The former treasurer of Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club has appeared in court charged with a number of sexual offences – including buggery – committed against young men and children over a 30 year period.
Thomas McKenna, 58, of Woodside Park, Bessbrook, appeared before Newry Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning charged with a total of 17 offences dating back to 1988.
They include: voyeurism; buggery of a male over the age of 16 between 15/01/1998 – 15/01/2000; gross indecency towards the same child between the dates of 15/01/1998 and 15/01/2000; and multiple indecent assaults on the same male between the 15/01/1998 – 15/01/2000.
He was also charged with indecent assault on two other males between the dates of 16/12/1998 and 31/12/2001.
The seventh charge relates to buggery of a second male between the dates of 31/12/1993 and 31/12/2002. He is faces allegations of gross indecency and indecent assault of the same male between 31/12/1993 and 31/12/2002.
He is further accused of indecent assault on three other males between 18/12/1988 and 13/08/2000.
He is also charged with sexual assault of another male between 03/03/2009 and 03/03/2011 and most recently a charge of indecent assault on a male between 01/01/2009 and 31/07/2010.
Two of the remaining three charges relate to the making and possession of indecent photograph, while the final charge relates to McKenna being a postal operator and interfering with post.
Following McKenna’s arrest earlier this year, Ulster GAA released a statement.
“We encourage any member of the association, or others, who may have information in relation to these investigations to cooperate in full with the statutory authorities as part of their investigations.
“The individual in question has been debarred from all activities in the association pending the outcome of the investigation.
“As this is now a live investigation we will not be making any further comment.”
The case was adjourned to a Magistrates’ Court sitting at Newry Courthouse on November 14.
McKenna was remanded into custody at Maghaberry Prison until then.