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John McClean in February 2021
John McClean

‘May you rot in hell’: Victims speak in court after ex-rugby coach admits sexual abuse of boys

The sentencing continues before Judge Martin Nolan and is expected to conclude tomorrow.

A FORMER RUGBY coach and teacher John McClean has admitted sexually assaulting 20 boys at Terenure College between 1971 and 1992.

McClean (78) of Casimir Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6, is already serving an eight-year sentence handed down in 2021 for abusing 23 pupils at the south Dublin school.

In January, he affirmed guilty pleas to four counts of indecent assault relating to two boys during the 1980s.

He appeared before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court again this morning where he was arraigned on a further 23 counts of abusing 20 boys at the college between 1971 and 1992.

Most of the charges are of indecent assault while two are of sexual assault which were carried out against a student in the 1990s.

The court heard from several of the injured parties who read out victim impact statements, including one man who joined by video-link from the US.

McClean was appointed form-master for first years in 1980 and used this position, as well as his role as rugby coach, to prey on children, Paul Murray SC, prosecuting told the court.

Victims described how McClean, nicknamed ‘Doc’, would call boys into a dedicated physiotherapy room to allegedly treat sports injuries before sexually assaulting them.

Paul Kennedy, now aged 60, described how McClean set about grooming him after his father’s terminal cancer diagnosis.

Kennedy, who waived his right to anonymity, criticised school authorities at the time for facilitating the abuse.

“When I was at school in Terenure College it was a very safe place; for paedophiles. We had several to choose from, or should I say, several we prayed would not choose to prey upon us.

“As incoming new students we were soon warned by the older boys of who was to be avoided, especially in a confined space. I learnt this the hard way.”

He said that after his father’s terminal cancer diagnosis McClean reassured the child that he’d look after and help him.

“And so began his grooming, that inexorable erosion of my innocence for his own callous warped desires,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy described “the constant bullying, humiliation and sexual sleaze that was our daily lot in Terenure College, epitomised by John McClean”.

Another man concluded his victim impact statement by directly addressing McClean, who sat with his head in his hands throughout: “May you and your sort rot in hell for eternity. You are a monster.”

The sentencing continues before Judge Martin Nolan and is expected to conclude tomorrow.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.