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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Ex-rugby coach faces trial over alleged sex assaults on nine boys

Ex-rugby coach John McClean
Ex-rugby coach John McClean

A former rugby coach and teacher is to go on trial next year for the alleged indecent assault of nine boys at a south Dublin school in the 1970s and 1980s.

John McClean (74) had the trial date in November 2020 confirmed when he appeared in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, he has yet to be arraigned on separate charges of indecently assaulting four other boys at the same school, Terenure College, during the same period.

Allegations

Mr McClean, of Casimir Avenue, Harold's Cross, had been sent forward for trial on both sets of charges at Dublin District Court earlier this year.

The first 35 counts allege that he indecently assaulted nine boys at the prestigious school over a 17-year period between 1973 and 1989.

Yesterday, Paul Murray SC, for the prosecution, told Judge Martin Nolan a trial date had already been set for November 2, 2020, but the accused had not been present on the last court date.

The case had been adjourned to yesterday for Mr McClean to attend, for the confirmation of the trial date.

The accused was present and on bail, his barrister Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL said. Judge Nolan also confirmed a pre-trial hearing date in July next year.

The second set of 43 charges relate to assaults on four boys alleged to have happened on dates in the period between 1975 and 1982.

Mr Murray asked the court whether an earlier trial date could be fixed for this case, saying that it would be "shorter in time".

However, Ms O'Sullivan said that it was not possible to fix a date yet because the case was before the court for the first time and she needed to take instructions.

Proceedings

An arraignment date of December 4 was set in relation to those charges.

Mr McClean, dressed in a black suit with an open-necked cream shirt, sat in the front row of the court's public gallery throughout the brief proceedings and was not required to speak.

He was remanded on continuing bail.

The charges against Mr McClean are contrary to Common Law.

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