T/W: Sexual Abuse and Child Abuse

The founder of the UCD Rugby Academy and former Director of Rugby for University College Dublin (UCD), John McClean has been sentenced to eight years in prison for the sexual abuse of 23 schoolboys at Terenure College. 

The abuse took place during a seventeen-year period, from 1973 to 1990 while McClean was employed at the secondary school as an English teacher. McClean was also involved in the directing of school plays where he took advantage of costume fittings to sexually assault students.

In November 2020, McClean pled guilty to 27 counts of indecent assault. Following this, three civil cases were taken against McClean and the management of Terenure College, as reported in the Irish TimesAfter a lengthy investigation, McClean was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment with 3 years suspended, a sentence which means 8 years jail time and an expensive appeal process.

McClean, aged 76, resigned from Terenure College in 1996 after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced. He served as the Director of Rugby for UCD from 1997 until 2011. During this time, he founded UCD Rugby Academy which is a subset of the Irish Rugby Football Union. McClean also lectured in Sports Management.

Furthermore, McClean was presented with an award by UCD Rugby to commemorate his work as the “foundation stone of the modern club”.

A UCD spokesperson, speaking to the Irish Times, said “the university was unaware of his crimes until they were reported in the media in 2018. To date, no incident relating to John McClean has been brought forward to the university”. 

Read The College Tribune’s previous report on the investigation of McClean’s sexual crimes and his involvement in UCD here.

Mahnoor Choudhry – Deputy News Editor

If anyone has been affected by this or similar stories, there are some supports to reach out to:

Rape Crisis Centre: 

Call: 1800 77 88 88


Call: 01 867 0701

Pieta House:

Call: 1800 247 247


Call: 01116123


Call: 1890 474 474