Football coach gets €15k over defamatory texts

A 62-year-old football coach who claimed he was defamed in text messages after reassuringly embracing one of his players has been awarded €15,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Frank McClelland, of Glenmalure Court, St James’ Walk, Rialto, Dublin, told the court that in Mar 2009, he was a goalkeeper coach for aspiring footballers at Crumlin United FC.

During training, he had consoled an upset youngster by putting his arms around him and telling him, “you are still the best”. Later, he had seen two defamatory text messages about him, sent by Ronan Kelly, of Stillorgan Heath, Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

Mr McClelland said the texts had been exchanged between people and some had not talked to him for two years.

He said he had a history of depression which had been medically controlled before the incident, but he had become so upset afterwards that his GP referred him for psychiatric treatment.

Kelly said the text messages had been part of a private communication with another person.


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