John McClean

A former teacher and rugby coach has been sent to jail in the last couple of days for sexual abuse in one of Dublin’s most prestigious schools -Terenure College, run by the Carmelite Order.

Mc Clean abused at least 23 boys between the ages of 12 and 16.

I court he changed his plea to “guilty” on 27 counts.

The Carmelites and Terenure College have apologised for not protecting the abused boys better.

Our Dublin priest correspondent Father Bruno says:


“The overly prolonged search for justice for former pupils of Terenure College has begun with the conviction of John McClean for a ” career” of sexual abuse of teenage boys”.


The 1996 meeting (Irish Examiner).

Inspector Jason Miley today told Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, that in 1996 the father of one of the victims informed Father Robert Kelly, the then Provincial of the Carmelite Order in Ireland, about the allegation his son had made against McClean.

Inspector Miley said Fr Kelly had a number of meetings over the summer break with McClean during which it was made clear McClean would not be returning to Terenure College. McClean was granted a three-year career break and became a rugby coach at UCD.

Inspector Miley agreed with Mr Guerin that Fr Kelly had a note of one of the meetings with McClean in 1996 during which McClean admitted to the allegation.

Fr Kelly told gardaí when providing these notes to them during this investigation that he had no recollection of this, but if it was in the notes then “it was true”.



“In 1996, from records of the Carmelite province and school obtained by the prosecution, the provincial Fr Robert Kelly was fully knowledgeable of the criminal complaints made against the teacher. Today he had” no knowledge” of the complaints?

Was Archbishop Martin aware of the upcoming court trial date as he preoated to retire? What was his role in these matters prior to his retirement?


What has been the role of RICHARD PURCELL as chairman of the TOWARDS HEALING – the CORI service paid for by the religious orders to provide services of counselling to victims abused in church institutions?


Word has it that the Terenure old boy network has been getting the word out – “forgive and forget” – otherwise the “nure will close,”.

Much closer inspection of those senior staff and clerics at Terenure and provincial superiors during the last twenty years is required. Will it happen?

What of the various headmaster carmelites during McClean’s reign of terror. Where are they now? What did they know?

One who is no longer in the priesthood is very well known to have run with the fox and the hounds.

We can, very sadly expect more allegations to emerge.


I have no personal knowledge of Terenure College. I went to school and did my Leaving Cert in the much less prestigious Rathmines Tech down the road.

McClean’s reign if abuse was very bad and he behaved as if he had no fear of being foubd out or dealt with.

Was that because he was the rugby coach and these prestigious schools just love their rugby?

I’m amazed that after he was reported he simply got a three year teaching break and went on to work with other young men.

There does need to be a thorough investigation conducted into Terenure College.

What abuse happened?

What was covered up?

Who were all the players?

Maybe Father Bruno is right. Maybe there is a lot more to come?