13 Nov 2010

Irish boxing coach convicted of raping boys made them pray before and after attacks

UTV - Belfast, Ireland December 1, 2009

Boxing coach jailed for child abuse

A former Irish boxing coach who raped and sexually abused five teenage boys has been jailed for six and a half years.

Convicted pedophile Frank Mulligan, who once coached former world champion Barry McGuigan, preyed on his young victims for a 13-year period until 2002.

The 64-year-old, from Smithboro in Co Monaghan, is already behind bars after being sentenced for seven years for abusing two other boys last year.

The court heard the boxing coach made some of his victims pray before and after the sex attacks and told them it was God's will.

Judge Catherine Delhunt said Mulligan abused the faith put in him by young boys and their families.

"You tried to hide these heinous crimes with a veil of religion," she said.

Outside Dublin's Four Courts one of his first victims, Gerard Smyth, who waived his anonymity to encourage others to come forward, said he could now move on with his life.

"I had to do something because it was destroying my life and destroying people's lives around me," he said.

"Me coming forward helped other people to come out, which is good.

"It helps other people to deal with their problems."

Mr Smyth said he could now close a chapter of his life and start a new beginning and get his life back together again.

"All I can do is move on," he continued.

"He's no chance of harming or abusing any other children or adolescents."

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RTE News - Ireland December 1, 2009

Boxing coach sentenced over boys' abuse

One of the country's most successful amateur boxing coaches has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail for abusing five teenage boys.

Frank Mulligan, 64, from Mulladuff, Smithboro in Co Monaghan, pleaded guilty last week to the offences which took place while he was coaching the young men.

He has admitted buggery of three boys and sexual assault and indecent assault of another two boys on dates between 1989 and 2002.

He is already serving a seven-year sentence for similar offences against two other boys.

The court heard he made some of his victims pray before and after the sex attacks and told them it was 'God's will'.

Judge Katherine Delahunt said he had abused the trust and faith placed in him to commit heinous crimes and tried to conceal those crimes with a veil of religion and pseudo requirements for discipline in boxing.

Afterwards one of his victims, Gerard Smyth from Fermanagh, who waived his right to anonymity, said he was happy with the sentence.

Mr Smyth's complaint led to the garda investigation into Frank Mulligan during which six more victims came forward.

Mr Smyth said the abuse had destroyed his life and he was still suffering the consequences. He now wanted to speak out in the hope that it would help other victims of child sexual abuse.

One victim was taken back to his home for sports massages after training or before a fight. Others told how he prayed while abusing them.

Another suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and flashbacks which can be triggered by religion and prayer.

The court heard that the founding member of the Smithboro Boxing Club had 'been in complete denial' about himself and the offences and rejected all allegations made during a garda investigation.

However, after being convicted of abusing two other boys last year there was a 'complete turnaround' and he had since admitted to abusing five others.

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he fought his first trial 'tooth and nail' and appealed the verdict. Gardaí said he had not yet shown remorse for his actions.

However, his lawyers told the court that for the first time he was now realising the devastation his actions had caused his victims and was feeling remorse.

One of his victims told the court that his family had been torn apart by the abuse he suffered.

He now suffers from depression and had difficulty maintaining employment and relationships. The victim said he had attempted suicide and had self-harmed.

The man wept in the witness box as he said it had destroyed his life and he no longer participated in boxing or any sport unless it was a solo activity.

The court was told that Mulligan was a serious alcoholic who suffered from depression. He had replaced alcohol with an obsessive interest in religion and could be found wandering the streets of Monaghan praying.

His reputation and fame associated with the boxing club was now gone and there was hardly a person in Monaghan who did not revile his name, his lawyers told the court.

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