Ex-teacher jailed as he continues to deny sex abuse

A former teacher and convicted sex offender has been jailed for another three years for sexually abusing three pupils.

Seosamh O’Ceallaigh, aged 63, also known as Joseph Kelly, continues to deny abusing the children at Scoil Colm on Armagh Road in Crumlin, Dublin 12, Dublin, and rejects the guilty verdicts of the jury.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that as well as being a teacher in Dublin, he was heavily involved in Irish language colleges in the west of Ireland.

O’Ceallaigh, of Beal An Daingin, Carraroe, Co Galway, was convicted by a jury last month of sexually abusing or indecently assaulting the three boys at various locations, including in the classroom, in his car, and on school trips, between 1977 and 1994. He had denied the charges.

He is currently serving a 10-year term imposed last year for grooming, raping, and sexually abusing a young girl between 1982 and 1992.

The three-year term imposed yesterday will begin after he completes his ten-year sentence.

Detective Garda Jonathon Kelly told yesterday’s hearing that the earliest abuse of a pupil happened when the victim was eight in 1977 and that it went on for a year.

O’Ceallaigh would call the boy up to the front of the class and “suggest things to him.” He would then put pebbles in the child’s pocket and retrieve them while fondling the victim’s genitals. He would also whisper to the child and nibble his ear.

Paul Carroll, prosecuting, presented evidence that O’Ceallaigh was responsible for first aid in the school. He used this excuse to have one boy come into the classroom and drop his trousers before fondling him.

O’Ceallaigh abused a third child on a school trip to Galway.

Victim impact reports were read on behalf of the three victims. One said he used alcohol to try and forget the abuse and destroyed his life with drinking.

The second man said he saw the abuse as “a truly shameful secret” but that it never broke him because of support from his family. He said he hopes his evidence will stop O’Ceallaigh from abusing further victims.

The third victim said he still cannot believe what was done to him and that it is horrible to think that O’Ceallaigh will one day probably walk free. “I will never forgive him for the extreme shame and trauma he had inflicted upon me,” he wrote.

Patrick McGrath, defending, said he is limited in what he can say in mitigation as O’Ceallaigh does not accept the jury verdict. He said his client has a number of health problems, including heart disease and depression.


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