A FORMER GAA coach who indecently assaulted two young boys in areas of Clare over a two-year period in the early 1980s will be sentenced next January.
James ‘Tony Lowry’ Maher (69), of Clonroadmore Beg, Ennis would drive the victims around Clare, buying chips, cigarettes and alcohol before performing sexual acts on them. Ennis Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday that the abuse of one young boy began in 1982 when the accused was the manager of a hurling team.
One of his victims told the court that he was ‘scarred for life’ as a result of the abuse.
Mr Maher previously pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault in respect of this victim, committed in areas of Clare between January 1982 and July 1984.
Mr Maher, a founder member of the Banner GAA Club, would call to the boy’s house after going for drinks with his father.
A Banner GAA club spokesperson confirmed to The Clare People on Monday night that Mr Maher has not had any involvement with club ‘for well over twenty years’.
Detective Garda Beatrice Ryan of Ennis Garda Station told the court that the former Clare County Council employee would drive the boy home from training and matches.
Victims have told how they battled addictions and attempted suicide after the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Ennis man.
Detective Garda Beatrice Ryan read out the man’s victim impact statement in Ennis Circuit Criminal Court. The man stated, “It’s sad that I was always blaming myself and family for what this paedophile was doing to me.”
The man first met Mr Maher through his involvement with the Banner GAA Club. He stated, “At 15, I was hospitalised for drink and I tried to commit suicide.”
The man’s statement added that he tried to commit suicide for a second time aged eighteen.
Another victim of Mr Maher read his victim impact statement in court yesterday.
He told the court that he was 11 when Mr Maher first assaulted him. He said the incidents had a “horrific impact” on his life and that he would be scarred permanently as a result.. Judge Caroll Moran adjourned sentencing until January 14, 2013.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment. Contact Ronan on [email protected]

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