‘There was anxiety when kids would go to his office’ – victim of jailed paedophile rugby coach and teacher John McClean
19 hrs ago
One of the 23 schoolboys sexually abused by rugby coach John McClean has said he is concerned that there are hundreds of kids who have experienced similar to him or worse.
The victim, who was indecently assaulted by McClean at Terenure College, also said that if different decisions were made when the abuse first came to light in 1979 then him and many other schoolboys would not have been abused.
Speaking to Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One, the man said he was caught smoking by McClean one day who called him to his office.
While in the room alone with McClean he was pulled over his lap and hit on the bottom with several rulers bunched together while the teacher was sexually aroused.
The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he was only in the school for around three months when it happened.
“I was pretty much sure I was the only one at that stage. There was anxiety when kids would go to his office. It was pretty much the unsaid known maybe… there was no language for it.
“I kind of made the decision at that point that I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I think even now that no one would have listened to me even if I did.”
He said that he later had John McClean as an English teacher for years and came up with strategies to survive, which included wanting to please him as a coping mechanism.
The victim later became suicidal at the age of 17 and spent his adult life blocking out what had happened.
He said that seeing John McClean jailed was a relief and praised the gardaí for their investigation.
“I felt Judge Pauline Codd was masterful in how she managed things. I felt like that was the end of chapter one….what’s chapter two, what’s chapter three. That’s the bit I’m concerned about.
“I worry that there’s hundreds of kids who have had a similar experience to me and worse.
“The gardaí were incredibly professional, sensitive, caring, and did an amazing job I felt,” he continued.
“Beyond expectations really, so I wish them well and I’m very grateful to them.”
During the sentencing hearing the court heard that the school were made aware of one abuse allegation in 1979.
McClean was removed from costume fitting duties but the following year made first year form master and given his own office where he abused nine more boys.
The victim said that to say he felt let down by this was putting it mildly.
“If in 1979 the decisions were different then nothing would have happened to me, nothing would have happened to many of the boys.”
Last week John McClean, of Casimir Avenue, Harolds Cross, was jailed for eight years for the sexual abuse of 23 schoolboys.
Terenure College issued a statement saying they acknowledged they failed the victims and apologised.
The garda investigation into McClean is continuing and other victims have been identified.