Four child sex abuse victims settle suit with ex-swimming coach and council

Gerard Doyle, from Wexford, a former swimming coach and convicted sex offender, at court yesterday.

Four victims of abuser and former Olympic swimming coach Gerard Doyle yesterday settled their High Court actions.

The four men, who sued over their abuse by Doyle when they were young boys, settled their action against New Ross Town Council, the swimming coach’s employer at the time.

Doyle was employed as a swimming coach at New Ross swimming pool in Co Wexford, which was owned and operated by New Ross Town Council.

After several hours of talks yesterday, counsel David McGrath told Mr Justice Anthony Barr the cases brought against New Ross Town Council were all settled and could be struck out. The actions against Doyle could also be struck out, counsel said. The court heard that judgement had been entered against Doyle last November and the case before the court was for assessment of damages only.

The four victims, who cannot be identified, had sued in relation to the sexual abuse they suffered on different dates around the 1980s.

Doyle, aged 52, a former national and Olympic swimming coach of Ard Alainn, Wexford St, New Ross, Co Wexford, was sentenced to six and half years in prison in July 2012 after being convicted of 35 sex-related offences against children committed over a decade.

Doyle pleaded not guilty at Kilkenny Circuit Criminal Court to one charge of sexual assault and 34 charges of indecent assault.

The offences took place at New Ross Swimming Pool between January 1981 and December 1993, at a time when Doyle was manager of New Ross Swimming Club and manager of the pool.

After a five-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict on the sexual assault charge and 34 indecent assault charges.

Doyle had been convicted of the offences at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court and sentenced to six and half years in prison, but a retrial was ordered on a legal technicality following an appeal to the High Court.

In the High Court yesterday, the four men said the town council failed to ensure Doyle was competent and a suitbale person to interact with young persons.

They also said it failed to remove Doyle or relieve him from his duties when they knew or ought to have known of his sexual proclivities. The council denied the claims.


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