New York court told of 'sufficient evidence' to extradite ex-GAA coach back to Ireland to face almost 400 child abuse allegations
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New York court told of 'sufficient evidence' to extradite ex-GAA coach back to Ireland to face almost 400 child abuse allegations

IRISH authorities have provided enough evidence to warrant the extradition from the US of a former GAA coach wanted on almost 400 child abuse charges, a court in New York has been told.

Raymond 'Ray' Donlon faces a total of 394 criminal charges related to the "protracted sexual abuse" of two minors over a five-year period in Ireland – mostly at a GAA ground and hotels in the Midlands from 2004 to 2009.

Donlon, who fled Ireland in 2013, was arrested by the US Department of Homeland Security earlier this month after being tracked down to an apartment in Guilderland, New York.

A 17-page court filing made on behalf of US Attorney Grant Jaquith this week has revealed the full amount of evidence being leveraged against the Irishman, who most recently worked as a GAA photographer in Co. Longford before going on the run.

The filing shows that Irish investigators have presented US authorities with "summaries of lengthy statements made by the alleged victims, references to the statements of corroborating witnesses, and descriptions of corroborating physical evidence seized from the suspect's home", reports Independent.ie.

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Donlon fled Ireland in 2013 after working as a GAA coach and photographer (Image: Twitter)

Overall, Donlon is charged with 210 counts of sexual assault, 177 counts of rape, three counts of assault causing harm and one count each of attempted rape, false imprisonment, damage to property and harassment.

Gardaí heard from the first alleged victim in November 2012, who claimed he had been sexually abused by Donlon between the ages of 11 and 16, most recently in 2009.

Then in September 2013, a second complainant came forward and described the "relentless sexual abuse" allegedly inflicted upon him by the GAA coach, beginning at the age of 13.

This second victim alleged that Donlon groomed him from the age of 12, giving him jobs to do, gifts, money and trips away from a difficult home life before abusing him between 2004 and 2006.

Mr Jaquith, the chief federal prosecutor for northern New York, urged a court in Albany to approve Donlon's extradition back to Ireland based on "sufficient evidence" provided by the filing.

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Additionally, further evidence was provided by another Irish prosecutor and a sworn affidavit was supplied by a senior prosecution solicitor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Donlon has been in police custody in New York since January 16 and has been assigned legal representation from the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

It remains unclear whether he will seek to fight the extradition request when he next appears in court in Albany on Friday, February 1.