Hurler stays silent over Humphries support letter
THE prominent former hurler who wrote a letter of reference supporting child sex abuser Tom Humphries declined an opportunity to speak with journalists yesterday on his way to attend a Gaelic games function.
He was approached by journalists en route to the function but chose not to stop his car as he made his way into the car park where the event was being held. Media had been invited to attend the event last week but invitations were later cancelled.
Journalists were then told the event was private and not open to members of the public. Event organisers said there had been a number of unrelated cancellations and in light of these, it was decided to make the event private.
Only selected players and their families were able to attend.
The GAA player who wrote one of two letters in support of the former Irish Times journalist arrived shortly before 12pm.
He also declined to stop when he left the function some hours later.
Tom Humphries pleaded guilty last March to two counts of engaging in a sexual act with a girl under the age of 17 and four counts of sexually exploiting the same child, but last week Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard further details of his offences.
These included sending 16,000 text messages to his victim over a three-month period and sending her photographs of his genitals.
The court was made aware of two character letters that were supportive of the former journalist. These were written by the former inter-county hurler and by The Sunday Times sports writer David Walsh. Mr Walsh has also not spoken publicly but concerns have been expressed by Rape Crisis Networks Ireland about the practice of submitting reference letters in such cases.
The Sunday Times in London said it would not be commenting on the matter while the case is ongoing.