Former top boxing coach jailed for abuse of boys

A former top amateur boxing coach and convicted child abuser has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for buggery and sexually assaulting five teenage boys over a 13-year period.

Frank Mulligan (aged 63) of Mulladuff, Smithboro, Co. Monaghan, made some of his victims pray before and after the sex attacks, which he claimed was “God’s will”.

One complainant broke down in the witness box at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and told the judge his life had been destroyed by Mulligan’s repeated sexual abuse and buggery of him on a date in late 1997.

The man said he’d been on a “path of self destruction” since the incidents, couldn’t hold down a job, had a troubled family life and had at times turned to alcohol, drugs and petty crime.

Garda Sean Grant agreed with Ms Iseult O’Malley SC, defending, that her client’s reputation as a leading boxing coach had been ruined, but added that Mulligan had showed no sign of remorse for his actions to date.

He agreed that Mulligan replaced his long-time alcohol addiction with a religious obsession after his mother died in 2008 and had been known to wander the streets of Monaghan at night praying.

Mulligan pleaded guilty to buggery of three boys and sexual and indecent assault of two others in different locations between January 1989 and July 2002. He was convicted of similar offences against other boys after a two-day trial in early 2008 and was jailed for seven years.

Judge Katherine Delahunt said that Mulligan had abused the trust and faith that the victims and their parents had put in him when he committed these “heinous” acts and added that they were carried out under the “veil of religion and pseudo-discipline”.

“The suffering that each of these now men endured for your self-gratification cannot be understated and their suffering will continue into the future,” Judge Delahunt said before she added that the victim impact statements made tragic reading.

She acknowledged that Mulligan had been “a well-known and well-respected member of his community with well-publicised successes in boxing” and that this reputation has now been damaged.

Judge Delahunt accepted that Mulligan had been abused himself as a child, that he has since shown remorse for his actions and has indicated an intention to seek treatment upon his release.

She further accepted that although he initially denied the charges he ultimately pleaded guilty which meant that his victims “did not have to relive these horrors in the witness box”.

She ordered that he undergo seven years' post release supervision and attend for counselling as recommended by the probation service.

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