No Hiding Place

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gibneyirvin

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney; Investigative journalist Irvin Muchnick

In December, San Francisco district court judge, Judge Charles Breyer, ordered the US government to release documents pertaining to the US immigration file on former Irish swimming coach George Gibney to US journalist Irvin Muchnick.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993 – but sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The judicial review was secured following a controversial landmark Supreme Court decision – during which Gibney’s counsel Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

After this, Gibney left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then Florida.

Further to this…

Investigative journalist Irv Muchnick, writes:

Federal judge Charles. Breyer struck a blow for the long, slow bend of justice when he ruled in our  favor last month in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for additional public release of material from George Gibney’s American immigratiion records.

Perhaps we soon will have black-and-white documents shedding light on what the judge termed my suspicion “that the American Swimming Coaches Association greased the wheels for Gibney’s relocation” from Ireland to the United States.

Or perhaps not.

During the waiting game of the government’s 60-day appeal window, which expires a month from now, supporters of Gibney’s many sexual abuse victims, as well as general advocates on two continents, need to keep pushing public understanding of the story’s intertwining threads.

How the American swimming establishment enabled the harboring of Gibney — USA Swimming along with ASCA — is the most resonant thread for me; it ties together amateur sports abuse on a global scale.

But don’t try selling that to the youth athletes and their families who seek basic closure.

Like everything else about Gibney, even his crimes are a multinational affair, with at least one of them, his 1991 rape of a 17-year-old swimmer on a training trip, occurring in Tampa, Florida.

I have no information on whether a government appeal of the FOIA ruling is likely. If there is an appeal, our victory in the Northern District of California will be delayed, at least, while the fight heads to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

But even if we win outright, a lot of work is in  front of us. We don’t yet know the extent of the mix of the court’s final unredactions and retained redactions.

Judge Breyer said he was ruling “(largely) in Muchnick’s favor,” but he also made it clear that blacking out the names of third parties, for example, was still appropriate.

If I had to guess, I would say there is likely substantial new information in the additional documents, but I also caution against expectations of a proverbial smoking gun. Challenges of interpolation and interpretation remain.

In the meantime, all other legal gears must continue to turn.

At the behest of Irish legislator Maureen O’Sullivan, the country’s director of public prosecutions (DPP) has been reviewing, since 2015, information on the abruptly terminated criminal counts of Gibney’s indecent carnal knowledge of 27 underage victims (allegations on which the Irish government’s Murphy Commission would find that the accusers “were vindicated”).

Reportedly, there is also other information on never-prosecuted incidents.

A time to wait — yes. But not a time to rest.

In Long and Winding George Gibney Saga, Month of January Is No Time For a Lull (Concussion Inc)

Previously: The Chief Justice, Her Brother And How George Gibney Got Away

11 thoughts on “No Hiding Place

  1. Anomanomanom

    I know Gageby has a job to do, they don’t deal in justice only in law, But he must be proud of himself knowing he helped that sex offender “get off” and continue his crimes.

    1. dav

      Gageby went home with his bank balance increased and slept soundly, because that is the only thing that matters to him and his ilk.

      1. Anomanomanom

        Well for once we agree. But it really sums the man up, again I know its his job, but he knows all these things happened to minors and yet gageby actively went and found a “loop hole”.

      1. dav

        and NOBODY in the entire judicial system had an issue with this, just goes to show how the golden circle look after themselves

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Your Honour, I call on you to dismiss all charges against my client… and mammy wants to know if you’ll be home for dinner on Sunday?

  2. Johnny

    Just as well he didn’t move a few deposits around with the full knowledge and consent off the regulators,senior dept. finance officials,elected reps…
    If he had he’d have been bankrupted,arrested,extradited for a show trail and prep walk.

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