Northern Ireland

Ex-GAA official Thomas McKenna facing more sex abuse allegations

Thomas McKenna. Picture by Pacemaker Press
Thomas McKenna. Picture by Pacemaker Press

A FORMER GAA treasurer facing charges relating to serious sexual abuse involving 12 alleged victims can be further questioned by police, a judge ruled yesterday.

Newry Magistrates Court heard last month that another complainant has come forward to make allegations against Thomas McKenna (58), and yesterday the PSNI applied for him to be released into police custody to face more interviews.

With McKenna standing handcuffed in the dock, the court heard the fresh enquiries are “into numerous allegations of sexual assault”.

Last month the court heard that as well as further allegations being made by another complainant officers, who seized devices, have identified other potential victims.

Facing two charges, McKenna, whose address is c/o Maghaberry Prison, is accused of the sexual abuse of 12 people over an almost 30 year time span.

On one set of charges he is facing 10 sex and indecent assault offences against three males.

On another set of charges the former GAA official faces 17 charges alleged to have been committed between 1988 and his arrest in August last year.

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

The retired postman, who was treasurer for Crossmaglen Rangers, is further alleged to have interfered with mail during his time of


Previous court appearances have heard that the “serious and complex investigation” involves alleged victims who claim McKenna sexually abused them or took photographs and videos of them without their permission.

Police searches led to the recovery of devices said to contain 43,000 still images and 8,000 short video clips – some allegedly taken covertly.

In court yesterday District Judge Mark McGarrity said “I’m prepared to grant the application” to allow police to take McKenna to Banbridge station for questioning.