Second edition of US journalist Irvin Muchnick’s book about George Gibney; Mr Muchnick
American sportswriter and investigative journalist Irvin Muchnik is visiting Ireland this week to launch the second eBook edition of his book about Ireland’s former Olympic swimming coach George Gibney
The book is available here while a print-on-demand paperback edition is also planned.
Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in Ireland in April, 1993.
However, he moved to the United States in 1995, the year after an unusual and controversial decision by the Supreme Court led to the quashing of these charges.
He was also granted a visa during a visit to the United States in 1992 – seemingly aided by a Garda character reference – a year after people who had been abused by him started to speak up and organise themselves.
Justice Roderick Murphy’s later Government-commissioned report into sex abuse and Irish swimming in 1998 concluded that Gibney’s accusers “were vindicated” by the accumulation of Garda evidence.
Mr Muchnick’supdated book includes a chapter on Gibney’s role as chairman of the Catholic church mission called the International Peru Eye Clinic Foundation while he was living in Colorado in the late 1990s.
Mr Muchnick writes:
“The ebook explains how this project coincided with the establishment of a new presence in the United States, starting in Colorado, of a Catholic sect based in Peru, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae.
In recent years this group has been exposed for rampant violence and sexual abuse under its Peruvian founder, Luis Fernando Figari, who today lives in seclusion in Rome.”
Ahead of his visit, Mr Muchnick adds:
My message to Irish friends and American friends alike is: If the goal is to nail George Gibney at last and put an end to his lucky three-decade run of evading justice, then all the tools are now out there.
Previously we’ve noted that politicians on both sides of the Atlantic must push for direct and formal information-sharing between the Garda and US law enforcement — both the federal Justice Department and the office of the state attorney of Hillsborough County, Florida.
(Tampa, Florida, is where Gibney’s known sex crime on American soil occurred, during an Irish swim team training trip in 1991.)
TD Maureen O’Sullivan has already met with Congresswoman Jackie Speier to discuss this. In these evidently culminating circumstances of a wider investigation of abuses throughout Olympic sports programmes, there needs to be a renewed push, and Speier and other sympathetic legislators need to hear it and act on it.
Though not directly related, some wind behind the sails of the Gibney extradition campaign has emerged in the form of breaking news of the arrest of another accused serial sex abuser, Jeffrey Epstein.
The fresh reporting in my new edition of the George Gibney Chronicles ebook adds a road map for federal investigators of the last furlong of the marathon that is the Gibney hunt: important questions surrounding his role in a Colorado church group’s children’s eye clinic mission in Peru around 20 years ago.
The timeline, the participants, and the nature of these activities stand a good chance of getting pinned down via (a) Gibney’s movements as revealed by his Irish passport; (b) rosters of volunteers and other archival material likely in the hands of hitherto withholding local and regional Catholic Church officials; and (c) reaching out to Peru’s Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations.
The last chapter of the George Gibney story is at hand; it is not too late to summon the persistence and will to make it happen.