Sports coach who blindfolded and handcuffed boys during horrific sexual attacks jailed

CourtsBy Sunday World
Sports coach who blindfolded and handcuffed boys during horrific sexual attacks jailed

A Waterford sports coach who bound, handcuffed and blindfolded children before sexually assaulting them has been sentenced today to 14 years in prison.

Bill Kenneally (65) was jailed as Judge Eugene O'Kelly warned that he had systematically groomed and then exploited the teens for his own sexual gratification.

The judge noted that Kenneally's activities bore all the hallmarks of the systematic behaviour of predatory paedophiles in that the abuse suffered by each teen was very similar in nature.

Kenneally also had the same modus operandi in grooming each of the boys - impressing them, befriending them, giving them gifts of cash and sports gear and then exploiting them for his own sexual gratification.

He also took photos of the semi-naked boys as a form of "insurance against disclosure."

"This was all manipulative grooming for the abuse that was to follow. This is an aggravating factor," Judge O'Kelly said.

The judge imposed 17 month prison sentences for each of the 10 counts.

However, he directed that each of the sentences be served consecutively to a total sentence of 14 years and two months.

The garda investigation into Bill Kenneally (65) was triggered by a young man who got the courage to lodge a formal complaint after being inspired by the Jimmy Savile case.

Jason Clancy (45) contacted gardai in 2012 about the Waterford sports coach after he had read about the bravery of the Savile victims.

Kenneally, who warned Mr Clancy as a teenager that his story would not be believed due to his attacker’s political status, is also a former national basketball coach.

The trial heard that another family contacted gardai in 1987 about Kenneally.

Kenneally made specific admissions but no prosecution was taken because the family involved did not want to make a formal Garda complaint.

Kenneally, who is single and an accountant by profession, appeared before Waterford Circuit Criminal Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty last December to indecently assaulting 10 teenage boys.

Mr Clancy, who waived his right to anonymity, fought back tears as he admitted the abuse had "changed my life forever".

"He (Kenneally) repeatedly told me throughout my years of abuse that he was part of the Kenneally political family and I would never be believed," the victim said.

Kenneally is related to three generations of Fianna Fáil TDs in Waterford.

"I felt dirty all the time. I felt my secret was shameful," Mr Clancy said.

Kenneally, of Laragh, Summerville Avenue, Waterford, pleaded guilty to indecent assaults between the dates October 31, 1984 and December 31, 1987.

The abuse involved the defendant plying the 12 to 16-year-olds with alcohol and cigarettes and paying them money in amounts which always involved the number seven.

The court was later told that the number seven was "lucky" for the Kenneally family.

He would strip the teens and assault them.

Furthermore, he would handcuff, bind and blindfold the youngsters.

Kenneally also took Polaroid photographs of youngsters and, in one case, twisted a boy's testicle to force him to smile.

Via Irish Independent