A man who said his life was ruined by the abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his teacher at school in Dublin 40 years ago, has described him as an "evil" man who "preyed" on him and other children for decades.

John McClean of Casimir Avenue, Harold's Cross has admitted to sexually abusing 23 boys in the 1970s and 1980s at Terenure College.

The 76-year-old is a former rugby coach and English teacher at Terenure College.

One victim said today that the school was "run by priests who failed utterly in their responsibility" to the care of the children there.

Fifteen of John McClean's victims stories of how he sexually abused them between 30 and 48 years ago were told in court today.

The 76-year-old former rugby coach and English teacher has pleaded guilty to 27 charges of indecently assaulting the boys at the school on dates between 1973 and 1990.

He abused nine victims in an office, eight during preparation for the school plays, three during sporting activities and three in the classroom.

The details of what McClean did to six of the boys has so far been outlined in court, they were 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 years of age at the time.

In their victim impact statements the boys, now men in their 50s, spoke of how the abuse damaged their lives.

One told how he left school after the abuse, fell into alcohol and drug abuse, went on to crime and begging on the streets of London before being sent to prison.

He described John McClean as "evil personified" and said when he met him he "crossed paths with the devil".

Another said when he told his brother about the abuse later in life, he found out that he too had been abused while one boy engineered his own expulsion to get away from the constant abuse.

"I will never forgive or forget what he did," he said. "He ruined my life when he was supposed to be protecting me."

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When interviewed by gardaí, McClean denied the abuse saying the names of his victims meant nothing to him, he did not remember them.

One told how he was enticed to the office by McClean with bars of chocolate.

Another victim said McClean was "an evil man who should be punished for what he had done".

The victims were also highly critical of the authorities at Terenure College and said their allegations were ignored. It was run by priests, one victim said, whose duty was to care and protect and they failed utterly in their responsibilities. "All those p****s in charge knew and looked away," another victim said.

One man said he made his statement to the gardaí more than 30 years after the abuse after an article about Terenure College appeared in the newspaper. 

He said his father phoned him up and told him to read it. "I think they got him," his father said to him.