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Former Celtic FC kitman Jim McCafferty admits sexual abuse of former youth players in newspaper interview

Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 7-12-2016 In an extraordinary interview, former football coach Jim McCafferty, unburdoned his soul, confessing to commiting sexual acts with several young footballers when he was coaching junior teams in Scotland. Expressing his remorse and apologising for his actions, he told reporter Jilly Beattie that he was ready to face any consequences for his actions.
Expressing his remorse and apologising for his actions, he told reporter Jilly Beattie that he was ready to face any consequences for his actions.

A FORMER Celtic FC kit man has confessed to sexual activity with members of the Celtic FC youth squad in a recorded interview from his home in Belfast. 

Scotsman Jim McCafferty, from Lanarkshire, spoke to Jilly Beattie from the Irish Mirror earlier this week.

 

McCafferty is asked whether he had penetrative sex with any of the boys in his charge. “I’d be telling lies if I said yes,” he said. “And I’d be telling lies if I said no.”

Jim McCafferty worked with Celtic FC from 1990 until 1996 when he resigned. 

McCafferty also told the Irish Mirror: “I understand it was wrong. I was wrong and I did wrong and I am sorry.

“I have remorse. I know if I’m found guilty I will have to serve time, and I’ve said to myself that’s what I’ll have to pay back for what I’ve done.

“I’m OK with that. I hope that will cleanse my soul.”

A spokesman for the PSNI said a 71-year-old man is currently helping police with enquiries.

Detective Superintendent Deirdre Bones, from the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said: “A 71-year-old male has been arrested by detectives after presenting himself at a station in Belfast.

“He was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences against children in Northern Ireland. He is currently helping police with their enquiries.”

Celtic FC said: “‘This is an extremely serious allegation which we have immediately passed on to Police Scotland. We suggest any information or evidence you have should also be forwarded to police immediately.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said they will not discuss further details of any reports made or calls received.

“We will continue to work with Operation Hydrant which is acting as the co-ordinating body and will collate live investigations across the UK.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, Police Scotland’s lead for Public Protection said: “I would like to thank and pay tribute to the courage of everyone who has contacted both us and the NSPCC with information about people who may have abused children in the past and who may pose a risk to children.

“Speaking out about any form of child abuse is incredibly difficult, and disclosures are often made many years after an incident took place.

“Keeping children safe is our priority and we are committed to working with partners nationally, locally and with support services to primarily prevent children being abused and neglected; to improve child protection services and to ensure appropriate support is available.

“Tackling sexual crime and the sexual abuse of children is a priority for Police Scotland, as is identifying perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

“We will do everything in our power to prevent these activities and with our partners protect children.

“We appreciate that sometimes finding a safe place to first talk about experiences helps eventual disclosure and would encourage anybody who feels this would assist to contact a support organisation. Details of such organisations can be accessed via Survivor Scotland.”

“Police Scotland and our partners, both statutory and third sector, are committed to ensuring children and adults reporting sexual abuse are supported throughout the criminal justice process.”

McCafferty’s confession comes amidst the abuses in football scandal currently sweeping Britain and Ireland.

Last week, Dublin team Bohemian FC said they would investigate a claim made by former first team manager Roddy Collins in an interview to the Irish Daily Star.

Collins alleged that 18 years ago he walked in on a club volunteer massaging a half naked underage boy.

Bohemian FC last night said that the club volunteer involved, revealed by the Irish Daily Star to be convicted paedophile Colin Goggin, was reported to gardaí 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.

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

While part of the interview with Jim McCafferty has been edited, you can hear it in the video below… 

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Erica Doyle Higgins
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Erica Doyle Higgins is a Digital Reporter with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @EDoyleHiggins

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