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Former Terenure College rugby coach sent for trial over indecent assault of nine boys

Some of the complainants feature in multiple counts, including one who had made 14 allegations.

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A FORMER RUGBY coach at Terenure College has been sent forward for trial accused of indecently assaulting nine students at the south Dublin secondary school over a 17-year period.

John McClean (73) of Casimir Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin was served with a book of evidence when he appeared before Judge Dermot Simmons at Dublin District Court today. 

It was his second court appearance since he was charged in November when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed he must face “trial on indictment”.

Defence solicitor Dara Robinson told the court today that the case was listed for a book of evidence and it was ready.

Detective Sergeant Jason Miley served it on McClean in court.

The former teacher and rugby coach was charged with 35 counts of indecently assaulting nine males at Terenure College, Templeogue Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W between 1973 and 1989.

The charges are under Section 62 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

Some of the complainants feature in multiple counts, including one who had made 14 allegations; 13 were made by another complainant.

A State solicitor told the court that the DPP had consented to the accused being sent forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on all 35 charges in the book of evidence.

There was no objection to bail subject to conditions which were imposed in November.

McClean, dressed in a navy suit, sat facing the judge with his right hand covering his face.

His passport remains in possession of gardaÍ, defence solicitor Dara Robinson said.

Judge Simms warned him that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence, to say he was in a different place at the time of the alleged offences, he must give 14 days’ notice to the prosecution.

McClean, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was then returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on 1 February.

He spoke briefly during the hearing saying “yes” to confirm his signature on his bail bond.

Shortly after the hearing he emerged from the Criminal Courts of Justice building wearing a cap, grey scarf and navy overcoat, and left in a taxi.

At his first court appearance on 14 November last, Miley told the court that he arrested the accused near his home that morning and that he was then brought to Terenure Garda station.

He was cautioned after each charge and “made no reply” nine times, Miley had said.

McClean has to sign on every Saturday at Terenure Garda station between 9am and 9pm, have no contact with the alleged injured parties or witnesses, directly or indirectly and was ordered to surrender his passport.

The court had said the passport can be returned to him if he needed to visit relatives in the UK.

There was no requirement for money to be lodged and bail was set in his own bond of €500.

McClean was an English and drama teacher who also coached rugby at the prestigious school for decades before taking up a position as director of rugby in UCD in the 1990s.

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Tom Tuite

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