Celtic face group legal action over historical sexual abuse at Boys Club

A number of senior figures at Celtic Boys Club, which was not officially connected to Celtic FC, have been jailed for sexual abuse; a group of around 25 survivors are set to launch legal action against Celtic FC, with its aim to determine if the club is legally responsible for the abuse

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Image: Survivors of historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club are planning to launch group legal action against Celtic

Survivors of historical abuse at Celtic Boys Club are joining together to launch group legal action for damages against Celtic FC.

Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, which represents around 25 abuse survivors from the boys club, is using new powers which came into law last year to bring the proceedings.

It has now placed a notice in the Daily Record newspaper stating it intends to ask the Court of Session to make an order granting permission for group proceedings to be brought by or on behalf of various clients against Celtic Plc, and calling for other people who want to part of the proceedings and make a claim to contact them.

The new group proceedings powers allow two or more people with claims which are the same, similar, or related to raise proceedings in a single action in court.

Patrick McGuire, partner with Thompsons, told the Daily Record: "This is completely unique. I know of no other group actions, or involving such a large number of claimants, against any other club in Europe."

He added: "This case will be about whether Celtic FC are legally responsible for abuse that took place at the boys club.

"Group proceedings are a very new part of the Scottish system, introduced by an Act of Parliament, and we've looked at the rules and taken the view they're our most appropriate vehicle."

A number of senior figures at the boys club, which was not formally affiliated with Celtic FC, have been jailed for sex abuse.

The club has previously said that it is "appalled by any form of historic abuse".

A Celtic spokesperson told the Daily Record: "The club is continuing to deal with these sensitive matters in conjunction with its advisers.

"The club again expresses its sincere sympathy, regret and sorrow to those affected and reiterates that it will stand by its responsibilities, respecting the due process of law."

The latest legal action comes after Thompsons last year launched two "test cases" at the Court of Session brought against Celtic by survivors.

Mr McGuire said the question of perhaps including the test cases in the group action was "actively under review".

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