Bohemians launch internal investigation after Roddy Collins' child abuse claims

The former Bohs manager says he alerted club officials of his concerns of a paedophile operating within the club in 1998

Bohemians

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer 

Bohemians have launched an investigation into claims made by former boss Roddy Collins that he told club officials of his fears that there was a paedophile working within the club 18 years ago.

Collins, manager of the senior team from 1998 until 2001, told the Irish Daily Star that he walked in on volunteer Colin Goggin giving a 'semi-naked boy' a massage in the physio's room in 1998 and reported it to a senior official at the club. 

"What’s happening on the telly in front of my eyes, I would say one million per cent is the tip of the iceberg," Collins told the newspaper referring to recent child abuse claims that has rocked English football.

He went on to say that after alerting club officials, he was told that the matter would be looked into. However, in a statement released on Monday night the club have responded by saying: "The report's allegations, made by the club's then first-team manager, Roddy Collins, were first communicated to us by a journalist at the newspaper on Sunday evening."

They added: "Contrary to Mr Collins' assertions, club officials involved in 1998 insist he never communicated any allegations of such nature to them, nor did Mr Collins bring these allegations to the attention of An Garda Síochána."

In the statement, the Premier Division side confirmed that they have launched an investigation into the matter.

"Bohemian FC has launched an internal investigation following allegations made in a newspaper report today," it read.

"The newspaper alleges that a former club volunteer was involved in an inappropriate incident with a minor 18 years ago.

"The report's allegations, made by the club's then first-team manager, Roddy Collins, were first communicated to us by a journalist at the newspaper on Sunday evening.

"We immediately began investigating these allegations so far as this is possible given the lapse of time.

"We have already spoken at length today and yesterday to individuals involved at board level, the youth set-up and other areas of the club at the time of the alleged incident.

"We will continue to consult with parties involved and appeal to any individual who has concerns, or who may have more information, to come forward to speak to us and/or Mountjoy Garda Station.

"But contrary to Mr Collins' assertions, club officials involved in 1998 insist he never communicated any allegations of such nature to them, nor did Mr Collins bring these allegations to the attention of An Garda Síochána.

"However, the accused individual was indeed investigated by officers at Mountjoy Garda Station over an incident with a minor, who was not a member of the Bohemian FC youth set-up or affiliated to the club, which is alleged to have taken place in Dalymount Park in 1998 and was quickly reported to the Gardaí by the child's father.

"The safety of children is of utmost importance to Bohemian FC. As such, when notified of this investigation, the accused was immediately removed from his position and had no further affiliation with the club.

"We have made contact with An Garda Síochána today to seek their assistance in establishing the exact nature and conclusion of that investigation.

"Furthermore, when separate allegations against the individual not involving the club were made almost a decade later, for which this individual was later found guilty of, Bohemian FC board members and youth set-up volunteers alike assisted An Garda Síochána with their inquiries."

The club say they will be making no further comment at this time.

Goggin was given a three-year jail term in 2015 for sexually abusing two boys he met through athletics between 1987 and 1994 and for possession of child pornography.

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If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, you can contact 'One in Four', a charity providing support and resources for people who have experienced sexual abuse and violence in Ireland.

  • Call on 01 6624070, Monday – Friday 9.30 to 5.30pm 
  • Email using [email protected]
  • Send a letter to 2 Holles St, Dublin 2, D02 FP40