‘A monster has been taken off our streets’

The victims of a Waterford-based paedophile who was yesterday jailed for 14 years and two months have urged anyone else who suffered abuse to come forward and tell their story.

‘A monster has been taken off our streets’

Bill Kenneally, of Laragh, Summerville, Waterford City, pleaded guilty last December to 10 sample counts from a total of 74 counts of indecent assault on 10 boys, aged 13 to 16, over a four-year period between October 1984 and December 1987.

Delivering 10 consecutive two-year sentences at Waterford Circuit Court, Judge Eugene O’Kelly said the accountant’s actions bore all the hallmarks of the systematic behaviour of predatory paedophiles in that the abuse suffered by each teenager was very similar in nature.

The offences took place at his family home, in his car, and at various woodlands and laybys.

Kenneally used copious amounts of alcohol to disarm his victims. He gave them money initially as a gift, but then it turned into a debt that had to be paid back. The abuse was similar for most of the boys.

Recognising his guilty plea, Judge O’Kelly took seven months off each sentence.

Kevin Keating, one of Kenneally’s victims, said yesterday “a monster has been taken off the streets”.

“For the record, I hope today the coverage it is getting will prove to people that there is a fantastic support network there,” Mr Keating told Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1.

“I had terrible apprehension coming forward, but it was a fantastic support network. Anyone who is going through it, either with this man, or any other person who is out there — just believe me when I say you are not alone.”

Also speaking on Liveline, Colin Power, another victim of Kenneally’s, said that they know how difficult it is for abuse survivors to tell their stories.

“We have come forward, but we know how difficult it is to come forward. We would hope that today gives some kind of satisfaction to the guys who for whatever reason — we understand there are a multitude of reasons why somebody would not want to come forward. Hopefully today has some bit of good for those people.”

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