‘A full truthful version of events’: Galway club call for GAA investigation following apology

FORMER OFFICERS OF St Mary’s, Athenry have reiterated their call for the GAA to hold a full investigation into how child welfare hearings were conducted in the club in 2017 and 2018.

Last week the GAA issued a public apology for a false allegation made against former juvenile club chairman Robert Ruane.

A press release from former club officers last week said the claim was made in letters circulated to club members last year by the GAA’s National Child Safeguarding Committee.

A statement issued by former club chairman Sean Keane on behalf of former club officers reads:

“Following the apology by the GAA to our former Juvenile Chairman Robert Ruane, Athenry, we are again calling on GAA President John Horan and Croke Park officials to hold a full independent audit and investigation into how Child Welfare Hearings were conducted in our Club in 2017 and 2018. 

“In calling for this investigation, we are motivated by our collective responsibility to protect children at all times. This responsibility should never be compromised for any reason. 

“Club members, officers, coaches, parents and volunteers must have complete confidence in the GAA’s child safety procedures. Innocent volunteers should not have to live in fear of being unfairly persecuted or prosecuted or of being subjected to false allegations of child abuse.

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“We are therefore asking for a full truthful version of events to be established. We seek only for improvements to be made to the GAA’s Child Safeguarding procedures so that no other Club or volunteer should have to suffer the same deep hurt and distress that was caused to our children, members and community.”

The former St Mary’s officers say they have already contacted John Horan with areas of interest they want to be examined.

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