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Britain’s football abuse scandal arrives in Ireland as former Bohemians manager Roddy Collins makes allegation

Former Bohs manager Roddy Collins [Picture: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer]
Former Bohs manager Roddy Collins [Picture: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer]
AN IRISH football club has confirmed it is investigating after allegations of historic sexual abuse were made by a former manager.

Dublin side Bohemian FC say they will investigate a claim made by former first team manager Roddy Collins in an interview to the Irish Daily Star that 18 years ago he walked in on a club volunteer massaging a half naked underage boy.

“I was going out by the little car park by the changing rooms and there was a little shed there,” Collins said.

Bohemia FC last night said that the club volunteer involved, revealed by the Star to be convicted paedophile Colin Goggin, was reported to gardai in 1998 by a boy’s father after an unrelated incident was alleged to have taken place in Dalymout Park.

The club said it severed all ties with Goggin during that original investigation.

Goggin, 53, was convicted last year at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of sexually abusing two boys he had coached in athletics.

The club has asked individuals who may have concerns, or who may have more information to come forward and speak to them or gardaí.

“We immediately began investigating these allegations so far as this is possible given the lapse of time,” the club’s statement said. “We have already spoken at length today and yesterday to individuals involved at board level, the youth set-up and other areas of the club at the time of the alleged incident.

“We will continue to consult with parties involved and appeal to any individual who has concerns, or who may have more information, to come forward to speak to us and/or Mountjoy Garda Station.”

Bohs said that contrary to Collins’ assertions, club officials involved in 1998 were not told by the then-manager of the alleged incident.

“But contrary to Mr Collins’ assertions, club officials involved in 1998 insist he never communicated any allegations of such nature to them, nor did Mr Collins bring these allegations to the attention of An Garda Síochána,” the club’s statement said.

“However, the accused individual was indeed investigated by officers at Mountjoy Garda Station over an incident with a minor, who was not a member of the Bohemian FC youth set-up or affiliated to the club, which is alleged to have taken place in Dalymount Park in 1998 and was quickly reported to the Gardaí by the child’s father.

“The safety of children is of utmost importance to Bohemian FC. As such, when notified of this investigation, the accused was immediately removed from his position and had no further affiliation with the club.

“We have made contact with An Garda Síochána today to seek their assistance in establishing the exact nature and conclusion of that investigation.”

“Furthermore, when separate allegations against the individual not involving the club were made almost a decade later, for which this individual was later found guilty of, Bohemian FC board members and youth set-up volunteers alike assisted An Garda Síochána with their inquiries.”

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