Earlier today, Matthew Coward, who worked with Swim Ireland as a contracted coach was sentenced to four years in prison with one year suspended for committing child pornography and sexual exploitation offences at the pool.

From the moment the concern was raised, Swim Ireland’s primary focus has been on the welfare and support of the swimmers impacted, their parents and carers, their coaches and co-operating in full with the statutory authorities. The supports for the swimmers, families and coaches remain in place and will continue to be on-going.

We are saddened that this happened but very glad a concern was raised. It resulted in Matthew Coward being stood down from coaching immediately and ultimately to his conviction and sentencing. This bravery in speaking up is to be commended.

This conviction continues to serve as a reminder of the importance of Swim Ireland’s Safeguarding Policies and Procedures and our efforts to create, protect and promote a culture that allows people to speak out about anything that makes them uncomfortable. The Swim Ireland “Here to Listen” section of the website (https://swimireland.ie/safeguarding/here-to-listen/) details who to speak to and the supports available to anyone with a concern.

Thank you for the continued work that you do to ensure that we can provide a safe and secure environment for all participants.

Swim Ireland