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'Sincerely sorry' Terenure College where rugby coach John McClean abused 23 schoolboys apologises to victims

Terenure College, the fee-paying Dublin school where McClean (75) taught for three decades, has also said it was sorry for the “breach of trust” while acknowledging that “no apology can ever be sufficient.”

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John McClean, a former teacher and rugby coach, of Casimir Avenue, Harolds Cross, Dublin 6, leaving court after his hearing

John McClean, a former teacher and rugby coach, of Casimir Avenue, Harolds Cross, Dublin 6, leaving court after his hearing

John McClean, a former teacher and rugby coach, of Casimir Avenue, Harolds Cross, Dublin 6, leaving court after his hearing

The private school where former rugby coach John McClean sexually abused 23 schoolboys has ‘apologised unreservedly’ to the victims and abuse survivors for failing them.

Terenure College, the fee-paying Dublin school where McClean (75) taught for three decades, has also said it was sorry for the “breach of trust” while acknowledging that “no apology can ever be sufficient.”

This morning the former teacher pleaded guilty to 27 charges of indecently assaulting the males at Terenure College between 1973 and 1990.

The charges relate to 23 individual complainants and McClean, of Casimir Avenue, Harold’s Cross, was due to stand trial today. However, he instead entered pleas of guilty before Dublin Circuit Court.

His sentencing will take place next March over the course of two days, with some of the complainants expected to give victim impact statements.

Following his guilty plea, Terenure College this afternoon issued a statement to all of its past pupils.

It read: “As you may be aware a former staff member of Terenure College pleaded guilty of most serious offences in the courts earlier today.

“On behalf of Terenure College and the Carmelite Order, we apologise unreservedly to the victims and survivors of abuse who suffered while under our care in our school. We are sincerely sorry for the breach of trust and for the pain and suffering those affected by the abuse endured. We know that no apology can ever be sufficient.

“The criminal acts of abuse by John McClean, a former teacher, meant that innocent children were profoundly harmed. As School Management and Carmelites, we acknowledge and deeply regret that we failed these children entrusted to our care.

“We are committed to providing effective and meaningful support to former pupils who are victims and survivors of abuse. We acknowledge their courage in coming forward to give their statements and evidence,” the school said.

They added that child safeguarding was a priority for Terenure College, and that they cooperate fully with all relevant authorities in regard to any enquiries.

“We encourage anyone who has any concerns regarding child safeguarding to contact the statutory authorities, An Garda Síochána and Tusla the Child and Family Agency, and if they wish, the school or the Carmelite Safeguarding Office.

“We fully appreciate that this will be a very difficult time for many of you and we wish to assure you all of our full support,” the statement concluded.

Today at Dublin Circuit Court, Judge Pauline Codd remanded McClean on continuing bail and set a sentence date of March 9, 2021, when all evidence will be heard over a two day sentence hearing.

Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, said a number of the complainants were present in court to hear McClean enter the guilty pleas to the charges, while others watched the proceedings over a Zoom call.

Mr Murray confirmed that some of the 23 complainants may wish to read out their victim impact statements during the hearing and told Judge Codd that those statements should be ready for the court before Christmas.

Sean Guerin SC, defending, asked for a later sentence date as he said he was due to start a lengthy trial in the new year which he does not anticipate will be completed until the first week of March.

A date for mention was also set for January 18 next to allow for any relevant documentation to be handed into court prior to the sentence hearing.

Independent.ie


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