Former Teacher McClean To Face Further Gardaí Investigations

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Former teacher and rugby coach John McClean who was jailed for 8 years yesterday for sexual abuse of 23 young boys, will face further investigations, Gardaí have confirmed.

76 year old, John McClean was jailed on 27 counts of indecent assault of 23 school boys.

Evidence of notes had also been shown of McClean admitting his abuse to Fr Kelly. Fr Kelly was Prior Provincial of the Irish Province of Carmelites at the time.

Fr Kelly said that he did not recall this meeting, but admitted that if it was in his notes, it must have been true. McClean was subsequently removed from the school.

Terenure college and the Carmelites apologised to the victims and ackowleged their failure to protect them.

McClean targeted students in changing rooms, classrooms, his office as well as costume fittings between 1973 and 1990. His first known victim, Damien Hetherington was just 12 years old when McClean abused him. After being sentenced, Mr Hetherington said that John McClean has “got what he deserved”.

He also added that his former teacher should have been handed a life sentence for his crimes. The victims were reportedly between the ages of 11 and 17.

“I would say never give up”

The Gardaí investigations into McClean are continuing, with further victims identified.

Mr Hetherington now aged 59, urged other victims of abuse to come forward and speak out.

“I would say never give up” he urged. He added, “I would never have thought 47 years later I’d be standing here; 47 years it took me to get this”.

“So don’t give up, follow it up, the guards will put in the work. They put in the work and this is the result”.

“This has been a scar on this country for God knows how long. Not just the clergy, teachers and that but sports and everything”.

He also said, “But for anyone else please come forward, you’d be surprised how good you’ll feel”.

McClean’s “Mind blowing and brazen arrogance”

In court, Judge Pauline Codd said that the common and aggravating factors of this case were the scale and duration of McClean’s crimes. He said other factors were the vulnerability of the victims that he abused and the “mind blowing and brazen arrogance” in which it was carried out for over 17 years.

The court also considered McClean’s guilty plea, his previous good character, lack of pervious convictions as well as his “fall from grace” having been viewed as a prominent rugby coach.

Counsel also said that McClean will be “forever infamous for what he has done”. 

The fact that McClean had denied all allegations in 2018, saying that he did not recall most of the victims was ironic according to judge, as his name, physical strength and even the smell of his aftershave was imprinted on the minds and lives of the victims.

Garda Inspector Jason Miley was commended by the court and the victims for the humane way that the case was handled.

“Putting a gun to the court’s head”

Judge Codd also rejected McClean’s defence team’s application to have any custodial sentence deferred until he received his covid vaccine.

Judge Pauline Codd said there was no evidence of a greater risk to McClean in prison. She said that the defence was “putting a gun to the court’s head” with the moral dilemma

The court would not defer putting John McClean in custody.