Protected On Both Sides

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gibneygareth

From top: George Gibney; Broadcaster Gareth O’Callaghan

George Gibney is either innocent, very lucky or extremely well connected.

In a new Facebook post, broadcaster and abuse victim activist Gareth O’Callaghan addresses the swimming coach’s long, baffling escape from justice.

Mr O’Callaghan writes:

For those of you who might not be familiar with him, George Gibney was an Irish swimming coach of universal repute who was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers under the age of 15.

That was back in April 1993. The following year he won a High Court Judicial review in which all the charges against him were quashed. His victims were and remain devastated.

The judicial review was secured following a highly controversial landmark Supreme Court decision during which Gibney’s barrister Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in bringing the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair hearing. Gageby’s sister Susan Denham was on the bench of the Supreme Court that day as one of the senior presiding judges.

This was despite the Code of Conduct of the Irish Bar which provides that:

“Barristers shall not habitually practice in a case in which their parent, spouse or near blood relative is a presiding judge.”

Meanwhile Gibney fled the country, eventually ending up in the States. Despite all the questions raised about the emotional and physical carnage this alleged rapist and abuser left in his wake and how he could just vanish unchallenged, questions continue to be asked to this day as to how he ended up getting an official US visa and green card and working since then in America.

Gardaí here in Ireland even gave Gibney a certificate of character – issued on January 20, 1992 – to support his application for a US visa.

This certificate which is now part of an official US investigation shows that the name and signature of the garda who issued it to Gibney at Dun Laoighaire garda station was redacted and its contents have been obscured.

By November 1991, less than two months earlier, allegations of abuse were already mounting against Gibney. The gardai, and the ISPCC, according to one parent in 1992, were aware of what Gibney was doing to young swimmers in his care but yet gave him a character reference to support his US visa application.

The Murphy Inquiry (set up in 1998 to look into abuse in swimming here in Ireland) states that the first recorded statement on the Garda file about Gibney is dated 15th December 1992.

Jumping forward to present day events – February 2017, 25 years almost since Gibney was cleared of all charges of rape and abuse. I

f you read my posts on Facebook late last year, you will know that an American friend of mine, journalist Irvin Munchnik, has been working for many years to obtain the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration file on Gibney – in an attempt to understand how Gibney was able to get a visa and a green card, and then to live and work in the States without any questioning, despite the previous charges against him.

Thanks to Irv’s relentless work, on the  December 6 last, the US District Court Judge Charles Breyer issued an order forcing the US government to release Gibney’s immigration and visa file to the renowned investigative journalist. Judge Breyer gave the government a 60-day window in which to either comply or appeal the ruling.

Irvin is looking for the court’s permission through his attorney Roy Gordet to see 20 documents (43 pages) of the Gibney immigration and visa file.

Judge Breyer has seen these documents in private (in camera) and has made it clear that he has serious reservations regarding some of the privacy exemptions. On November 2nd last, the Judge said he was “prepared to rule (largely) in Munchnik’s favour”.

Original material already released shows there was a letter which appeared to offer Gibney a job in swimming in the US.

Although the name and organisation of the sender and almost all of the letter’s main details are obscured, what remains is “Dear George,” followed below by “…would be very interested in your services as coach to their [sic] team”. It’s not known if the letter is from an American club, or from an Irish person trying to set up a job for him in the States.

Gibney was living mostly unnoticed for many years in Orange City, Florida, until Sligo born Evin Daly waged a four year campaign against Gibney mainly through his ChildAbuseWatch website.

Through his published alerts about Gibney’s underground movements throughout the US, Evin Daly’s tireless efforts eventually ran him out of Orange City in 2013 after parent groups locally discovered who he was. It’s understood he may currently be working and living in Orlando.

Sadly Judge Charles Breyer’s 60-day window expired on Saturday and the US government are appealing the December summary judgement and order.

The case now heads to what’s known in the States as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Irvin Munchnik’s request to all of us this week both here in Ireland and in the United States is that we start speaking out again loudly and publicly about this evil predator, so that he won’t get another 20 years to hide.

Enda Kenny needs now, to take a hardline on George Gibney.

When he meets US President  Trump on March 17, the taoiseach needs to address the ‘Number One At-Large Paedophile in Global Sports’, who continues to live freely in the United States thanks to successive governments on both sides of the Atlantic ignoring his evil status as a clear and present danger to children and teenagers everywhere.

Gareth O’Callaghan (Facebook)

Previously: George Gibney on Broadsaheet

17 thoughts on “Protected On Both Sides

  1. louislefronde

    So what the are the grounds of appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Perhaps, Garret’s friend can post a link. Remember, when it comes to matters of public law American lawyers are not as furtive as their Irish equivalents.

  2. No more mr nice guy

    Great article Gareth.

    Very concise summary – Bodger please note this is how you do journalism.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      When Bodger/BS have tackled similar subjects in the past (as an example, Cynthia Owen was mentioned earlier today), it’s been exceptional. So I’d suggest that’s a very unfair and unfounded comment.

      1. No more mr nice guy

        I don’t agree Brother. I find a lot of Broadsheet’s own stuff a lot too lengthy, containing irrelevant detail and hard to follow timelines. They’re screaming out for an editor. It’s the same with Frilly’s so called articles for example. Or explain LJG or Joe Dole to me?

        The content of some of those pieces you mention is commendable of course.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          “irrelevant detail” or comprehensive? I suppose it depends on how interested you are in the story, how much you want to know, how much you already know etc. There’s a place certainly for short, snappy pieces (which BS is full off), so there’s surely a place too for lengthy, extended pieces. I like both. And I genuinely do think BS does both very well.

          1. No more mr nice guy

            Well I get what you mean. But the place for less relevant detail is in an appendix or follow up article not the main one IMHO. I find myself looking for the important details in some of those episodic pieces and not really finding them.

  3. Joe Cool

    Brilliant journalism Gareth. Last of a dying breed of honest , good journalists who actually do their job.

  4. Sheik Yahbouti

    I think Mr. O’Callaghan constantly forgets that this is Ireland we are talking about. “at least he wasn’t carrying on with filthy women, yuck – shure it’s so much less of a sin when it’s an innocent child – and shure they forget all about it, it has no effect on them whatever”.

  5. Barry

    Has GSOC not been active relative to the issuing of a “letter of comfort” to Gibney, if not, anyone know why?

  6. Swag

    Good article, but again, the Gageby/Denham issue has been well-aired and the facts are relevant, not just the ones that have been told here. The Supreme Court is a divisional court. No one judge presides. The voice of Denham J was one of several. Second, Mr Gageby would be unable to appear in the Supreme Court at all simply due to his sister being the Chief Justice. That would be an absurd stretching of the Bar rules. The rules specify that it must not be a “habitual” appearance. Mr Gageby does not appear “habitually” before the Supreme Court any more than any other highly successful lawyer. Third, it would have been known to all parties that Mr Gageby and Ms Denham are related, since she often goes by the name “Gageby-Denham” and opportunity would have been given to raise that objection, should it have been relevant. Fourth, no actual prejudice has been shown by this fact in this or any other case. The article lets itself down by cheap innuendo. Next time, when writing the article, include the following – “Denham J. (now Chief Justice) was one of the [Number of judges] who decided [ratio of decision] in favour of Mr Gibney” and then specify whether she found for or against Mr Gibney in the event that the court was divided on the issue. For all I know, on the basis of this article, Denham J could have dissented and gone against Mr Gibney. Maybe a link to the actual decision of the Supreme Court, rather than just a link to another broadsheet article would help?

    1. Bodger

      Swag, Ms Denham supported the decision. And the victims were not made aware of her relationship to Gibney’s counsel by the DPP.

      1. Swag

        Cheers for that, Bodger. Worth remembering, though, that the DPP do not represent complainants in cases, so it isn’t strictly relevant what they are told and there is no requirement to seek their view on any issue. And what of the other judges? Was it a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court? Do you have a link to the judgment?

    1. No more mr nice guy

      Thanks Kieran. Is it Gareth’s campaign specifically they refer to there as they don’t mention him by name?

      1. Kieran NYC

        If you Google both their names, it was an O’Callaghan Facebook post around October or so last year that kicked off a flurry of articles and speculation.

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