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Ex-GAA Club official admits sexually abusing 20 victims

Ex-GAA Club official admits sexually abusing 20 victims

A former GAA club official has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 20 victims over a period of close to three decades.

Thomas McKenna is a former treasurer of the Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club, which is based in Co Armagh.

The offending was said to have taken place from December 1989 until August 2018 when he was arrested.

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As reported by BBC NI, McKenna, 62, with a given address at Maghaberry Prison, previously pleaded guilty to 23 charges.

The defendant had been due to face three separate trials but was rearraignedΒ at Belfast Crown Court.

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The judge told him he would be "punished severely".

A number of charges were left on the court books.

Referencing a number of the victims who were watching remotely, Judge Patricia Smyth, said: "I praise your courage in coming forward to disclose these terrible crimes.

"Today you have all been vindicated. By coming forward and being determined to see this brought to a conclusion, each of you has done a very great public service."

She added that she hoped the victims' vindication "will bring some peace of mind to those of you who continue to suffer grievously".

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McKenna, who has been on remand since his initial arrest, was taken back into custody.

Sentencing is due to be reviewed in early November.

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