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Former Crossmaglen treasurer to stand trial for alleged sexual abuse offences

He faces a total of 173 charges - including sexual assault, voyeurism and gross indecency with a child - involving 23 alleged victims over a 27-year period

Thomas McKenna Crossmaglen

A former treasurer of Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club accused of sexually abusing 23 male victims over almost 30 years heard today (Wednesday) he will face Crown Court proceedings.

The 60-year-old appeared at Neary Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

Thomas McKenna, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry Prison, is charged with a total of 173 charges.

The defendant faces multiple charges of indecent and sexual assault; voyeurism; gross indecency with a child and making indecent images.

He is also charged with interfering with the mail as a postal operator.

As these charges were read, it was heard that the offences are alleged to have occurred over a 27 year period and related to 23 individuals.

Previous courts have heard claims that the “serious and complex investigation” involves alleged victims who say McKenna either sexually abused them or took photos 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.

Appearing via videolink from the prison, McKenna confirmed his personal details, said that he was aware of the charges and that he did not object to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence barrister Kevin Magill made no contrary submissions.

Deputy District Judge Laura Levers was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer and the defendant was remanded in custody to appear before Newry Crown Court on April 27 for arraignment.

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