Tag Archives: Bill Kenneally

From top: Bill Kenneally; from left: Colin Power, Fianna Fail’s Kieran Hartley, and Jason Clancy

Yesterday afternoon.

At Buswells Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

Colin Power and Jason Clancy, who were both abused by former basketball coach Bill Kenneally,  held a press conference with Kieran Hartley, of Fianna Fail.

And they revealed that it’s their understanding that gardai were aware of Kenneally’s abuse as far back as 1979.

Readers will recall how, in 2016, Kenneally was given a 14-year sentence for sexually abusing ten boys aged between 12 and 16 in Waterford between 1984 and 1987.

Of those ten boys, now men, five have waived their anonymity.

The five include Mr Power and Mr Clancy – who prompted the garda investigation which resulted in Bill Kenneally being jailed when he came forward in 2012.

The survivors of Kenneally’s abuse have repeatedly claimed that certain gardai, the South Eastern Health Board, members of the Catholic Church, certain politicians and certain businessmen knew of the abuse and that it continued despite their knowledge of it.

Bill Kenneally is a cousin of former Fianna Fail TD and minister Brendan Kenneally and he has previously said he knew of the abuse in 2002 – but did nothing.

Mr Power and Mr Clancy – and other survivors of Kenneally’s abuse – have also repeatedly called for a Commission of Inquiry – which the Department of Justice announced would take place on May 30, 2017 – to no longer be delayed.

Last month, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan released a statement saying that, on foot of legal advice from the Attorney General, the commission cannot get underway as criminal investigations are ongoing.

In an interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One, the mens’ lawyer Darragh Mackin, of KRW Law in Belfast,rejected Mr Flanagan’s assertion that a Commission of Inquiry cannot run parallel to a criminal investigation, pointing out that the Leveson Inquiry, the Hillsborough Inquiry and the Grenfell Inquiry have occurred while a criminal investigation was/is ongoing.

He also said that the Government has not made it clear what could be prejudicial.

Bill Kenneally is currently appealing the length of his sentence. He was also recently charged with 99  counts of indecent and sexual assault against three boys.

Mr Clancy said:

“It has been confirmed that in 1979, a young boy was brought into the Garda station  and he was actually questioned about what he knew about Bill Kenneally.

“Again, in the mid-1980s, one of the victims who actually waived his anonymity, he himself was warned by two gardai to stay away from Bill Kenneally because he was a paedophile.

“In 1987, two victims  were actually receiving counselling from the South Eastern Health Board, from a psychiatrist with the South Eastern Health Board while at the same time, we were still being abused.

“But more shocking, I think, than ever, what we have now, what has now come to light is that, in July 1987, in Waterford City, a young boy was murdered. We now have confirmation that Bill Kenneally was brought in for questioning in relation to that murder in July in 1987.

“We have archived footage from RTE in relation to the investigation. Now, retired Chief Supt Sean Cashman headed up that investigation into the murder of that young boy. We also have RTE footage of Prime Time of Mr Cashman’s interview in May 2016 and Mr Cashman confirmed that the first time he ever heard about Bill Kenneally was in November 1987, five months later. In November 1987, when a parent came to make a complaint regarding their son who had been abused by Bill Kenneally.

“So we now have on record and we can show that the gardai were aware of Bill Kenneally, we can confirm that they have been lying, we can confirm that the first time that  we know that the gardai were aware of Bill Kenneally’s activities was, in actual fact, 1979.

“The murder of that young boy – Bill Kenneally, as I said, was questioned regarding that murder. So the gardai were aware of Bill Kenneally’s activities. It’s also very important to note that Bill Kenneally is arguably one of the biggest paedophiles in the history of the State as a result of all the abuse that he carried out on young boys in Waterford City and beyond.

“1979 we know the gardai were aware of him. So Bill Kenneally became the biggest paedophile in the history of the State because he was allowed to continue doing what he was doing to young boys and that’s the problem that we have.

“We have been campaigning for two years, two years we’ve been campaigning for a Commission of Investigation.

We know that the South Eastern Health Board, at board level, in 1987, at board level, in the South Eastern Health Board, we know for a fact that they, at least one board member, maybe two, but certainly one was aware that Bill Kenneally was a paedophile.

“Bill Kenneally carried on his basketball, became a national basketball manager and he continued on in basketball up to 2013, sorry 2012 – when I came forward and made my complaint.”

Mr Power told the journalists in attendance that Mr Flanagan has said that he knows the men’s story but Mr Power pointed out that the minister has never met with the men.

At the same press conference, Mr Hartley, of Fianna Fail, called on Brendan Kenneally to be immediately expelled from the party.

And he called on Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin to explain what he knew of the abuse, when he found out about and how he found out about it…

From yesterday’s press conference…

My name is Kieran Hartley, I’m a member of the Fianna Fail party. I was one of the party’s candidates in the 2014 European elections for the Ireland South constituency.

I became involved in this matter, not just as a result of the extensive coverage of the abuse that these young men have suffered at the hands of convicted child abuser Bill Kenneally but also following numerous meetings with both Jason and Colin beside me.

These presented to me an extensive dossier of the facts in this case. The facts which not only reveal a shocking litany of abuse but also, I believe, a comprehensive account of substantial and systematic cover-up of what happened by the State, clergy and the political parties.

In effect, a horrifying scandal was revealed to me. Having read the dossier which spanned over 30 years and in light of new evidence and in my belief, I now call upon Minister Charlie Flanagan to no longer delay the setting up of an inquiry with immediate effect.

I believe this is now a matter of public interest .

This is a matter of the gravest public concern and if the very serious accusations which have now come to light are true then perhaps we need to go beyond a commission of inquiry and institute a criminal investigation by An Garda Siochana.

The new alleged information, evidence, collusion between various arms of the State and the clergy means that a criminal investigation must also run in tandem with a commission of inquiry.

The actions that, I believe, need to be taken are: firstly, Brendan Kenneally’s failure, as a former minister and TD, to report key information on this abuse to relevant authorities , i.e. Garda Siochana, have brought the party into disrepute.

Brendan Kenneally has confirmed he was aware of the abuse in 2002 when Fianna Fail were in Government. He was a sitting TD. He effectively did not report to An Garda Siochana and, effectively, did nothing.

Therefore he is not fit to be a member of a political party.

I am now calling an Uachtarain of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin to expel Brendan Kenneally immediately from the party.

I also believe the time has now come for Uachtarain of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin to say, as a matter of public record, firstly, when he became aware of the abuse, how he was informed about the abuse and by whom he was informed about the abuse.

I believe this information needs to be put on the public record prior to any Commission of Investigation commencing.

Pic: Juliette Gash

Senior Fianna Fail member slams party for allegedly covering up child sex abuse scandal (Saoirse McGarrigle, Irish Mirror)

Previously: Bill Kenneally on Broadsheet

From top: Bill Kenneally; Solicitor Darragh Mackin and five of Keneally’s 10 victims: Jason Clancy, Colin Power, Paul Walsh and Barry Murphy

And are you free at 4.30pm?

At 4.30pm.

In the Georgian Suite of Buswells Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

The victims of Bill Kenneally wish to address the media with an update on their campaign.

Readers will recall how Waterford basketball coach Bill Kenneally, who received a 14-year sentence for indecently assaulting ten boys between 1984 and 1987, is appealing against the severity of his sentence.

Kenneally was sentenced at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court to 14 years and two months imprisonment by Judge Eugene O’Kelly in February 2016.

Kenneally’s victims claim that certain gardai, the South Eastern Health Board, members of the Catholic Church, certain politicians and certain businessmen knew of the abuse and that it continued despite their knowledge of it.

Previously: Bill Kenneally on Broadsheet


From top: Bill Kenneally; Solicitor Darragh Mackin and five of Keneally’s 10 victims: Jason Clancy, Colin Power, Paul Walsh and Barry Murphy

Waterford basketball coach Bill Kenneally, who received a 14-year sentence for indecently assaulting ten boys between 1984 and 1987, is appealing against the severity of his sentence.

Kenneally was sentenced at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court to 14 years and two months imprisonment by Judge Eugene O’Kelly in February 2016

Kenneally’s victims claim that certain gardai, the South Eastern Health Board, members of the Catholic Church, certain politicians and certain businessmen knew of the abuse and that it continued despite their knowledge of it.

Via Ruaidhrí Giblin, at Ireland International News Agency, writes:

The Court of Appeal heard today that the sentencing judge imposed imposed consecutive 17 month sentences in respect of each of the ten victims.

Opening an appeal against the severity of his sentence in the three-judge court today, Kenneally’s barrister, Michael Counihan SC, submitted that the sentencing judge decided that he was going to give Kenneally 14 years and he built in everything that he could to reach that “pre-determined” point.

Mr Counihan said the sentencing judge picked a tariff and multiplied it out “to give satisfaction to the victims – as he says so himself”. However, he said “one can’t let one’s outrage be the only informing factor”.

Mr Counihan said the duty of a court is not to victims, but to the public, and to reach a sentence the public demands not what the victims demand “and that’s where he (the sentencing judge) became blinkered”.

The appeal hearing continuesdin the three-judge Court of Appeal this afternoon.

Mr Justice George Birmingham remarked that in his experience, he was personally not aware of case involving 10 victims where the abuse was so severe as it was here, coupled with the breach of trust, the use of alcohol, the payment of money and the use of photos as a form of coercion….

More as we get it.

Update: The three judge Court Of Appeal  panel has reserved its judgment to give time to review evidence.

Previously: Bill Kenneally on Broadsheet

Courtesy of Ireland International News Agency

From top: Bill Kenneally; Darragh Mackin; Jason Clancy, Colin Power, Paul Walsh and Barry Murphy

This morning.

On RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Mr O’Rourke interviewed Jason Clancy, who was abused by sports coach Bill Kenneally approximately 300 times over a three-and-a-half year period as a young teenager in Waterford in the 1980s.

Kenneally received a 14-year sentence in February 2016 after pleading guilty to ten sample counts of indecently assaulting ten boys between 1984 and 1987 – on foot of Mr Clancy coming forward in 2012.

Mr Clancy’s lawyer Darragh Mackin, of KRW Law in Belfast, and Labour leader Brendan Howlin were also interviewed as part of the segment.

The interview followed the making of a Facebook video by five men who were abused by Kenneally – Colin Power, Barry Murphy, Paul Walsh, Kevin Keating and Jason Clancy.

In the video, the men repeated their claim that certain gardai, the South Eastern Health Board, members of the Catholic Church, certain politicians and certain businessmen knew of the abuse and that it continued despite their knowledge of it.

They also repeated their call for the Commission of Inquiry – which the Department of Justice announced would take place on May 30, 2017 – to no longer be delayed.

Yesterday, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan released a statement saying that, on foot of legal advice from the Attorney General, the commission cannot get underway as criminal investigations are ongoing (see full statement below).

In this morning’s interview, Mr Mackin rejected Mr Flanagan’s assertion that a Commission of Inquiry cannot run parallel to a criminal investigation, pointing out that the Leveson Inquiry, the Hillsborough Inquiry and the Grenfell Inquiry have occurred while a criminal investigation was/is ongoing.

He also said that the Government has not made it clear what could be prejudicial.

Also during the interview, Mr Howlin said four witnesses in relation to Kenneally have died in the past 12 months.

Mr Clancy also said he’d like to meet the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan together in person so they can discuss the matter face to face.

From the interview…

Sean O’Rourke: “Bring us back, remind people, some of whom may not be familiar with your story, how you came in contact with Bill Kenneally and what he did.”

Jason Clancy: “I was unfortunate enough to live around the corner from Bill Kenneally where I grew up. The neighbours used to have a Sunday morning soccer, friendly soccer matches, every Sunday morning. I was invited up by a good neighbour of ours when I was about 13 to play. And Bill Kenneally played there and that’s when I initially came in contact with him.”

O’Rourke: “And how quickly did the abuse start?”

Clancy: “The abuse started, I’d say, about six months from when I met him.”

O’Rourke: “And it went on for how long?”

Clancy: “My abuse went on for, I think about three and a half years. It started just before my 14th birthday and it went on then until I was about 16/17.”

O’Rourke: “And we know that there were other boys abused by him aswell. There were the 10 sample cases that I mentioned [earlier]. And were other boys abused at the same time as you were, or along with you?”

Clancy: “Oh yeah, I mean I was abused in the company of other boys, we were abused together and then also individually.”

O’Rourke: “Yeah, and you spoke on Prime Time, just about for instance, you were a tennis player, you were good at sport.”

Clancy: “Yes.”

O’Rourke: “You won a tennis tournament.”

Clancy: “That’s right, yeah.”

O’Rourke: “And you missed out on the presentation of the prize?”

Clancy: “Yeah, what happened was, I was playing in the Kilkenny Open and I was in the final and I won the final but Bill Kenneally arrived along, when I was coming off the court, and just said to me: ‘Get in the car’. And he drove me down to a forest area near the tennis club and abused me quite badly. And then I was brought back to the tennis club and the presentation was over. The lady who, I still remember her name, the lady who was organising the tournament, she ate me for having such bad manners that I didn’t turn up for the presentation and the photographs and so forth. She just handed me the trophy.”

“Like, I mean, I was just standing there and, you know, the abuse, I was probably used to the abuse at that stage but, you know, for somebody to just stand there and just say ‘you’re a disgrace to your tennis club’ and ‘it’s such bad manners’. And it stays with me to this day, you know?”

I was standing there in semen-soaked underpants and I couldn’t explain to her like, that, I just couldn’t do do it, you know?”

O’Rourke: “How long was it, Jason, before you were able to talk about this? I mean, for instance, did you talk with the other fellas who were being abused at the time?”

Clancy: “You know, we never actually spoke about it. We just never spoke about it, we just couldn’t, you know?”

O’Rourke: “And then you, just in the last few years, in 2012, you came forward and you made the disclosures and you waived your anonymity in court and, presumably, as adults, you were able to talk about it?”

Clancy: “As adults, yes, I was able to talk about it. I mean, what happened was I found out he was involved in a basketball club with young children, young boys. So I just knew, the day came, I had to do something, I have young children myself. So I think the decision was made for me to come forward. But I knew I had to do it, for the greater good, I had to do the right thing and I contacted the gardai.”

O’Rourke: “Now, he was sentenced for his crimes and the Government then announced last May that there would be this Commission of Inquiry but they’ve put a stay on that. It’s not happening. We’ll talk about the reasons why it’s not happening in a minute. But why is it important to you and to other victims that this commission carry out its work?.”

Clancy: “The information I suppose that has been gathered, you know, we know now that Bill Kenneally was a paedophile in Waterford city for a number of decades, in Waterford city. We are aware of that. Authorities knew about it. There’s a litany of examples that we can go to but we are fully aware, the Government are aware that gardai knew about the abuse; the South Eastern Health Board knew about the abuse; the Catholic Church knew about the abuse; politicians knew about the abuse and a number of business people in Waterford city were aware of the abuse.”

O’Rourke: “And obviously, the Government was persuaded that these allegations are so serious, and the situation, as to warrant this Commission of Inquiry but Charlie Flanagan, the Minister [for Justice], has put a statement out yesterday explaining that because there are inquiries still continuing into other cases, they can’t go ahead with this commission.”

Clancy: “Sean, the problem we have with that. The gardai confirmed to me that, in the course of their investigation – when I made my complaint – they ended up having to contact in excess of 100 people to give them the opportunity to make a statement and come forward. Now, out of that, 54 people made a statement and, from those 54 people, 10 people came forward, including myself.

What Charlie Flanagan is saying, basically, is that there are three victims who came forward last year and the Government don’t want any interference with their case against Bill Kenneally and, as a result, they are putting a stay on the inquiry or the Commission of Investigation.

O’Rourke: “Ok, actually, it might be the moment, at this stage, to talk to the solicitor, your solicitor Darragh Mackin.”

Clancy: “Absolutely.”

O’Rourke: “Good morning to you. You’re on the line from Belfast.”

Darragh Mackin: “Good morning, Sean.”

O’Rourke: “Can I just ask you to deal with the particular legal explanation that’s given by Charlie Flanagan in his statement, he says: ‘With an obligation on the commission, to disclose relevant information in its possession to a person giving evidence to the commission, this might compromise evidence that such persons might give in criminal proceedings, thus jeopardising the rights of the victims to having their complaints investigated and prosecuted and any potential accused to a fair trial.’ So that’s two ‘mights’ and one ‘potential’. The point is: they don’t want to prejudice any possibility of a fair trial.”

Mackin: “Yes, the starting point, from our perspective, is that we don’t accept that, we don’t accept them reasons whatsoever. We don’t accept them for two primary concerns. The first one is that this is not the reasons in their entirety.

We were originally given the reason that the inquiry could not begin due to the fact that there was an ongoing appeal against sentence. We rejected that assertion – given that it had absolutely no prejudice on a public inquiry.

“And the second basis is the one to which you refer – the idea that by the very fact that there are ongoing criminal investigations that that would in some way jeopardise or prejudice the inquiry. We say that is not correct and we say that it can be dealt with in very simple terms: public inquiries by their very genesis can have mechanisms to deal with and to prevent any element of prejudice on any other investigation.

“For example, the inquiry will, as we’ve seen in Charleton [the Disclosures Tribunal], can have a modular format where specific modules can be put to the end of the inquiry to prevent or to allow for any other investigations to occur in the meantime.

“Secondly, there is a huge raft of preparation required in this inquiry such as taking witness statements from Jason and the other victims who have already come forward and who’ve already spoken publicly about their case. That itself will require quite considerable time and can be done, it can be done in private, in the lead-up to the inquiry getting off the ground.

“So we say there are very, very good mechanisms that can be put in place and that are regularly put in place to ensure that there is no prejudice to any ongoing investigation.”

O’Rourke: “Charlie Flanagan’s statement says that it would be entirely inappropriate for this Government to take any action which risks seriously compromising those investigations and/or criminal proceedings.”

Mackin: “Well the starting point is this Sean: We have a situation therefore that an inquiry investigating the failures by the gardai is now being delayed by the very ones to which it’s being investigated.

“Because we have a situation where, one year ago, a further victim came forward, gave his complaint to the gardai, he hadn’t heard anything since, until I think it was 20 minutes after the story broke on RTE, that he then heard from the gardai again.

In fact, many victims were unaware that the file had even been passed to the DPP until the public statement by Mr Flanagan.”

O’Rourke: “Yeah, but I mean, these are live investigations, they’re ongoing in respect of a number of such cases – I’m again, quoting from the statement. Files have been sent to the DPP in relation to several cases. Directions are awaited.”

Mackin: “Let’s deal with this then, let’s deal with this very simple basis, the proposition that, because there’s an ongoing prosecution, let’s look at that. Leveson, the Leveson Inquiry in London, the Hillsborough Inquiry, the Grenfell Inquiry – three of the biggest public inquiries probably in the international scale, all three occurred at the exact same time as an ongoing criminal investigation. There is absolutely no reason, there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever that this inquiry cannot take place at the same time as a criminal investigation. 

“And we also must bear in mind that, at this stage, there has been no decision to prosecute or any decision to open up a criminal trial, so as it stands the inquiry, to which is being postponed, to which relevant evidence is being lost, let’s not forget that people have died since the commission of this inquiry in May 2017, let’s not forget that people are dying, that evidence is being lost, on the basis that there may be further criminal prosecutions.

“The reality is there can be steps, there can be mechanisms put in place to ensure that there is no prejudice and this boils down to the fact that the victims have no confidence in these reasons, they’ve no confidence in the process and they’ve no confidence in the situation that they are now being held to task, they are now being faced with obstacle after obstacle in an opaque system where they can’t even challenge the legal basis, other than to say it is prejudicial. There is no detail given as to what prejudice that would be.

Listen back in full here

In his statement, Mr Flanagan said:

“In the public interest, I wish to clarify matters relating to the Government decision in May to establish a Commission of Investigation into the handling of specific sexual abuse allegations in Waterford.

In responding to the very serious allegations about the handling of specific sexual abuse allegations in Waterford, the Government decided on 30 May 2017 to establish a Commission of Investigation. However, in deciding on the timing of such a Commission, the Government was obliged to take into account legal advice received from the Attorney General’s Office.

The legal issues that prevented the Commission from being established at this time related to additional complaints of sexual abuse received by An Garda Síochána.

With an obligation on the Commission to disclose relevant information in its possession to a person giving evidence to the Commission, this might compromise evidence that such persons might give in criminal proceedings, thus jeopardising the rights of the victims to having their complaints investigated and prosecuted and any potential accused to a fair trial.

It would be entirely inappropriate for this Government to take any action which risks seriously compromising those investigations and/or criminal proceedings.

Criminal investigations are ongoing in respect of a number of such cases and files have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to several cases and directions are awaited. Any victims coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse are entitled to have their claims fully investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.

An Garda Síochána have given assurances that they will ensure that any victims who have reported allegations are contacted by a Garda liaison officer to ensure they are kept informed of any developments.

Therefore, even if a Commission were to be established now, its work would be seriously delayed to allow for the completion of outstanding investigations and prosecutions. This would not be in the public interest, or in the best interest of those directly affected.

As a result, the Government decided in May 2017 that a Commission of Investigation would be established when the outstanding legal issues are finalised. This decision was communicated to KRW Law by phone by an official in my Department following the Government meeting and has been reiterated in subsequent correspondence to them.

I continue to monitor developments in this case closely.

I wish to stress that any complainant who is not satisfied with the manner in which their allegations were dealt with by An Garda Síochána, has the option of contacting the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Office (GSOC) which is the independent body charged with receiving complaints from the public concerning members of An Garda Síochána.

Contact can be made with GSOC at their offices at 150 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin 1 and by telephone on Lo-Call 1890 600800.

Yesterday: ‘Waterford’s Big Dirty Secret’

Pic: Saoirse McGarrigle

From top: Bill Kenneally, Jason Clancy and Colin Power 

Before Christmas.

On December 15, 2017.

Colin Power, Barry Murphy, Paul Walsh and Jason Clancy – who were abused by former Waterford basketball coach  Bill Kenneally – created a Facebook video in which they urged people with any information about the cover-up in relation to Kenneally’s abuse to come forward.

They also say they feel let down by the Government – and all political parties – as there has been no firm date set for an inquiry into the matter.

Readers will recall how Kenneally was convicted and sentenced to 14 years last February, for abusing 10 boys in the 1980s, after Jason Clancy, who was abused by Kenneally more than 300 times over a three-and-a-half year period, came forward in 2012.

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

In the video, Colin Power stated that they know of at least 50 boys who were abused by Kenneally, all aged between 12 and 16.

Mr Power also said:

“We know that two boys – 13/14 years old – were in counselling in the South Eastern Health Board. They were referred there by a teacher in school, whom they went to and told about the abuse. Yet, they were in counselling and we were still being abused at the same time.

“Now, it wasn’t just the counsellors knew that. There was a teacher. There was people in the South Eastern Health Board. The gardai, the clergy as well, members of the clergy, there was politicians from the political party that he was affiliated to [Fianna Fail] – all the way up to 2012, when Jason went to try and get this over the line and get this investigated and again the doors were shut in his face until he had to go public.

“None of us, ever, wanted to go public. We were told, at the, around the time of the court case, that Kenneally would not be named unless we went public. That’s the only reason any of us went public.”

Jason Clancy said:

The gardai are involved in this. The politicians are involved in this. The church is involved in this. The South Eastern Health Board is in charge of this, or involved in this. There are a number of business people in Waterford who knew this was going on. They knew we were being abused, they turned a blind eye. There are a huge amount of people who do not want to see this inquiry going ahead.”

“If this was in Dublin, there would be huge media coverage of this story.”

Previously: Bill Kenneally on Broadsheet

H/T: Saoirse McGarrigle

Update:

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)

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

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)

keneallyscreen-shot-2016-10-20-at-09-54-56

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

700

it

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-09-54-56

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