Belfast Telegraph

Former GAA treasurer McKenna faces further allegations of sex offences

Police custody: Thomas McKenna
Police custody: Thomas McKenna

By Paul Higgins

A judge has ordered former GAA treasurer Thomas McKenna to be handed into police custody to face questioning over further allegations of sexual offences.

A detective sergeant leading the investigation into the 59-year-old told Newry Magistrates Court yesterday she wanted to hold McKenna for 24 hours before bringing him back to court.

She confirmed to a police inspector "that the accused is not in custody for the offences for which he is about to be interviewed" while defence solicitor Gerald Trainor told District Judge Eamon King the application under article 47 was "by consent".

McKenna, whose address is c/o Maghaberry Prison, is currently accused of the sexual abuse of 12 victims over an almost 30-year time span.

On one set of charges he is facing 10 offences against three males including five counts of sexual assault, three counts of indecent assault and single counts of a serious sexual assault and an attempted serious sexual offence.

On a second indictment, the former GAA treasurer faces a total of 17 charges alleged to have been committed between 1988 and his arrest in August last year.

They include two counts of buggery against persons aged over 16 without consent, and two gross indecency offences, one of which was against a child.

He is also charged with sexual assault, voyeurism and eight counts of indecent assault, along with making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

The retired postman, who was treasurer for the Crossmaglen Rangers club, is further alleged to have interfered with mail during his time of employment.

Previous courts have heard that the "serious and complex investigation" involves alleged victims who claim McKenna either sexually abused them or took photos and videos of them without their permission.

At the end of the hearing, Judge King ordered McKenna to be freed from prison and into the custody of the PSNI.

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