Swimming coach held over alleged secret filming of children previously worked with disabled people
6th May 2022
Aswimming coach arrested in relation to the alleged sexual exploitation of children in the sport has previously worked with disabled and vulnerable people, the Irish Independent can reveal.
It can also be revealed that the Dublin-based coach who supports swimmers has been suspended from his role as a massive Garda investigation continues into his alleged behaviour.
He is being investigated for allegedly using a recording device involving hidden cameras in a dressing room.
It was seen by children who told their parents, who in turn alerted Swim Ireland, which led to gardaí being informed.
“Earlier this year a matter was raised with our national children’s officer, who in line with our procedures contacted the statutory authorities straight away,” a Swim Ireland spokeswoman told the Irish Independent in a statement.
“The matter is now being investigated by the gardaí, and a coach has been suspended. All relevant protocols are active including informing and assisting relevant parties.
“Our priority is to offer appropriate support to those involved and to co-operate with the garda investigation.
“As we understand it, this is not a matter that has previously been raised with the gardaí, and our national children’s officer continues to liaise closely with them.”
The swim coach was questioned on Tuesday at a west Dublin garda station before being released without charge.
The investigation is being led by a Garda Divisional Protective Services Bureau team comprised of detectives specially trained to investigate sexual offences.
A number of children and their parents were interviewed and evidence was gathered before the suspect was arrested last Tuesday on suspicion of committing an offence under the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act.
The alleged offences can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
The investigation into possible sexual exploitation of children was launched after a number of people raised the issue and Swim Ireland was alerted.
It then reported the matter to gardaí and on Tuesday a man in his 30s was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act and questioned.
Gardaí are due to send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who will decide whether the coach is to face criminal charges.
This process may take a number of months.
The case was first highlighted by RTÉ yesterday, and senior sources say detailed investigations are continuing into the allegations.
Gardaí have confirmed they are investigating the case.
“On May 3, 2022, a male in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of alleged offences contrary to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017,” a garda spokesman said.
“He was detained at a garda station in west Dublin under section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984. The male was released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“As this is an ongoing criminal investigation, An Garda Síochána has no further comment.”