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Tom Humphries is a convicted child molester and former sports journalist and columnist who wrote for The Irish Times.

Tom Humphries
Born
London, United Kingdom
NationalityIrish
Education• St. Joseph's CBS, Fairview
University College Dublin
OccupationFormer sports journalist
EmployerThe Irish Times

His journalism career was effectively ended after child sexual abuse allegations surfaced in 2011. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to a number of child sex offences and was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment.[1][2]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Humphries was born in London[3] and grew up in Foxfield, Raheny, in Dublin. He was educated at St. Joseph's Christian Brothers School in Fairview. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Higher Diploma in Education from University College Dublin (UCD). He ran unsuccessfully for the office of President of the UCD Student Union in 1986 but was defeated by Ulick Stafford.

CareerEdit

Roy Keane interviewEdit

His received international attention in May 2002, for his interview of Irish football player Roy Keane on the island of Saipan, while the Irish football team were preparing to take part in the 2002 football World Cup. Originally, Humphries planned to write an article based on the interview,[citation needed] but Keane's openly critical remarks about preparations for the World Cup and the attitudes of the team management, the players, and the Football Association of Ireland, led to the interview appearing as a verbatim transcript on the front page of The Irish Times (an almost unheard of action)[citation needed] and continuing inside the newspaper. The resulting furore caused Keane to resign from the squad before the tournament started, and he was also dismissed by the team manager, Mick McCarthy.

WritingsEdit

Humphries' first book was Green Fields: Gaelic Sport in Ireland, an analysis of the importance of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland, a recurring theme of his work. He was the ghost writer of Irish football player Niall Quinn's autobiography, Niall Quinn – The Autobiography, published in 2002. It won the Best Autobiography category in the inaugural British Sports Book Awards,[4] and was nominated for a William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.[citation needed] The book is not structured chronologically, but rather in the context of Quinn's career swansong, the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. A collection of his Irish Times and Sports Illustrated writings was published in 2004 as Booked! and was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. The book's royalties went to Amnesty International. His book Dublin V Kerry was an account of historic clashes between the two dominant teams in Gaelic football of the mid to late 1970s. He co-authored Come What May, the autobiography of the openly homosexual hurler Donal Óg Cusack.[5] Besides his regular sports reporting and feature articles, Humphries wrote a Monday column in The Irish Times called "Lockerroom".

Sexual abuse convictionEdit

In 2011, child sex abuse came to light when a family member discovered messages of a sexual nature on Humphries' mobile phone between Humphries and a 14-year-old girl. This led to a police investigation that eventually revealed that Humphries had sent the girl thousands of sexually-explicit texts before going on to meet her for sexual acts.[6] Humphries subsequently spent a year in a psychiatric facility, before being arrested in September 2012.[7] He was charged in March 2014.[7] He had not written for The Irish Times since 2011, but was formally suspended after being charged.[7]

In March 2017, Humphries pleaded guilty to two counts of defilement of a child and four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act.[1] The Irish Times terminated his employment after his guilty plea.[7] Reporting restrictions on the case had been in place until June 2017; they were lifted after three charges involving another girl were dropped.[8] Judge Karen O'Connor sentenced Humphries to two and a half years in jail on 24 October 2017. When sentencing, she took into account Humphries' guilty plea and the two character references for the defence from David Walsh and Donal Óg Cusack. The chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre was surprised and disappointed about leniency of the sentence.[6] Humphries is serving his sentence at Midlands Prison.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Top sports journalist Tom Humphries pleads guilty to six child sex offences". Irish Mirror. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Former journalist Tom Humphries jailed for two and a half years for the defilement of a child". Irish Independent. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  3. ^ Author biography. In Irish Books Online – TownHouse Dublin, Ireland. Retrieved on 20 July 2006.
  4. ^ British Sports Book Awards, official website.
  5. ^ Gay GAA star's autobiography wins award Irish Independent, 3 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Leniency of Humphries sentence criticized". RTÉ. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Gallagher, Conor (24 October 2017). "Tom Humphries jailed for 2½ years for grooming and sexual abuse of girl". Irish Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Tom Humphries faces up to 10 years in jail for abusing girl". Irish Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  9. ^ Lally, Conor (26 October 2017). "Prisoner Tom Humphries: a day in the life on Midlands Prison's G wing". Irish Times. Retrieved 13 February 2018.

BibliographyEdit

  • Green Fields: Gaelic Sport in Ireland (Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated, ISBN 978-0-297-83566-0, 1996)
  • Laptop Dancing and the Nanny Goat Mambo: A Sportswriter’s Year (Pocket Books/Town House, ISBN 1-903650-53-4, 2003)
  • Booked! (V. Carefully) Selected Writings (Town House, ISBN 1-86059-212-0, 2004)
  • Dublin V Kerry (Penguin Ireland, ISBN 1-84488-085-0, 2006)