NewsCrime Desk

Pervert swim coach refuses to apologise and blames his victims for ruining his life

Crime DeskBy Alan Sherry
Our man confronts Ger Doyle
Our man confronts Ger Doyle

A TWISTED former national and Olympic swimming coach who was convicted of a string of sex offences against boys has refused to apologise for his actions and instead has sickeningly blamed his victims for ruining his life.

Ger Doyle (54), from Wexford Town, was released from prison last month after serving four years of a six-and-a-half-year sentence. 

Doyle, who is now living around 500m from a school, was convicted of 34 cases of indecent assault and one case of sexual assault against five boys aged between 10 and 15. 

The incidents took place at New Ross swimming pool between January 1981 and December 1993.

Despite being found unanimously guilty by a jury, Doyle has never expressed any remorse or apologised for his actions.

When the Sunday World approached Doyle this week and asked if he would finally apologise to his victims, he refused and bizarrely gave out about them, saying they ruined his life. 

“Why should I apologise? I did nothing wrong. They ruined my life.”

He claimed he was completely innocent of all charges and made the sickening suggestion his victims made up the claims so they could take a civil action. 

“During the trial they were asked if they were taking a civil case and they said no. After the case ended they launched it,” he said. 

Arrogant, Doyle even went on to say he did “a lot for some of them in terms of coaching”. 

When told it was extremely hard to believe a group of people would make up such serious allegations, he said: “I understand it’s hard to believe everyone is making it up but it’s not impossible.”

He even went on to say he believed most of the other sex offenders he met in prison were innocent as well. 

“When you’re inside you know from talking to people who are guilty and who are not guilty. A lot of people inside are not guilty – at least not of what they’ve been convicted of.”

Doyle even looked for credit for pleading not guilty and as a result making his victims go through the ordeal of a trial.

“I could have pleaded guilty and got a shorter sentence but I didn’t,” he said: “Whether I did or didn’t do it, I served my time. When you serve your time that should be it but it’s not. It doesn’t get easier.”

He also looked for sympathy due to his ill health. “I’ve had bad health. I’ve had leukaemia and heart problems. I nearly died four times. It’s not fair on my family. People are saying my [relative] shouldn’t be talking to me. Why shouldn’t she be? She’s my [relative].”

Ger Doyle in custody 

Bizarrely after blaming his victims for ruining his life, Doyle went on to say: “I don’t want to start slagging matches. It’s been very tough on my family. My family didn’t do anything. I always have and always will maintain my innocence.”

Doyle was originally convicted of the offences at trial at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court in 2010. However, a retrial was ordered after he appealed on a legal technicality. 

Once again he was unanimously found guilty by a jury but to this day will not express any remorse for his actions. 

His trial heard Doyle would bring his victims into his office and measures their shoulders, waist, legs and penises. 

One victim said during one incident Doyle brought him into his office claiming he had been messing in the changing rooms.

He locked the door and told his victim he wouldn’t call gardai if he let him punish him. 

His victim said: “I became petrified and was glued to the spot with fear. I tried to push his hands away but I was too weak. Doyle then took my togs off, saying I was all wet.

He walked behind me, rubbing my shoulders and I could feel him pushing himself against me. I had not reached puberty but I knew this should not be taking place and what Ger Doyle was doing was for sexual pleasure.”

“He measured my arms, shoulders and legs and measured my penis. He sent me to the toilet and told me to masturbate and then he would measure my penis again.

Nothing happened when I attempted to masturbate. I was too young. I had not reached puberty.”

Another victim told how Doyle put his hand inside his swimming togs and touched his private parts, while another boy who told of having his pants pulled down and being slapped on the backside. 

In sentencing, Judge Alice Doyle noted Doyle’s lack of remorse. 

“These offences were secretly done and carefully planned, for the complainants were manipulated into accepting what kind of ‘punishment’ they should receive. He assaulted these young boys, breached their trust and that of their families. He manipulated these children over a 10-year period,” he said.

She said his crimes were “premeditated” and a “threat was implicit” that the children would suffer consequences and be removed from their chosen sport if they told anyone about the assaults.

She said Doyle “made a very good job of managing New Ross swimming pool from the age of 19” but all the time he was “manipulating young children to abuse them”. 

He went on to become national and Olympic coach before the Sydney Olympics in 2000. However, he had to pull out of the Olympics after falling ill. 

He was later reappointed to the role and travelled with the Irish team to the Athens Olympics four years later. 

“He got great results, but behind that it appears that he was grooming young boys,” added Judge Doyle.

One of Doyle’s victims previously told how his lack of remorse added to their pain. “Ger Doyle has never shown any remorse for what he did. We have gone through three court sittings where he failed to accept his guilt. He put us through this although he knew he was guilty. 

“That is one of the hardest things for us to deal with,” the victim added.

Doyle was pals with former national swimming coach Derry O’Rourke who was jailed for 12 years in 1998 for sexual assault, indecent assault and statutory rape of children.

He received further sentences in 2000 and 2005 for sexual abuse of children between the 1970s and 1992.

Another national coach, George Gibney was charged with sexual abuse but a judicial review prevented the case from proceeding because of the time elapsed since the alleged incidents.