Paedophile caught "making rude gestures" at kids in Dublin park confronted by Sunday World

NewsBy Patrick O'Connell
Paedo Frank Mulligan
Paedo Frank Mulligan

A paedophile boxing coach who raped eight young boys was given a warning from gardai after reports that he was making “rude gestures” at children in a Dublin city centre park.

69-year-old Frank Mulligan was released from prison last Thursday after serving just seven-and-a-half years for raping young boys.

The sex predator was released from Arbour Hill after spending the last seven-and-a-half years locked up.

The Sunday World confronts the once-celebrated boxing coach

But, just two days after being released, the pervert was spotted loitering in north inner city parks.

Concerned locals contacted gardai to inform them that Mulligan had been making “rude gestures” towards the children.

A source told the Herald that Mulligan would be "spoken to" about his behaviour, and will receive an "unofficial warning" to stay away from areas where children are playing.

"Gardai received reports that he was in the vicinity of a number of parks in the north inner city area, and are taking these incidents seriously.

"Although he didn't approach the children, this is concerning behaviour from a man who committed heinous crimes.

"He has only just been let out, so it's worrying to think that he may be hanging around children. Gardai will speak to him at the earliest opportunity in relation to these reports, and they will make it quite clear that it simply isn't acceptable.

"If he keeps it up he could face returning to prison."

The paedophile is currently living in a north inner city hostel, which is located in the North Central ‘D’ District, which has the highest concentration of sex-offenders in the country.

The Sunday World confronted the once-celebrated boxing coach – who formerly trained Barry McGuigan – on the steps of the Franciscan Friary in Dublin after his release from Arbour Hill prison on Thursday.

Serial rapist Mulligan (69), from Monaghan – who forced club members at Smithborough Boxing Club to pray before and after he raped them – told us: “I’ve done seven-and-a-half years in jail and that’s enough.

“God will judge me. I’m standing here and I’m just praying. I’ve done seven-and-a-half years and I’m praying away and that’s all I’m saying.”

Today the Sunday World can reveal for the first time how Mulligan was investigated over the alleged abuse of a ninth teenage Smithborough boxer, but the DPP refused to prosecute after the young man died by suicide.

James Smyth – who died aged 21 after shooting himself in the heart in December 2001 – is the brother of another of Mulligan’s victims, Gerard Smyth from Rosslea in Fermanagh.

Gerard and his dad Gerry are now campaigning to have that case reopened.

As part of that campaign the pair are today directly appealing to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to call for a full review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute brute Mulligan for the alleged abuse they believe led tormented James to take his own life in 2001.

Sitting by his father Gerry Snr’s side at their home in Rosslea this week, Gerard said he believes Mulligan is still a danger to children.

“It disgusts me, the stuff he’s done and the fact that he’s now out so early despite all that,” he said. “He’s still high risk and he needs to go back in.

“I started boxing when I was 11. It [the abuse] started when I was 12 –  he would bring me up to the house to get massages and it kicked off from there.

“There were several lads going to the club who he would bring up to the house. The abuse stopped one day when I told Frank to ‘f**k off, it wasn’t happening anymore. He just moved on the next fella… it was a like a conveyor belt for him.

“Me and my brother James trained together and we both went to his house.

“My brother took his own life in 2001. He was abused as well. He was 21 when he died and it was over the abuse.”

Dad Gerry told the Sunday World he had tried everything to figure out what was eating up his older son

“The day before he shot himself I talked to him in the kitchen and I said: ‘Dusty, what’s the problem?’

“And he started to cry. I said to him: ‘What’s the story?  Give me one word and I’ll fix it.’ And he looked at me and said: ‘You know da, you wouldn’t understand.’

Abuse victim Gerard Smyth and his father James with a framed picture of suicide victim James

“The next day I rang him and asked: ‘Are you alright son?’ He started crying and just put the phone down on me.”

Gerard and his mum immediately drove up to the hotel where they saw James’s car parked in the car park.

“I opened the car door… he was in there and I thought he was sleeping or he was drunk,” James recalled.

“He’d shot himself in the heart with a bolt action rifle.”

Five years later Gerard started an avalanche of eight prosecutions by victims of Mulligans – all former trainees at Smithborough Boxing Club – when he went to gardai.

In 2008 Mulligan was jailed for seven years for raping two former students.

In 2009 he received a further six-and -a-half year sentence for raping five more children, including Gerard, and in 2012 he was jailed for a further eight years for raping another teenager.

During the hearings the courts heard how Mulligan made some of his victims pray before and after the sex attacks, which he claimed was “God’s will” while also whispering the Our Father.

Another boy was brought to a graveyard where Mulligan prayed with him at a woman’s grave before telling him to undress so he could be “purified”, before abusing him.

The Sunday World put the family’s allegations to Mulligan last Friday but he denied outright ever abusing James.

“I didn’t confess to anything about James Smyth,” he said.

“James Smyth was around me boxing but that’s it… that’s the way life goes.

“If I abused anybody I told the truth. I’ve done me jail for the boys I abused and that’s it."