A former GAA club official has been jailed for 16 years after pleading guilty to more than 100 sexual offenses against 23 male victims over the course of three decades.

Thomas McKenna, 62, a former treasurer of the Crossmaglen Rangers club in Armagh, pleaded guilty to 162 offenses, including serious sexual assault, indecent assault, voyeurism, and taking an indecent image of a child. 

Police previously said that they recovered 43,000 images and 8,000 videos from several devices seized from McKenna. 

McKenna's victims were aged between 14 and 39, but the majority of his victims were young teenagers. The offenses took place between December 1989 and McKenna's arrest in August 2018. 

McKenna will serve a further seven years on license after his release. 

At his sentencing hearing in Laganside Crown Court in Belfast on Friday, Judge Patricia Smyth told McKenna that he had preyed on his victims and their families. 

"You targeted boys and young men, 23 in total, manipulating them to the point where they felt utterly powerless and unable to disclose what you had done," Smyth told McKenna on Friday. 

Judge Smyth said McKenna had inflicted "immeasurable" psychological damage on his victims, adding that no sentence could help repair that damage. 

"The sheer scale and duration elevates this case to an unprecedented level," she said. 

"There is no question that you pose a danger to the public and to young men in particular." 

In a joint statement, the GAA and Crossmaglen Rangers thanked Judge Smyth for Friday's sentencing and paid tribute to McKenna's victims for having the courage to come forward. 

"Crossmaglen Rangers and GAA President Larry McCarthy wish to state that this conviction was only possible because of the courage and determination of those individuals who reported their concerns and sought assistance. Your actions have made our club and community safer and for this, we owe you a huge debt of gratitude," they said in a joint statement on Friday. 

"As a club and as an Association, our hearts were broken when we learned about the horrific abuse suffered by children and young people within our community. We are extremely saddened that one of our members used his many positions of trust, within our community to cause serious harm.

"To the victims; we are deeply sorry. Your journey has been a difficult one and your strength to stay the course and see this case through to its legal conclusion is testament to your character and recognition of the support received." 

The GAA urged anyone else who has been abused by McKenna to contact the Police on 101, in an emergency call 999.  Anyone who is affected by this event may avail of services provided by NSPCC (0808 800 5000), Nexus on (028 90326803 or 02871 260566) or Lifeline. 0808 808 8000 for support.