Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Further allegations emerge against former GAA official

 A Crossmaglen man is to face further questioning relating to allegations of sexual abuse after another alleged victim has come forward, The Examiner has learned.

Thomas McKenna, a former Treasurer with Crossmaglen Rangers GFC, is currently awaiting trial in Maghaberry prison, charged with a raft of sexual offences against 12 people committed over almost 30 years, some of whom were under 16 years old at the time.

At a court appearance via video-link on Wednesday, a detective constable revealed that another complainant has come forward and made further allegations of sexual abuse against McKenna.  It was also stated that police officers who examined seized devices have identified other potential victims.

The detective constable, along with the PPS, asked for McKenna to be produced to court next month as he faces further police interviews over the new allegations and forensic evidence.

The latest complainant to come forward brings the total of alleged victims to thirteen.

McKenna, whose address was given in court as care of Maghaberry Prison, has been charged over two indictments, the first relating to 10 offences against three males, including five counts of sexual assault, three counts of indecent assault and single counts of buggery and attempted buggery.

On the second indictment, he faces a total of 17 charges alleged to have been committed between 1988 and his arrest in August last year and include two counts of buggery against persons aged over 16 without consent and two gross indecency offences, one of which was against a child.

The defendant is also charged with sexual assault, voyeurism and eight counts of indecent assault, along with making and possessing indecent photographs of children. 

A retired postman, McKenna is further alleged to have interfered with mail during his time of employment.

At Wednesday’s court hearing, the officer in charge of the “complex” investigation revealed that progress has been made on the forensic examinations of body samples and that a number of seized devices are now at the final stage of a three-stage examination but offered no target date for the final reports.

The judge enquired about the samples that had been sent to the forensic science agency and asked if all the offences were historic in nature.

Confirming they were “body samples,” the detective constable told the judge: “It began as a historical investigation.  There’s been a period of about 30 years of offending, but we believe the most recent assault is June 2018.”

Remanding McKenna back into custody, Judge Keown ordered him to be produced to court on April 10th.