also recall how Kenneally’s uncle was the late Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kenneally, who died in 2009 and who was succeeded by his son Brendan Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally was told about the abuse by a Waterford woman in 2002 but he didn’t tell gardai. Instead, he spoke to another uncle and local priest – and former chairman of the board of management at Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford – Monsignor John Shine – and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.

Monsignor Shine died on Saturday, February 18.

Last month the then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald appointed retired judge Barry Hickson to chair a Commission of Investigation into the matter.

Further to the report in The Irish Mirror, the survivors of abuse at the hands of Kenneally have this afternoon released the following statement via KRW Law:

“We are aware of the recent media reports that have expressly commented on the allegations of a whistleblower in relation to the abuse by Bill Kenneally, and the subsequent failure to investigate allegations.

We have conducted our own enquiries in respect of this whistleblower’s evidence and are satisfied that it raises real issues of concern, which will in due course, need to be fully investigated.

“We proposed to place all relevant evidence before the pending inquiry with a view to the issues raised becoming part of the live investigation.

“Such allegations are extremely serious and must be fully investigated so as to assuage both our clients’ concerns and those of the wide community.”

Abuse victims launch attack on Fianna Fail after secret meetings were held to ‘contain story’ of member abusing boys (Saoirse McGarrigle, The Irish Mirror)

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From top: Bill Kenneally; the late Monsignor John Shine

You may recall how the victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally – an accountant from a well-known Fianna Fáil family and basketball coach in Waterford – want a Commission of Investigation.

They believe senior gardai, members of Fianna Fáil, members of the Catholic Church and staff at the South Eastern Health Board failed to act when told about the abuse.

Kenneally was convicted and sentenced to 14 years last February, for abusing 10 boys in the 1980s, after victim Jason Clancy came forward in 2012.

However, certain Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.

Further to this…

Yesterday, Damien Tiernan, on RTÉ’s This Week, reported that after gardaí raided Kenneally’s house in December 2012, Kenneally made some admissions to gardaí and gardaí notified the HSE.

However, Basketball Ireland, and a local Waterford basketball club, say they were never contacted or made aware of the situation by the HSE or officials attached to Tusla.

Instead, it was only when one of Kenneally’s victims went to the media in April 2013, that the basketball club became aware of the matter. The club subsequently told Kenneally to leave the club’s committee and he resigned.

Kenneally’s victims now want this matter to be part of the Commission of Inquiry that they’re seeking from the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

Kenneally abuse victims critical of Tusla for not explaining HSE’s inaction (RTE)

Meanwhile…

Readers will also recall how Kenneally’s uncle was the late Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kenneally, who died in 2009 and who was succeeded by his son Brendan Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally was told about the abuse by a Waterford woman in 2002 but he didn’t tell gardai. Instead, he spoke to another uncle and local priest – and former chairman of the board of management at Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford – Monsignor John Shine – and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.

Monsignor Shine died on Saturday, February 18.

Further to this…

The death of Monsignor Shine has prompted Kenneally’s victims to call for the establishment of an inquiry into the matter “before anyone else with crucial information dies”.

Saoirse McGarrigle writes:

[Victim] Jason Clancy says that the Tramore priest was a “central figure” in the cover-up.

It’s alleged he was told about the abuse, but did not report it to the gardai. Instead he contacted a local TD looking for help to suppress victims’ claims.

A lot of the key witnesses are elderly, do we need to wait until more die before the minister decides it’s time to get to the bottom of this?” said Mr Clancy.

Mr Clancy and other victims – Colin Power, Paul Walsh, Barry Murphy and Kevin Keating – are pushing for a commission of investigation into who knew about the abuse and allowed it continue.

The men, who are now in their 40s, were abused when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Their solicitor Darragh Mackin has written to Frances Fitzgerald saying “the passing of Monsignor Shine, who would have undoubtedly been a key witness to any inquiry, has resulted in the loss of evidence to the investigation”.

Superintendent Sean Cashman admitted Bill Kenneally told him he was blind-folding, handcuffing and sexually abusing teenage boys in 1987, but he did not charge the basketball coach because he promised to stop.

Last month Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald wrote to the men saying: “While I am minded towards holding some form of investigation” she was not going to launch one yet, because a fresh criminal investigation is now underway after three other men came forward making reports of abuse at the end of 2016.

There is probably another 150 men walking around Waterford that have been abused by this monster, this could go on for years,” said Mr Clancy.

He added: “It is not a valid excuse to stop her investigating the cover-up and it certainly was not an excuse given to us when we met her in November…she said that new victims coming forward wasn’t something that would stop a commission of investigation.”

Saoirse McGarrigle is a reporter at the Irish Mirror.

Previously: ‘We Need To Know Who Knew What’

700 Monsignor-Shine-Oliver-March-19th-009

From top: Bill Kenneally; Monsignor John Shine

You may recall a previous post by Saoirse McGarrigle about the victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally – an accountant from a well-known Fianna Fáil family and basketball coach in Waterford – who want a Commission of Investigation.

They believe senior gardai, members of Fianna Fáil, members of the Catholic Church and staff at the South Eastern Health Board failed to act when told about the abuse.

Kenneally was convicted last year, after victim Jason Clancy came forward in 2012, but Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.

Kenneally’s uncle was the late TD Bill Kenneally, who died in 2009, and who was succeeded by his son Brendan Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally was told about the abuse by a Waterford woman in 2002 but he didn’t tell gardai. Instead, he spoke to another uncle and local priest – and current chairman of the board of management at Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford – Monsignor John Shine – and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally did not report the matter to the gardaí.

Bill Kenneally is currently appealing his 14-year sentence for abusing 10 boys in the 1980s.

Further to this…

On Saturday, Saoirse McGarrigle reported in the Irish Mirror that Monsignor Shine, aged 91, is standing down from his role at Holy Cross National School.

It came after five of Kenneally’s victims wrote to Pope Francis calling for Monsignor Shine’s resignation – claiming Monsignor Shine knew of abuse allegations against Kenneally as early as 1987.

Ms McGarrigle reported:

In a statement issued by the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore on his behalf, he said: “I have made my decision bearing in mind the wishes, and indeed the distress, of the victims of my nephew Bill Kenneally.”

Monsignor Shine said: “When I am in a position to do so, I would very much wish to meet with the victims to hear their views, and to share with them all that I know of events of the past.

“It is my deep hope that I may be reconciled with them in their immense suffering.”

Further to this…

Yesterday.

RTE reported that Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has asked gardaí in Waterford for more information about how they dealt with cases concerning Bill Kenneally.

And today…

Ms McGarrigle reports that the victims are willing to meet with Monsignor Shine, with victim Colin Power saying:

I am willing to meet him, because I would welcome him disclosing the information he has. We need to know the truth. We need to know who knew what was being done to us and turned a blind eye.”

Previously: Ah Cumann

Tánaiste requests more information over Kenneally case (RTE)

Priest stands down from primary school role after nephew Bill Kenneally’s sex abuse victims call for resignation (Saoirse McGarrigle, Irish Mirror) 

Victims of sex beast Bill Kenneally want to meet his priest uncle (Saoirse McGarrigle, Irish Mirror)

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From top: B ill Keneally; From left: Paul Walsh, human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin, Colin Power anod Jason Clancy

This morning.

Further to last night’s Would You Believe? documentary, called Beyond Redemption?,  presented by Mike Peelo, about the Christian-based Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) programme in Canada, and now Ireland, in which sex offenders receive support from an ‘inner circle’ of volunteers – to help them reintegrate into society after prison.

On South East Radio, Paul Walsh, who was one of the boys abused by convicted and jailed paedophile Bill Kenneally, spoke to broadcaster Alan Corcoran.

Readers will recall how the victims of Kenneally are calling for a Commission of Investigation into who knew about the abuse and who “turned a blind eye” as they say senior gardaí, members of Fianna Fáil, the South Eastern Health Board and the Catholic Church all knew Kenneally was abusing boys but failed to stop him.

In 1987, Kenneally admitted to gardaí that he was handcuffing, blind-folding and sexually abusing boys, but he was let walk free. He was convicted earlier this year after victim Jason Clancy came forward in 2012.

From this morning’s interview on South East Radio…

Alan Corcoran: “What did you make of it, Paul?”

Paul Walsh: “Well, I sat down and tried to watch it with an open mind which was hard to do. In the beginning, I said, all right, we’ll watch it. Anybody looking at it, who wouldn’t have experienced any abuse would have said ‘oh well, yes, leave them back into the community’ but there’s tens of thousands of people that were abused. And it would be wonderful to be able to see them come back to the community and know that they wouldn’t reoffend but, taking a chance like that, I don’t know because, if they reoffend there’s more lives put at, as I said, having to, going to bed with thoughts that we [him and other victims] have. And like where is, there seems to be a lot of help, you know, the offenders seem to be the one to be helped. There’s 400-450 in prison still but sure there’s tens of thousands of victims. And I don’t remember anybody coming to me, even since we came forth, to see if we wanted any counselling, any support to be paid for. I don’t hear of any and these men are getting, what?, €71,000 a year [the cost of the COSA programme in Ireland]. I think it all swings on the side of the offender, again.”

Corcoran: “I’ll just bring more information in summary of what was viewed last night. There’s also Circles of Support apparently operating in Ireland too. In an article, in yesterday’s Irish Times, court reporter Conor Gallagher reported: “Nearly 50 people have volunteered to support and monitor convicted sex offenders in the community, as part of a Probation Service programme which has substantially reduced reoffending in other countries. The Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) programme, which was launched in Dublin last year, is designed to reintegrate medium to high-risk sex offenders into the community by including them in an informal social support circle of volunteers.” So by all accounts, it’s being tried here in Ireland, what’s your view of that, Paul?”

Walsh: “I wonder how many of the 50 people that are helping out, were any of them abused themselves. I wouldn’t imagine that they’d like to be helping out. As I said, I think, like if we knew it was going to work and everybody deserves a second chance but like history tells us, from looking into it more, that they do reoffend. And, like a drug addict, that might end up taking drugs again. The drugs I don’t really mind, it’s another child abused, it’s another life ruined really, so…I’m not too sure about it. At the moment, I’m still…”

Corcoran: “You’re not reassured in any way? Or, even assured a little bit?”

Walsh:I’m not really, no. No. Because of our own case, the amount of times, I mean, that this man was allowed get away with it. I can’t, bring him back into the community? No. I don’t think so.”

Later

Corcoran: “Having been through it and being very badly affected by it, what would you see as an alternative to what was suggested in that TV programme last night?”

Walsh: “Well, more support for the victims. I mean that report came across more in favour there for the offenders and nearly feeling sorry for them.”

Corcoran: “You felt it wasn’t balanced?”

Walsh: “No, it wasn’t balanced. It wasn’t balanced. And to be honest, there wasn’t much mention of victims, that poor mother was the only one, but there’s ten thousands, thousands of victims out there, you know, and again I can only reiterate on my own case. But there’s not a lot of support there. No one’s come to my friends since this has all broke out and asked, ‘are ye all right, lads’. I mean and it was the first time that my brothers and sisters and family knew about it and they were ringing me saying, ‘are you all right?’. They were affected. So, you know, it’s widespread. I don’t see much, again last night, the whole thing, to me, was ‘oh god love the offenders’, you know, ‘they need help’. ”

Corcoran: “So, for you, did you find it offensive then because of this…”

Walsh: “I did, yeah..I did, I found it very…now, I know they’re trying to bring it across, it’s a documentary of the offenders but it was too one-sided and..if you get them to the community and know they would’t reoffend again…safer and away from children, but like, in our circumstances, where our basketball coach was allowed coach for another 30 years, you know, and people knew what he was after doing. So, it doesn’t give you much faith in the system, at the moment anyway.”

Corcoran: “So what you’re calling for today is, after what you’ve been through, you need, you reckon that people like you need further counselling and that this is an area that needs to be addressed immediately.”

Walsh: “Definitely, yes, definitely. And there needs to be, an investigation has to be done to see why our particular matter was allowed roam free and an investigation because there was people in counselling with the HSE and the guards were never informed about it. You know, it’s all just odd, it stinks really, to be honest. The whole thing needs to be changed.”

South East Radio

Previously: Grooming The Nation

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From top: Bill Kenneally; Irish Times Weekend cover from last Saturday; victim Paul Walsh, human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin, victim Colin Power and victim Jason Clancy

You may recall how the victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally – an accountant from a well-known Fianna Fáil family and basketball coach in Waterford – want a Commission of Investigation.

They believe senior gardai, members of Fianna Fáil, members of the Catholic Church and staff at the South Eastern Health Board failed to act when told about the abuse.

Kenneally was convicted earlier this year, after victim Jason Clancy came forward in 2012, but Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.

Further to this…

Saoirse McGarrigle writes:

Last Saturday, The Irish Times published an article by Peter McGuire in which Mr McGuire asked sex abuse victims, abusers and therapists ‘is there a better way to tackle’ the issue of sex abuse in Ireland.

While journalists are not allowed to speak directly with prisoners in Ireland, Bill Kenneally – who was jailed for 14 years in February of this year – was interviewed through an intermediary.

He pleaded guilty to ten sample counts of indecent assault on ten boys between October 31, 1984 and December 31, 1987.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly handed down a 17-month sentence for each of the charges – prompting his victim’s to describe the sentence as “poetic justice” as, they say, he had a fixation with the number seven.

He would give them amounts of money that always ended in seven – £7, £17 or £27.

The Waterford accountant and basketball coach is now appealing the severity of his sentence.

The article in The Irish Times quoted an intermediary saying of Kenneally, “He grew up with a highly critical father he could never please and lacks any self-esteem.”

Colin Power (45) was abused by Kenneally for three years.

He said: “This is no excuse for abusing children, absolutely no excuse. Everybody has had difficulties in their lives, but nobody can use that as an excuse to abuse children. It’s an easy way out to blame his father. It’s a cop out as far as I am concerned. He caused devastation to all our lives and the lives of our families and friends. What he did will stay with all of us forever. He knew exactly what he was doing.”

The intermediary also says that Kenneally claims he did not abuse after 1987 and that “Bill knows he is a pariah, and he hates himself for what he has done.”

But Colin said: “If he was so remorseful and concerned about the children he abused and the impact on the abused he wouldn’t have waited 30 years until the guards came to him. He is sorry only because he was found out. All this is only a way of helping his appeal. And if he really was genuinely remorseful he would be honest about the amount of boys he abused.”

Since the court case, a number of men have approached the five victims who waived their anonymity; Jason Clancy, Paul Walsh, Barry Murphy, Kevin Keating and Colin Power, and revealed to them that they also were abused.

“He said ten victims and that he stopped after 1987, I can say categorically with absolute certainty that he abused far more than ten boys.”

The father-of-four continued: “I was in SuperValu last night and I met a fella in there and he said ‘you know, I think you’re great’. He told me that he was abused as well and it had an awful impact on his life. He had problems with gambling and drinking. He said to me that this had pushed him to go and sort it out.”

He added: “When we were driving to Dublin to meet MEP Lynn Boylan recently to discuss the case we stopped at an Applegreen on the way and I saw a guy there who was abused as well. You can’t just walk in town without seeing a number of people who have been abused. It’s everywhere – a whole generation of men in Waterford who have been abused.”

Colin continued: “I was just talking to a fella last night. He was also abused, but doesn’t know whether to come forward or not. He has low self-esteem because he hasn’t come forward. He feels like he has to but doesn’t know if he can. And I get that. Looking back at myself this time last year, I don’t know how I would have coped if I didn’t have Jason and the other lads. I wouldn’t have coped without them. Biggest thing for me was meeting up with the lads and talking about it. Feeling that you’re not normal.”

“It’s been an extremely hard thing to do. But I am glad that I have done it. I think before I thought that I was living normally. But I wasn’t. It was an abnormal life. It’s only through getting help that you can work it all out.”

Kenneally also claims that he stopped coaching basketball in 1987 and kept a “low-profile” to evade prosecution for the crimes committed before 1987.

Colin said: “He says that he stopped coaching basketball in 1987, but in 2013 he was definitely still involved in a basketball club. He was even on the committee. He still had access to young people. Sure it was the reason that Jason went to the guards in the first place in November 2012.”

The garda investigation which led to his conviction this year was triggered when father-of-four and local businessman Jason Clancy made a complaint to Waterford Garda Station in November 2012.

While the Book of Evidence states that the 46-year-old was compelled to come forward on foot of the Jimmy Saville case, he says that he told gardaí he did so because he was “extremely distressed” when he realised that his abuser was “still active in a basketball club, which had a predominantly young male membership.”

Kenneally told the intermediary that he “wishes gardaí had done so (prosecuted him) in the 1980s”.

His victims believe this is “more than just a bit ironic”.

Seven men are now pushing for a Commission of Investigation into who knew about the abuse and “turned a blind eye”.

They say that senior gardaí, members of Fianna Fáil, the South Eastern Health Board and the Catholic Church all knew that Kenneally was abusing boys but failed to stop him.

In 1987, he admitted to gardaí that he was handcuffing, blind-folding and sexually abusing boys, but he was let walk free.

Victims say that two boys were getting counselling from a health board psychiatrist for abuse they had suffered, while Kenneally was continuing to abuse others.

Bill Kenneally’s uncle Billy Kenneally, who was a serving Fianna Fáil TD at the time, was the first person superintendent Sean Cashman contacted when a local businessman made a complaint alleging that his son had been abused by Kenneally. He called the politician before he contacted the accused for questioning.

“What we’re looking for is all of this to be investigated and now ironically we have the man at the heart of it all, the abuser who was protected, saying that he even wishes he’d been prosecuted in the 1980s. Basically he wishes that he hadn’t been allowed to walk free for 30 years…so in effect he’s ironically supporting what we’re calling for,” said another victim Paul Walsh (45).

Human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin last month wrote to the Minister for Justice calling for a Commission of Investigation.

He confirmed this week that he has now received correspondence stating that the Minister has “sought the views of the Garda Commissioner on the issues raised.”

The letter also advises the victims that they can refer the matter to GSOC if they wish to “make a complaint concerning Garda actions”.

Mr Mackin said: “We welcome the Minister’s confirmation, that immediate action has been taken.”

He added: “It is however clear that this is only an initial scoping exercise, in the grand scheme of what is required to effectively investigate the systemic issues. We will continue to liaise with the Minister’s Office to ensure that the Gardai, given their involvement, play no part in the investigation given the need for independence to comply with International law.”

Paul Walsh added that he is “anxious” that any investigation that takes place is “entirely independent”.

The gardaí cannot investigate themselves that just wouldn’t work. We wouldn’t accept that. But also it has to be understood that it’s not just the gardaí that we want to be looked at, the health board knew what was happening to us, so did people in Fianna Fáil and the Catholic Church.”

The victims are set to meet with leader of Fianna Fáil Micháel Martin this Monday to discuss their campaign.

Waterford TD Mary Butler has refused to respond when contacted.

This week John McGuinness, from Kilkenny, became the first Fianna Fáil deputy to pledge his support to their campaign.

“John McGuinness seems very supportive and I hope other in Fianna Fáil will follow suit. This is not political. It’s just a case of letting the truth about what happened to us come out. I met with John this week and he said ‘it’s not just about ye, it’s the ripple effect that it’s had on our families’ and he’s right there it’s had a devastating effect on everybody. My mother asks me all of the time am I ok,” said Colin.

Saoirse McGarrigle is a broadcast journalist with South East Radio.

‘I was eight when my brother started coming into my room’ (Peter McGuire, Irish Times, Saturday, October 15, 2016)

Previously: Protected For 30 Years

ctt08_kwyaatcyh

From yesterday’s Irish Independent

You may recall a post yesterday by Saoirse McGarrigle about the victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally – an accountant from a well-known Fianna Fáil family and basketball coach in Waterford – who want a Commission of Investigation.

They believe senior gardai, members of Fianna Fáil, members of the Catholic Church and staff at the South Eastern Health Board failed to act when told about the abuse.

Kenneally was convicted earlier this year, after victim Jason Clancy came forward in 2012, but Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.

Kenneally’s uncle was the late TD Bill Kenneally, who died in 2009, and who was succeeded by his son Brendan Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally was told about the abuse by a Waterford woman in 2002 but he didn’t tell gardai. Instead, he spoke to another uncle and local priest – and current chairman of the board of management at Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford – Monsignor John Shine –  and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.

Brendan Kenneally did not report the matter to the gardaí.

The article by Ms McGarrigle, a broadcast journalist with South East Radio, followed a piece in the Sunday Independent by Damien Tiernan, of RTE.

Further to this, the Irish Independent yesterday ran a story about Kenneally’s victims calling for a commission of investigation with a double byline containing the names Conor Feehan and Saoirse McGarrigle – even though the newspaper didn’t print the copy McGarrigle submitted.

In addition, the article included a picture of Brendan Kenneally with the caption:

“Brendan Kenneally is reportedly no longer a Fianna Fáil member.”

Further to this…

Last night, Ms McGarrigle tweeted:

Brendan Kenneally is still a member of Fianna Fáil – in fact he’s Hon Sec of the Thomas Clarke Cumann.

There you go now.

Saoirse McGarrigle can be followed on Twitter here

Previously: Protected For 30 Years

Pic: Gemma O’Doherty

UPDATE:

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Monsignor John Shine

In today’s Irish Mirror, Ms McGarrigle reports:

Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally are calling for a parish priest to resign as chair of a primary school board of management.

Monsignor John Shine is an uncle of Bill Kenneally and heads up the Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford.

…Holy Cross principal John Kindlon said he could not comment on the situation as he is directly employed by the board of management which is chaired by Monsignor Shine.

Contacted by this newspaper the priest refused to discuss the issue.

He added: “No I won’t talk to you. I’m having my lunch.”

Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally call for a parish priest to resign as chair of a primary school board of management (Irish Mirror)

Pic: Holy Cross

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From top: former Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Kenneally; his cousin Billy Kenneally: former Garda Superintendant Sean Cashman;  victim Paul Walsh, human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin, victim Colin Power and victim Jason Clancy.

Further to an article in yesterday’s Sunday Independent by Damian Tiernan, RTÉ’s South East Correspondent, concerning a Former Waterford Fianna Fáil TD who was told his cousin abused boys but  did nothing…

Saoirse McGarrigle writes:

Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally describe his sentencing as a “window dressing” to conceal the fact that the authorities were aware of the abuse three decades before he was jailed.

Six of his victims say they now believe that senior gardaí, members of Fianna Fáil, members of the Catholic Church and staff at the South Eastern Health Board were told about the abuse but failed to act.

They are now pushing for a Commission of Investigation into who knew about the abuse and “turned a blind eye”.

Belfast based human rights lawyer Darrgah Mackin, who is also working on the Mary Boyle case, is representing six of the victims.

In the past week Mr Mackin has written to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to bring the case to her attention.

Victim Jason Clancy said:

“I don’t know what’s more hurtful, the abuse or the fact that people in authority knew that I was being abused and did nothing.”

He continued:

“They could have taken me out of my misery at any stage, but they chose not to.”

Another victim, Colin Power said:

“I had a lot of guilt about it all. I used to think that if I had of told someone that it would have stopped and that the younger lads who were abused after me could have been saved. That really affected me for a very long time…it niggled at me.

“I was feeling bad that as a 14 year old boy that I didn’t do something, but now I know that adults in Waterford knew about it and turned a blind eye. It really baffles me. He got away with it because these high society people turned a blind eye.

Kenneally was convicted at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court on February 19 of this year when he pleaded guilty to ten sample counts of indecent assault. He is now serving a 14 year prison term, but he is appealing the severity of the sentence.

Barrister Darragh Mackin states that

the prosecutorial process merely examined one aspect of the circumstances that give rise to our clients concerns that there existed a clear policy and/or state practice to deliberately prevent the identification and punishment of Mr Kenneally at an earlier stage.”

Although the prosecution did not begin until 2013, Gardaí knew about the abuse as early as 1985, when one victim reported it to a garda at Waterford Garda Station on the same day that he collected his Inter Cert results.

Meanwhile, another victim Paul Walsh claims that when he was 14 two gardaí approached him and warned him to stay away from Bill Kenneally.

Mr Walsh recalled:

“Back in 1987 when a guard stopped me in the pub and told me that there was a file ‘as long as your arm’ in the station about him I actually thought fair play to him. At the time I was 14 and I naively thought that meant that it was all going to stop,”

Then on a separate occasion Bill Kenneally was questioned at Waterford Garda Station in 1987 on foot of a complaint from another boy’s father.

Despite Keneally admitting to handcuffing, blindfolding and abusing boys when interviewed by Superintendent Sean Cashman he was released without charge and continued to abuse.

Bill Kenneally, an accountant from the well-known Fianna Fail family in Waterford city, used money and alcohol to entice his victims.

Some, but not all, of his victims were basketball players that he coached. He was at one point a national basketball coach.

In November 2012 father-of-four Jason Clancy went to the gardaí and told them that he had been repeatedly sexually abused by Kenneally on a weekly basis for over three-and-a-half years in the mid-1980s.

He also gave gardaí a list of names of other men that were also abused in their teens.

Shortly after Mr Clancy made a statement, gardaí raided Kenneally’s house at Laragh, Summerville Avenue, Waterford, and during the search he admitted to abusing up to 20 boys.

Kenneally offered to give gardaí a list of the names of the boys he abused.

But Mr Clancy claims that five months passed by and gardaí attempted to contact a couple of the men on the list that Mr Clancy had given them but then stopped making enquiries.

They did not return to collect the list which Kenneally had volunteered to give them.

During the period from December 2013 until April 2014 Bill Kenneally remained a committee member of a basketball club which had a largely young male membership, even though he had admitted to gardaí that he had sexually abused 20 boys.

Mr Clancy says that he was forced to speak to a journalist in order to get his abuser removed from a youth basketball club.

He says that exposing the situation in the media was the only thing that pushed the authorities to act.

Jason Clancy says that when he first contacted Waterford Garda Station that he was told by a senior garda that Bill Kenneally had “never appeared on our radar.

Mr Clancy then gave a statement to two female gardaí who were trained in dealing with sexual assault cases.

He also gave gardaí a list of names of other men who were abused by Kenneally around the same time and asked gardaí to contact them.

One of the people that Jason Clancy asked gardaí to contact in mid December 2012 had not heard anything by mid February 2013, so this other victim began trying to contact Waterford Garda Station by phone himself in order to arrange to make a statement.

He lives abroad and wanted gardaí to request through Interpol that he be facilitated to give his statement at his local police station.

But gardaí took weeks to respond to him.

It was only when the story broke in the public domain that a requisition letter was sent to Interpol by Waterford gardaí to arrange for the statement to be given.

The date on the letter sent to Interpol is April 23, 2013, the same date that the story broke in the media.

All of the investigation activity logged in the Book of Evidence that was produced by the prosecution is dated after this date.

One of the main causes of concern is a number of questions left unanswered about a video tape that was discovered in the search of Bill Kenneally’s house.

Jason Clancy said:

“I was told by two separate gardaí that a paedophilia video was found in the search, but in the court case the detective said in her evidence that nothing of a paedophilia nature was found, just some pornography that was of a heterosexual nature”

Mr Clancy added:

“The two gardaí that I gave my statement to, however, told me that they found a video tape wrapped up in Sellotape and I even know who the victim was on that video and I know that he was a minor when Kenneally made that video of him.”

“As well as that gardaí noted to me that Bill Kenneally had a video recorder and a television in his bedroom, which was obviously used to make these disgusting sex tapes.”

He continued:

“I want to know why they withheld this from the DPP. And also about a month before the trial the gardaí told me there is a chance that this man, who abused and tortured me, could walk away from a jail sentence because there was no evidence to prove that he had continued abusing after 1987 when they let him go from the station but all that time they held the piece of evidence that proved he did.”

In an RTÉ Prime Time documentary aired in May of this year, now retired chief superintendent Sean Cashman told South East correspondent Damien Tiernan:

“And I know, I know people were talking about it, you know, it was a political family and it was a cover-up, well there was no cover-up at all. And the irony of the whole situation really is that the best help I got to try and put him where he should have been, before the court, was from his uncle.”

Bill Kenneally’s uncle was the late TD Billy Kenneally. He died in 2009, but in 1987 he was a serving TD when he became aware that his nephew was abusing boys.

His son Brendan Kenneally succeeded him, becoming a TD 1989. He retired from political life after losing his seat in the 2011 general election.

In 2002 Brendan Kenneally was told by a Waterford woman that Bill Kenneally, who is his first cousin, had abused her sons. At that time Brendan Kenneally was a Taoiseach’s nominee to the Seanad.

He did not report the mother’s claims to the gardaí. Instead, he spoke with his uncle on his mother’s side and local priest Monsignor John Shine about the abuse and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.

Saoirse McGarrigle is a broadcast Journalist with South East Radio.

Former TD ‘was told cousin abused boys but he said nothing’ (IDamian Tiernan, Sunday Independent)

Previously: ‘There Was No Cover Up At All’

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From top: Bill Kenneally, Former Superintendant in Waterford Sean Cashman

In February Bill Kenneally was jailed for 14 years, after he pleaded guilty to 10 sample counts of indecent assault on 10 boys between October 31, 1984 and December 31, 1987, in Waterford.

Kenneally, whose grandfather and uncle were Fianna Fáil TDs, used his position as a sports coach – basketball, soccer and tennis – to lure and abuse boys.

He was eventually charged – 25 years after Kenneally himself admitted to gardaí that he abused a boy in 1987.

Yesterday, it was reported that Kenneally lodged an appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeal against his sentence.

Further to this, several men who were abused by Kenneally spoke to Damien Tiernan on RTÉ’s Prime Time – with several of them saying some adults in Waterford at the time were aware of the abuse but did nothing about it.

In addition Mr Tiernan spoke to former superintendent Sean Cashman about when Kenneally admitted the abuse in 1987 – after a father reported that his son had been abused.

Mr Cashman recalled:

“He [the father] told me that his son, who was a student at De La Salle, aged about 15, that he was one of a number of students who were being lured to the house of a man named Billy Kenneally and that this man was coming in to the schoolyard and that he was giving them basketball lessons. In a short time, he had started to interfere with them and that there was a sexual contact, content to it and he just wanted to report it to me.”

The father told Cashman his son could not be interviewed so Mr Cashman contacted Kenneally’s uncle, the former Fianna Fáil TD, Billy Keneally, who died in 2009.

The TD arranged for Kenneally to go to the garda station when he met the then Supt Cashman and Inspector PJ Hayes.

Mr Cashman recalled:

He was a broken man, he was absolutely emotional, he was shaking like a leaf, he was in terrible shape, I thought. He said, ‘I know why I’m here lads and I’m glad to be here because I want to be looked after’ – or words to that effect now. He might have said, ‘I want to be looked after’ or ‘I want to be treated’.”

Mr Hayes recalled:

“And he went on then to tell me that he had placed handcuffs on this young boy and I asked him, ‘where did it take place?’ and he said it was in his own home.”

Mr Cashman added:

“We did not have evidence to charge him now if I… ah, he admitted it, I’ve known a case where a man came through the station at one time and admitted murder that he hadn’t done. So you know the fact, he did admit it and I’ll have to say, I knew he was the culprit, it wasn’t a question of his imagination, I knew he was the culprit but I didn’t have a statement from an injured party.”

“And I know, I know people were talking about it, you know, it was a political family and it was a cover-up, well there was no cover-up at all. And the irony of the whole situation really is that the best help I got to try and put him where he should have been, before the court, was from his uncle.”

I got absolutely no help from any injured party. None.

After this, Kenneally was no longer allowed to coach at De La Salle and he was told to get counselling. He wasn’t questioned by the gardai again. He continued to live in Waterford.

Twenty five years later, one of boys who had been abused by Kenneally discovered that Kenneally was still involved in coaching basketball but not in a school capacity.

Jason Clancy went to the gardaí in 2012 to tell them about the abuse he suffered as a boy. After waiving his right to anonymity, other victims came forward.

There were originally 74 charges against Kenneally.

Watch back in full here