Franciscan brother gets six years for sexual abuse

April 29, 1999

A Franciscan brother who sexually abused five boys has been jailed for six years by the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Judge Michael White said Brother Joseph Keegan had abused the trust placed in him. Joseph Keegan, who is 58 and from Broc House in Donnybrook, in Dublin, pleaded guilty to eight sample charges out of a total of 57 counts.

The brother abused two alter boys and three members of a football team that he coached. All the boys were under thirteen when the abuse occurred. In court today one of Keegan's victims shouted that would get revenge when Keegan is released from prison. As Gardaí restrained the man, he shouted at Judge White that his six-year sentence was sad. Relatives of the victims also shouted at Keegan as he was led from the court under tight security. At an earlier sitting, one of his victims told the court that he had come close to slitting Keegan's throat with a knife. He then turned to Keegan and told him he was lucky to be alive.

Detective Sergeant Walter Kilcullen told the court that Brother Keegan smuggled boys up to his room in the Franciscan monastery in Merchant's Quay and abused them. His victims were also abused while having showers after football matches and on outings to Galway and Donegal. Some of them were only seven and eight years old at the time.



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