Top Irish journalist to appear in Dublin court on 50 child abuse charges

Well known writer could face lengthy prison term if convicted.

One of Ireland’s leading sports journalists is to appear in court in Dublin on Tuesday when he is expected to face more than 50 charges after a police investigation into claims that he sexually abused a child.

The Irish Independent reports that the well known writer, famed for his GAA coverage, is due to appear in Dublin District Court on a range of offenses arising from an alleged inappropriate relationship with a young girl.

The paper says the charges include an alleged sexual assault on a young girl and defilement and exploitation through sending text messages to her.

His court appearance comes three years following a police investigation in March 2011 after the man’s daughter found text messages to the girl on a cell phone she had been given by her father.

She was given the phone as she was collecting old cell phones for charity.

The Irish Independent says it is alleged his daughter found the texts as well as photographs of the young camogie player while putting a new SIM card into the phone.

The family alerted police after his daughter showed the texts to other members of her family.

Police have since carried out a detailed interview with the girl with whom the writer was alleged to have been in the inappropriate relationship.

The report says the teenager gave them her account of her relationship with him in the months leading up to the discovery of the texts.

Police had to delay their interview with the journalist as he was admitted to hospital and placed under psychiatric care.

He was arrested in September 2012 and questioned by officers about the allegations before he was released without charge.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has studied the evidence and has now recommended the large number of charges be brought against the journalist.