Updated at 07.47
BOHEMIANS HAVE LAUNCHED an investigation into former manager Roddy Collins’ claims that he told a senior club official he was concerned there was a paedophile working at the club nearly 20 years ago.
Speaking to the Irish Daily Star, Collins said he contacted an official 18 years ago after walking in on club volunteer Colin Goggin giving a semi-naked boy a massage in a physio room in 1998.
Collins claimed he was told the matter would be looked into but Bohemians have said the relevant club officials have denied such a conversation took place.
The Dalymount Park club has responded by launching an investigation into Collins’ claims.
“We immediately began investigating these allegations so far as this is possible given the lapse of time,” the club said in a statement.
“We have already spoken at length today and yesterday to individuals involved at board level, the youth set-up and other areas of the club at the time of the alleged incident.
“We will continue to consult with parties involved and appeal to any individual who has concerns, or may have more information, to come forward to speak to us and/or Mountjoy Garda Station.
“But contrary to Mr Collins’ assertions, club officials involved in 1998 insist he never communicated any allegations of such nature to them, nor did Mr Collins bring these allegations to the attention of An Garda Síochána.
“However, the accused individual was indeed investigated by officers at Mountjoy Garda Station over an incident with a minor, who was not a member of the Bohemian FC youth set-up or affiliated to the club, which is alleged to have taken place at Dalymount Park in 1998 and was quickly reported to the gardaí by the child’s father.
“The safety of children is of the utmost importance to Bohemian FC. As such, when notified of this investigation, the accused was immediately removed from his position and had no further affiliation with the club.”
You can read the full statement from Bohemians here.
Goggin was jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing two teenage boys, who he met through athletics, and for possessing child pornography.
The story comes in the wake of harrowing revelations of sexual abuse that have rocked English football, centred around paedophile coach Barry Bennell.
In his interview with the Irish Daily Star Collins added that he believes sexual abuse is “rife” in football, including in Ireland, and these stories are just the “tip of the iceberg”.
Anyone affected by this article can contact the CARI foundation helpline on 1890 92 4567, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 88 88 or One in Four on 01 6624070.
The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!