Victims of prolific Waterford paedophile Bill Kenneally to sue the State

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Bill Kenneally
Bill Kenneally

The State, the gardaí and the Health Service Executive are facing legal action by survivors of prolific Waterford paedophile Bill Kenneally who want a Commission of Inquiry established into the abuse.

Sports coach and accountant Bill Kenneally, 66, is appealing the 14-year prison sentence handed down last February after pleading guilty to ten sample charges of abusing ten boys in the 1980s in Waterford.

Last week, another victim spoke for the first time about how he was groomed by Bill Kenneally in 1984 and 1985 when he used to play football in a local park in the city with a group of friends.

"Like others, he gained my trust by giving me money over a period of time to buy things for myself and a match programme from my favourite English football team," said John (not his real name).

He was not arrested until 2012 when another survivor found out Kenneally was still involved in basketball and went to gardaí.

Former Fianna Fáil minister of state Brendan Kenneally, a first cousin of Kenneally, has said he was told his cousin was a sex abuser in 2002 but did not report the matter to gardaí.

The former Waterford TD said that contrary to what people might think, he was not aware of his cousin being an abuser in the 1970s, '80s or '90s.

"The first time I became aware of it was in early 2002 when someone very close to a victim told me," said Mr Kenneally.

"I was shocked and blown away by it and nearly fell off the chair. I made sure certain things were done and I got him assessed medically, which found he wasn't still offending."

He said he did not bring the matter to the gardaí because, he said, the victim did not want to go further with it.