GAA apologise for false allegation made against Galway club

GAA apologise for false allegation made against Galway club
St Mary’s, Athenry: “We are again calling on the GAA president John Horan and Croke Park officials to hold a full independent audit and investigation"

The GAA have issued a public apology for a false allegation made against St Mary’s, Athenry’s former juvenile club chairman Robert Ruane.

A press release issued yesterday by former club chairman Seán Keane on behalf of the former officers of the club welcomed the GAA’s apology after the claim was made by national child safeguarding committees in letters circulated last year.

The former officers state: “The GAA now accept that the allegation was false and defamatory. It is regrettable that this ordinary club volunteer and officer had to go to the High Court in order to get the association to retract a serious allegation of intimidation of a child at a child welfare hearing in November 2017.”

St Mary’s has also called on the GAA to state that the investigation concluded that “no child was harmed” at the Galway club.

“This completely false allegation was made public by GAA National Child Safeguarding Committees in letters circulated to club members and others in 2018.

Because of this and other false allegations made public in the same letters and disclosed in a Sunday newspaper article, we are now calling on the GAA to state, without reservation, their real findings following the hearings involving our club, which were that no child was harmed in St. Mary’s GAA Club, Athenry.

“We are asking the GAA to acknowledge that the Association’s National Child Safeguarding committee did not find any coach, official, or volunteer in the club who had harmed any child during the course of their investigations.

“We are again calling on the GAA president John Horan and Croke Park officials to hold a full independent audit and investigation of how the hearings were conducted by the National Child Safeguarding Committee in 2017 and 2018 and the serious effect the committee’s actions had on over 300 innocent children and club volunteers.”

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