Survivors of Waterford sex abuser Bill Keneally have said they’ll keep battling for a commission of investigation into the abuse they suffered at the hands of the sports coach.
The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan stated yesterday that the government could not proceed with the commission – promised last May – on advice from the Attorney General’s office “to allow for the completion of outstanding investigations and prosecutions”.
“Criminal investigations are ongoing in respect of a number of such cases and files have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to several cases and directions are awaited. Any victims coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse are entitled to have their claims fully investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted”.
Kenneally is serving a 14-year sentence after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting 10 teenage boys in Waterford in the 1980s.
He is currently appealing against the severity of his sentence.
A number of his victims have contributed to an online video urging any other victims to come forward.
One of those, Jason Clancy, who triggered a Garda investigation into the abuser when he made a complaint in 2012, says he doesn’t accept the government’s reasoning for not going ahead now with the promised inquiry:
“The Minister at the time Francis Fitzgerald assured us there were mechanisms that can be used to carry out the commission of investigation in conjunction with any criminal investigation without it interfering… this has been done in the country a number of times.”
Jason says he believes there is no appetite for the scandals the commission will unearth:
“We’re left in limbo… they’re going to be opening Pandora’s box, I know what’s in that box as do the other victims. The government know what’s in that box and the government have no appetite to open it, and that’s the problem we’re having.”
Jason claims there was a coordinated effort by politicians, the Catholic Church, business people in Waterford and the South Eastern Health Board to cover up the activities of the paedophile sports coach.