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Former Dublin school rugby coach admits sexual abuse of 23 victims
Coleman Legal LLP
November 03, 2020

Former Dublin School Teacher and Rugby Coach Pleads Guilty for Sexual Abuse of 23 Victims

Former Dublin school teacher and rugby coach John McClean (aged 75) pleaded guilty at the Circuit Criminal Court to 27 charges of indecent assault to young schoolboys between the period of September 1973 to June 1990. McClean admitted to sexually abusing 23 males from the school in the 1970s and 1980s, reported by the RTE news

John McClean from Casimir Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin was a former rugby coach and school teacher who taught English and Drama in a prestigious South Dublin school named Terenure College. 

In May 2019, McClean had been charged for over 43 


allegations of assaulting schoolboys at Terenure College in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the

In November 2020, he was arraigned on 27 counts to which he pleaded guilty in the mention hearing held. The charges related to 3 separate books of evidence. 

McClean was actually due to appear in court for trial on Monday 2nd November 2020, but due to the Covid19 restrictions, his case was mentioned instead. 

Judge Pauline Codd remanded McClean on continuing bail. All evidence will be heard over a two-day sentence hearing on the decided sentencing date of March 9th, 2021.

Working on the prosecuting side, Paul Murray Senior Counsel, said a number of the complainants were also present in court and heard McClean enter the guilty pleas to the charges, while others watched the proceedings via a Zoom call, according to the Irish Times.

The Irish Time also mentioned that according to Mr Murray, some of the 23 complainants may wish to read out their victim impact statements during the hearing and told Judge Codd that the statements will be prepared for the court before Christmas.

Working on the defending side, Sean Guerin Senior Counsel had asked Judge Codd for a later sentence date on the basis that he was due to start a lengthy trial for another case in the new year and does not believe it will be completed until the first week of March.

A date for mention was then set for January 18th next to allow for any relevant documentation and evidence to be submitted into court prior to the sentence hearing, as mentioned in the RTE news.

How can we help?

Coleman Legal is taking High Court actions on behalf of victims of sexual abuse cases. Coleman Legal specialise in the area of sexual abuse law, acting on behalf of the survivors. Cases of this nature are civil actions which seek monetary compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted upon the complainants as a result of the abuse.

Monetary compensation is achieved through civil proceedings, and it is a different process to criminal proceedings handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions and An Garda Siochana.

Coleman Legal fully understands and appreciates that any form of abuse is extremely distressing. We deal with each case on a personal, one-to-one basis with compassion, empathy and understanding. 

Our dedicated team has extensive experience with claims relating to Sexual Abuse and Harassment. If you have experienced sexual abuse perpetrated by John McClean during his tenure in Terenure College or have experienced abuse in similar circumstances, please contact Ciara Redmond either by email or freephone us on 1800 844 104.

Former Dublin school rugby coach admits sexual abuse of 23 victims

Ciara Redmond

Senior Solicitor
(Sexual Abuse Team) 

 [email protected]

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84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1

D01 YX60

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Free Phone: (1800) 844 104

Email: [email protected]

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

Head of Client Services

F: 1800-844-104
E: [email protected]

”At Coleman Legal, excellence in customer care is paramount. We aim to meet both prospective and existing client’s needs professionally, engaging, and friendly with a clear objective to give quality legal advice and reach a positive outcome.”