Belfast Telegraph

No new charges for ex-GAA man accused of sex assaults

Court: Thomas McKenna
Court: Thomas McKenna

By Paul Higgins

An ex-GAA treasurer appeared back in court yesterday, but no additional charges were added to the litany he already faces.

The PSNI successfully applied for Thomas McKenna (58) to be released from custody at Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday to face further police questions "into numerous allegations of sexual assault".

Yesterday the alleged paedophile was back in the dock of the same court where defence solicitor Gerald Trainor said there were no additional charges to be added to the two indictments.

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

On one set of charges he is accused of 10 offences against three males, including five counts of sexual assault, three counts of indecent assault and single counts of buggery and attempted buggery.

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 of gross indecency, 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 formerly treasurer for Crossmaglen Rangers, is further alleged to have interfered with mail during his time of employment.

Previous court sittings 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. Police searches led to the recovery of devices said to contain 43,000 images and 8,000 short video clips, some allegedly taken covertly.

At McKenna's brief court appearance yesterday, Deputy District Judge Steven Keown remanded him back into custody to appear again, via video-link, on May 1.

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