From top: Irvin Muchnik with Independent TD Maureen O’uullivan; Croke Park; Spice Bag. All pics: Irvin Muchnick
On the trail of George Gibney, American sportswriter and investigative journalist Irvin Muchnick visited Dublin recently.
The ostensible purpose of my visit to Dublin was promotion of the second edition of my ebook The George Gibney Chronicles: What the Hunt For the Most Notorious At-Large Sex Criminal in the History of Global Sports Has Told Us About the Sports Establishments and Governments on Two Continents.
Two Broadsheet worthies share my belief that this is a story worth continuing to tell, more and better: Olga Cronin (who has been vetting new Gibney factoids for a number of years) and John Ryan (this quirky website’s somewhat Oz-like majordomo but in a good way!).
This is an account of how things turned out for me in Ireland on the extradition campaign front — and several others. Obviously, I didn’t accomplish the immediate transport of Gibney in handcuffs.
But I was able to experience one of the world’s great cities and meet the coolest people.
For those of you just tuning in, Gibney is merely the former two-time Irish Olympic swimming head coach who fled here in the mid-1990s after a dodgy technical Supreme Court decision quashed what were then the 27 most rigorous charges assembled against him, out of a body of more instances of child molestation and rape than we’ll ever know.
Agreeing in 2016, in my Freedom of Information Act case against the Department of Homeland Security, to open up at least some of the Gibney immigration files I was seeking to daylight, a distinguished senior federal judge, Charles R. Breyer, reviewed the dual paradoxical upshot of Gibney’s 2010 application for naturalized citizenship.
Number one, that application failed because he lied on it in response to the material question of whether he had ever been criminally indicted in his native country.
Number two, the federal immigration bureaucracy decided, nonetheless, that he was not a candidate for removal from the country.
In his published opinion, which remains in the law books in the wake of my 2017 settlement at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Breyer asked why? “We’re not a haven for pedophiles,” he observed.
Maureen O’Sullivan, the Dublin Central district’s independent representative in the Dáil, promptly pressed Simon Coveney, tánaiste and foreign minister.
The government “will act” on the new Gibney information “if we can,” Coveney said on the floor of the Dáil.
More than a year and a half later, these Socratic maieutics remain aspirational during the pendency of what I am reliably told is yet another run at examining Gibney’s p’s and q’s — an exercise that also resumes the on-again, off-again exploration of whether Ireland’s director of public prosecutions has any game left.
Some of us insist that where there’s a way, there should be a will. The scholarship of the 1994 Irish Supreme Court statute of limitations ruling in the Gibney matter — partially determined, with classic cronyism, by a justice whose brother argued the case before the judicial panel — has frayed.
And new information has emerged on the old cases. And new cases have emerged.
And lest we forget, one of the most heinous allegations against Gibney, his rape and impregnation of one of his teen swimmers, occurred in 1991 in Tampa, pointing to the direct jurisdictional interest of not only the U.S. Department of Justice, but the state attorney of Hillsborough County, Florida, as well.
(Citing the Irish government’s too-little-too-late 1998 Murphy Commission report, which passively voiced the finding that Gibney’s accusers “were vindicated” by the evidence accumulated against Gibney by An Garda Síochána, the national police, I decline the conventional and cant adverb “allegedly.”)