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.
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.
Previously: George Gibney on Broadsaheet