Soccer coach accused of sexual assault seeks to halt High Court trial

Both alleged assaults are said to have occurred in circumstances where the accused, who was then aged in his twenties, was the coach of an underage football team on which the complainant played.
Soccer coach accused of sexual assault seeks to halt High Court trial

A man accused of sexually assaulting a player on a youth soccer team he coached over 45 years ago has brought a High Court action aimed at halting his prosecution.

The man claims that due to delays by the Director of Public Prosecutions in bringing the matter before the criminal courts, an alleged failure by the DPP to properly disclose certain material to his lawyers and the passage of time  he is at risk of getting an unfair trial.

His continued prosecution amounts to an abuse of process, it is also claimed.

The man, who denies the charges and cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with two counts of indecent assault against the then schoolboy, which are alleged to have occurred at the clubhouse of a soccer club based in Dublin, and at a location outside Dublin when the team were on a trip, in the mid-1970s.

Both alleged assaults are said to have occurred in circumstances where the accused, who was then aged in his twenties, was the coach of an underage football team on which the complainant played.

The complainant was aged 12-13 years of age at the time of the alleged assaults. The court heard the man is due to be tried before a judge and a jury at the Circuit Criminal Court.

A hearing date for his trial is not expected to be fixed for some months.

The man who is aged in his seventies and suffers from ill health, claims that his right to an expeditious trial has been breached, due to an alleged delay in bringing the prosecution against him.

Relevant information

The complainant first made a statement to the Gardaí in 2017, which was followed up by a second statement in 2020.

A decision to prosecute the accused was not made until 2021, it is claimed.

Represented by Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC the man claims that despite requests from the accused's solicitors the DPP has failed to properly disclose certain relevant information to him which he requires to properly defend the charges against him.

The material sought includes a statement as to why the accused was not charged until earlier this year. The man also claims that he has been prejudiced by the lack of proper and full disclosure and other factors.

He claims that the full extent of the specific prejudice to the accused cannot be ascertained at this time, in the absence of all the full replies to the requests for disclosure.

In his proceedings against the DPP the accused man seeks an order prohibiting or restraining his prosecution.

The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan on Monday.

The judge, on an ex-parte basis, directed that the man's application for leave be made on notice to, or in the presence of lawyers for the DPP.

The matter will return before the court in January.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more