Tag Archives: George Gibney

From top: Susan Denham; Patrick Gageby; BBC Sounds/Second Captains podcast Where Is George Gibney?

Irvin Muchnick writes

It’s as good a time as any to point out, and against the popular tide, that the hyped new BBC Sounds podcast Where Is George Gibney? has yet to bring itself to share with listeners the details behind what is vaguely and passively called his “vanishing” from justice for 26 years.

To its credit, episode 4 of the podcast, which started airing today, does acknowledge the impediment of Irish defamation law.

However, the episode does not go on to mention the punches that were pulled in the media, then and in this very production, as a result.

That core element is the legal reasoning that the two-time Irish Olympic swimming coach, charged with 27 counts of sexual assault of underage victims, could not receive a fair trial due to the passage of time.

And that the Supreme Court panel which made this possible included Justice Susan Denham. later a Chief Justice, who was in “complete agreement” with this chilling decision.

AND among Gibney’s legal team before the court? Patrick Gageby, Denham’s brother.

Following the judgment, which led to a High Court judicial review which quashed all of Gibney’s charges, a number of applications on the basis of delayed complaint were made through the courts in Ireland, with Mr Gageby managing to throw out charges against at least seven alleged child rapists on these grounds.

What their father, the storied Irish Times editor Douglas Gageby, made of all this is not recorded. In fact, outside of a small court report in his old paper, the judgement was hardly noted.

Mr Gageby Jnr would later tell a legal conference in 2003 that he believed there was a ‘subversion of the presumption of innocence’ with historic sexual abuse cases.

Making him the perfect candidate, therefore, to be appointed in 2007, by your then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, to review the case of Cynthia Owen and the ‘Dalkey House of Horrors’, which, of course, concerned…historical sexual abuse.

Mr Gageby’s review of the original, deeply flawed investigation did not recommend any further action be taken. And the beat goes on.

Today, thanks to the podcast by Mark Horgan and Second Captains, news consumers can access interviews of Gibney survivors, always disclaimed upfront with alerts that children and those with weak stomachs should consider donning earmuffs to protect against the strong “adult” language and situations.

Additionally, we are privileged with exclusive rambling tease passages about stalking a septuagenarian in a Florida suburb and unnerving the neighbors.

But mumbling a word about possible institutional cronyism that has fueled and sustained sexual abuse by powerful figures in Ireland since time immemorial, and remains unchecked and unaccounted for?

Nooo. Can’t have that.

For my own 2019 ebook, repurposing and bulleting my now nearly six-year-long investigation of Gibney’s flight to America, accompanied by a report on the two-continent campaign to do something about it, I educated myself on Ireland’s unique brand of self-censorship.

The explanation given to me was that the country’s legal system simply doesn’t support what an outsider would call unfiltered investigative journalism.

Maybe even that formulation is too cagey, using verbiage that tracks the syndrome itself. The way I put it is that, in basic ways, the Irish just don’t permit themselves to tell it like it is.

Their news media not only are expected to modulate controversial conclusions; they also are prohibited from publishing fundamental facts and letting others arrive at their own conclusions.

One Irish journalist contact told me this:

“I can’t recall any publication airing the apparent conflict of interest in this case [Denham-Gageby]. I did bring it up with editors in the past and it was too sensitive an issue to run with. The point is a lot of people knew about it so what were we going to say? Obviously the answer to that is there was a conflict of interest.

But Irish law is not the same as in the USA. We have for example no First Amendment. If there was any imputation of wrongdoing on the part of a Supreme Court judge there would have been legal consequences. I did bring it up but it didn’t get past the door.

I have in recent months looked at it again and spoke to a number of legal eagles including a spokesman for the Bar Council. They agree that because of the size of the small population of Irish lawyers in the business, the collegiate nature of the law and the family connections, it was not that unusual. Gageby was regularly in the Supreme Court and the belief among legal people is that they are all above it.

I believe it is an staggeringly arrogant position to take and have trouble believing that there is no conflict of interest.

That said, yes it’s difficult to get anyone to run with it.”

Another emailed me:

“It would have been defamatory in Irish law to imply that there might have been any influence exerted by the sibling relationship between the judge and the senior counsel. It is arguable that lawyers for an accused person must have equal access to the courts. Defamation law here has been slightly relaxed [in recent years]…. Ireland’s defamation laws are draconian and censorious.”

The Irish media problem is part of the Irish cultural problem in confronting the Gibney legacy.

I’ll be continuing to follow and report on it.

Concussion.net

Previously: Irvin Muchnik on Broadsheet

From top: Where Is George Gibney? podcast promotional material;Mark Horgan; George Gibney; Irvin Muchnik

This afternoon.

Following the release earlier today of the first episode of the much-heralded podcast ‘Where Is George GIbney?’, US investigative journalist Irvin Muchnik, who has been on the trail of the swimming coach since 2015, writes:

The first of what I believe are a projected 10 episodes of the documentary series Where Is George Gibney? is now out.

In an overlong and indulgent half-hour, this production of Ireland’s Second Captains podcast, in association with the British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC Sounds, sets things up with the story of Irish swimming great Gary O’Toole feeling the scales fall from his eyes as Chalkie White, on a plane en route to the world championships in Perth, Australia, in 1990, confides Gibney’s sexual abuse of White decades earlier.

The problem here, however, is not length. The problem, rather, is head producer, writer, and narrator Mark Horgan’s penchant for self-stoked drama.

Before we hear from O’Toole and White, we get an extension of the throat-clearing hype that has marked the months-long run-up to this series. Horgan, it seems, has “found” George Gibney, who had “vanished.”

Gibney didn’t vanish.

He moved to the United States after an Irish Supreme Court panel in 1994, which included Justice Susan Denham, sister of his barrister Patrick Gageby, allowed a judicial review into the ‘fairness’ of his 27-count indictment for carnal knowledge of minors.

Seven swimmers had come forward and sworn statements to the Gardaí that Gibney had assaulted them at various times between 1967 and 1981.

However, The Supreme Court granted Mr Gibney leave to apply for a review (which quashed all charges) on the basis that his right to a fair trial might possibly have been infringed because of a delay in initiating the charges.

It was the first case (long since revised) in Ireland to recognise that a delay in making a complaint of sexual abuse could preclude a subsequent prosecution.

And Gibney got to America with one of the so-called “lottery” Donnelly diversity visa privileges of that period.

Six months ago I wrote that I would be listening for whether this highly anticipated series would bring listeners significant fresh information, or simply prove “to be applying, for the umpteenth time, broadcast production values to old information.”

Regardless, I added, I planned to tip my hat if the podcast proved to be the vehicle that finally pushed over the top justice for Gibney and accountability for his friends in high places and for swimming authorities in both Ireland and the U.S.

Let’s all hope the remaining episodes of Where Is George Gibney? do better. But in order to do better, Horgan will have to make some of his Central Casting crutches “vanish.”

Gibney is a monster, for sure. But it’s high time for storytellers to push past the tropes of monster-sketching and into analysis of the systemic pathologies of the youth programmes that serve as farm clubs for the bread-and-circuses Olympic system. It takes a village to make a monster.

Horgan’s breathless opening stakeout of Gibney, foreshadowed in Irish press pre-coverage, is juvenile. It dribbles off into the generic awe of brushing past this now pathetic old man at a store, after the Second Captains crew shadowed him on the drive there, whispering lame directives to each other like addicts of police procedurals.

The scene lacks even the payoff of a confrontation audio, similar to the scene in the 2006 television piece on RTÉ’s Prime Time, in which reporter Clare Murphy thrust a microphone in Gibney’s face in a parking lot in Calistoga, California (In 2017, Concussion Inc. unearthed a 13-minute segment; our edit of it is viewable here).

Sources in Florida tell me that Horgan and company botched their Gibney stakeout. Rejecting local advice to notify the police as to why they were parking their van overnight near the house Gibney shares with “Brother Pedro” on Breakwater Drive, the crew wound up getting called out by neighbors, who were concerned about the mystery vehicle parked on their block.

Where is George Gibney? (BBC Sounds/Second Captains)

Previously: Shallow Hype

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

From top: Where Is George Gibney by BBC/ Second Captains will be broadcast next month; Irvin Muchnik

The hype machine is cranking for the BBC/Second Captains podcast documentary series on George Gibney.

This would suggest that the series will, indeed, be dropping next month, after a postponement of the original air date with the implausible explanation that the delay was “due to the current global pandemic.”

Let’s hope the BBC Sounds podcast does a good job of telling the story of the now-climaxing US federal government investigation of Gibney’s status as a permanent resident alien — 25 years after his arrival on a mysteriously timely diversity lottery visa.

And a decade after he failed in an application for U.S. citizenship because he had lied on it about his 1993 indictment in Ireland on 27 counts of sexual abuse of youth athletes is his charge.

These instances of molestation, certified as “vindication” for Gibney’s accusers in a 1998 Irish government report, included his rape and impregnation of a 17-year-old during a 1991 training trip in Tampa, Florida, by his club, the Trojans, out of Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock, County Dublin.

This week, two BBC hype articles, one in the Irish Times and the other in the industry-captive Swimming World magazine, recycle the the Gibney saga while ignoring everything that has happened in the last five years.

Events such as the current federal investigation launched after the 2017 settlement, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, of this reporter’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for documents from Gibney’s immigration file.

Of special interest to those who want to keep current is an American swimming coaching job offer letter to Gibney, with all salient features completely redacted.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer, in ruling “(mostly) in Muchnick’s favor,” cited my reporting of suspicions that John Leonard and the American Swimming Coaches Association had “greased the wheels” for Gibney’s safe harbour here.

The first hype piece was  “Game Changers: Gary O’Toole took a stand when others turned their heads,” in Saturday’s Irish Times,. It is a typical  Gibney history boilerplate from the Irish media, with appropriate kudos to the great Gary O’Toole, a root whistleblower.

The second hype piece merits special comment: As BBC Counts Down To “Where’s George Gibney” Podcast, Efforts Of Dr. Gary O’Toole To End Abuse Are Back In Focus – Swimming World News

The author, Craig Lord, a British journalist, ran a website called SwimVortex for five years. In 2019 Lord became editor-in-chief of Swimming World.

At the time of his shutdown of SwimVortex, Lord was in the middle of a controversy over his claim that ASCA’s Leonard had shared with him documents proving his innocence of any suggestion that either he or his organization had helped agent Gibney’s transatlantic relocation. (See the four spring 2018 Concussion Inc. articles below)

It hardly needs to be added that today’s Swimming World entry by Lord makes no mention of the controversy of two years ago.

Elliptically and irrelevantly, Lord does write:

“In the course of our own research, Swimming World has had sight of letters in which the American Swimming Coaches Association alerts potential employers to Gibney’s past, as well as other exchanges in which Gibney complains, through a lawyer, to ASCA that he is being prevented from gaining work by ASCA’s interventions.”

In addition to not producing these documents or even quoting verbatim from any of them, Swimming World crucially does not clarify whether such ASCA communications came before or after Gibney’s employment as coach of the USA Swimming age-group club in Arvada, Colorado, in 1995.

Related:

What American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard Is Now Saying About ASCA and George Gibney Doesn’t Add Up,” March 9, 2018,

“John Leonard’s Mouthpiece, Craig Lord of SwimVortex, ‘Will Think About’ Sharing Purported Documents of American Swimming Coaches Association Chief’s ‘Damning Evidence’ That Supposedly Kept George Gibney From Getting Employed in Colorado,” March 22, 2018

“Craig ‘I’m a Journalist’ Lord of SwimVortex Is ‘Working On’ a Story About ‘Documents’ That Purport to Show American Swimming Coaches Association’s John Leonard Did Right in George Gibney’s U.S. Visa and Colorado Coaching Job Scenario,” March 27, 2018,

“Craig Lord Shuts Down SwimVortex — And Stays Silent Over the Mystery ‘Documents’ That He Claimed Exonerate American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard in the George Gibney Cover-Up,” May 2, 2018

Previously: George Gibney on Broadsheet

From top: Burlington Hotel; Monday’s Irish Daily Star; former Olympic swimming coaches George Gibney (left) and Ger Doyle

This afternoon.

Ger Doyle succeeded the disgraced George Gibney as national swimming coach in 1992. He would remain in that position until 2005.

In July 2012, Doyle was jailed for six-and-a-half years after a conviction on 34 counts of indecent assault against young children.

Unlike Gibney, Doyle served prison time before his ‘sudden death’ over the weekend at 59.

Investigative sports journalist irvin Muchnik , of Concussion Inc,  who has been on the trail of George Gibney for half a decade, writes:

The newspaper stories of Ger Doyle’s death do not run down Doyle’s connections to Gibney and the widespread coach sexual abuse scandals in the Irish swimming program that brought about the dissolution of the Irish Amateur Swimming Association (IASA) in 1998 and its rebranding as Swim Ireland.

Like coaching colleague Derry O’Rourke, Doyle served prison time for molesting youth swimmers.

Another leading coach and IASA official, Frank McCann, was imprisoned for the murder of his wife and their baby daughter, by means of burning down their house — his way to conceal from her knowledge of his rape and impregnation of an underage girl.

In 2016, reviewing all this history in a ruling in my favor in my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for material from Gibney’s immigration files, U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer wrote that Gibney was the one who “got away.

At the final hearing, addressing Gibney’s continued presence in this country despite a failed application for naturalized citizenship in 2010, Breyer said from the bench:

“I have to assume that if somebody has been charged with the types of offenses that Mr. Gibney has been charged with, the United States, absent other circumstances, would not grant a visa. We’re not a refuge for pedophiles.

In 2017, a woman in Ireland contacted Concussion Inc. with a previously unreported instance of allegations of sex crimes by Gibney: his molestation of her in 1982, at age 11, during a private swimming instruction at the pool of Dublin’s Burlington Hotel.

In the account of the alleged victim, “Julia,” Ger Doyle was working as the “lifeguard” at the pool and looked on.

Anglo-Irish Podcast Series on George Gibney Is Delayed Until August. And Gibney’s Sexual Abuse Accomplice, Ger Doyle, Just Died. (Concussion Inc)

Death of disgraced coach Ger Doyle (Wexford People)

Previously: George Gibney on Broadsheet.


George Gibney (left); Journalist and author Irvin Muchnik

With a major new BBC/Second Captains podcast series on George Gibney scheduled for release in May, Irvin Muchnik, who has been on the trail of the swimming coach for years, details recent developments in the US and his lengthy struggle getting even Irish media interested in Gibney.

Irvin writes:

Hobbled by George Gibney’s lack of name recognition on this side of the Atlantic, and pusillanimous by nature when it comes to tackling important sexual assault narratives until they are either the flavour of the month or have risen, in the cliché, to the level of “a dead girl or a live boy”, major American outlets have been slow to pick up on the documented reporting so far published only at my modest-circulation platforms.

The current connection to the more general and better-understood federal grand jury investigation of USA Swimming is a hook for which I remain hopeful for major coverage, though I am not unrealistically optimistic.

Definitive action on George Gibney seems to be one of those chicken-and-egg or “Alphonse-and-Gaston” processes, with multiple moving parts.

Will the Irish government ask for Gibney’s extradition before they are certain that the return answer would be ‘yes’?

Will the US government seek to deport Gibney before being issued a formal extradition request?

And perhaps equally important: In the realpolitik always factoring into such matters, will US Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MALRS) office ever flip the switch on absent pressure from a more powerful media player than myself?

In 2016, during an early stage of my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation, I was interviewed for a segment on Fox News called Sports Court. You can view the clip, “Gov’t hiding immigration docs on accused pedophile,” here.

Ironically, the interviewer and producer of Sports Court, Tamara Holder, herself would resign from Fox News late that year as part of a multimillion-dollar settlement of a claim that she was sexually harassed and assaulted by an executive.

Holder thus became part of the real-life narrative of the current movie Bombshell, which is mostly about Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, two higher-profile ex-Fox News personalities.

Later in 2016, with the help of a friend of mine who was a San Francisco Chronicle columnist, the newspaper’s long-time federal courts reporter, Bob Egelko, was enlisted to write about Judge Breyer’s FOIA ruling.

And that’s it for American media on George Gibney.

Heinous scandals with long tails — whether they’re Jeffrey Epstein or Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein or George Gibney — are always festivals of missed opportunities.

In 2014 Chuck Wielgus, the chief executive of USA Swimming, withdrew from his scheduled induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in response to a petition campaign by abuse victims who raised the public consciousness of his two-decade role in covering up their cases — and in at least one of them, committing unindicted perjury.

At the time, George Diaz, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, bragged to me that his column opining “Why does this man still have a job?” was “one of the five entries that got me a Top 10 acknowledgment by Associated Press Sports Editors as one of the top columnists in the country.”

I found this a strange boast, insofar as (a) on the front end, Diaz had not been responsible for exposing Wielgus’s administration and lies, and (b) on the back end, in any case, Wielgus would remain in his million-dollar-a-year post until he died in 2017. One of the top ten yapping jackals of a fortnight’s media scrum? For sure. Hands down.

But the reason I bring this up is something else: The Orlando Sentinel was George Gibney’s now-home market, and for years I importuned Diaz to jump into the pool on this story, which looked to be right in his wheelhouse. (He did columns mentioning his adoption of a foster child and he advocated for that population.) Yet nothing ever happened.

In November 2014, Diaz told me he had been out sick for three weeks.

In February 2015, Diaz said he was tied up with coverage of the Daytona 500 motor race, but he promised to put Gibney “on the radar screen ASAP”.

In August 2015, Diaz wrote to me, “I have to be honest, I really have been meaning to get to this, but so slammed…”

June 2017: “I will be in touch with editors today. Trust me the issue is not lack of interest…it’s lack of manpower and time…given all the cutbacks that have faced newspapers through the years it’s simply a matter of Last Man (or Woman) standing.”

April 2018: Diaz was downsized out of his column at the Sentinel.

November 2018: The Orlando Sentinel laid off George Diaz.

Then we have the tale of Outside magazine. In early 2018, in the wake of the FOIA settlement with the government and the then-exploding scandal of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, I was approached by an old college friend who is the No. 2 editor at Outside.

He suggested that I write the definitive George Gibney feature article for his publication. “Let’s go win a National Magazine Award,” he said. This editor told me he had served as a panelist for the award in the past. Again — the solicitation was from him to me, not the other way around.

Over the course of three months, and with the editor’s guidance, I wrote, then rewrote, then re-rewrote, a story pitch. It was a verbal beatdown of little journalistic acuity. But it did have all trappings of a Hollywood scenarist vying for studio funding.

At long last, my friend the No. 2 editor came back with definitive word from his boss, the No. 1 editor: Outside would be thrilled to have me write a few hundred words about this little brouhaha for the magazine’s website. Then, perhaps, somewhere down the road, a print feature when … when … when …

Saying anything further about all this would be redundant and petulant. The Gibney story is not about me.

Irish media

Irish media counterparts have been a different kettle of fish. They know who George Gibney is, of course, and they episodically obsess over how he was “the one who got away,” while other prominent Irish swimming coaches of his generation went to prison for less (Derry O’Rourke, Ger Doyle), and one for perhaps more (Frank McCann — he murdered his wife and their baby daughter, by burning down their house with them in it, to prevent them from learning that he had raped and impregnated one of his young swimmers).

The Irish media are also hamstrung by the lack of a First Amendment and an accompanying tradition of chilling defamation laws.

And like the public at large, they are often uniquely fatigued and paralysed by the agonizing unspooling of the historical legacies of sexual abuses at many institutions — especially but not only the Catholic Church.

Continue reading

BBC Sounds; former Irish swimming coach George Gibney; tweet from Second Captains

Yesterday.

It was announced that BBC Sounds will soon be hosting a new podcast series called Where Is George Gibney? by Second Captains producer Mark Horgan.

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.

BBC Sounds launches 20 new podcasts and music programmes (BBC)

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

Bringing Gibney To Book

The Irvin Files

Mr Muchnick Goes To Dublin

From top: Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney; journalist Irvin Muchnick 

In America, groups of citizens can be brought together to work as grand juries which investigate potential criminal conduct and decide whether criminal charges should be brought.

They make this determination after obtaining and reviewing documents and other evidence, and perhaps hearing sworn testimonies of witnesses.

US journalist Irvin Muchnick reports that a grand jury is currently investigating USA Swimming in New York and, within that, questions are being asked about former Irish swimming coach George Gibney.

Mr Muchnick writes:

“The year began with what my ebook on the hunt for George Gibney called an “educated prediction” that “2019 will be the year of reckoning” for the former Irish Olympic swimming coach.

Gibney remains harboured in my country, the United States, a quarter of a century after he skated prosecution on 27 counts of child sexual abuse thanks to a controversial technical ruling by the Irish Supreme Court, and more than 20 years after the Irish government’s Murphy Inquiry “vindicated” his accusers.

In a legal Catch-22 laid bare by a federal judge’s 2016 ruling in my favor in a Freedom of Information Act case for Gibney’s American immigration records, his 2010 citizenship application got rejected.

(The applicant was probably making a panicked effort to shut down, once and for all, efforts to extradite and try him for his crimes, including one committed on US soil in 1991.)

At the same time, however, the government decided that Gibney was “not removable,” and his permanent resident alien status was kept intact. The reason given was that he has not been convicted of a crime.

Well, 2019 is drawing to a close and Gibney is still here. But my holiday message to Irish friends is that something important still seems to be happening with him, and soon.

Last week one of my sources, who is close to a secret grand jury investigation in New York whose non-Gibney aspects have been voluminously reported by the Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers, told me that additional persons recently testified to the grand jury regarding Gibney.

This is where I need to explain, yet again, what is and is not driving the US investigation of Gibney.

Not appearing to drive the investigation is any particular moral imperative to bring to justice a person I call the most notorious at-large sex criminal in the history of global sport.

What is happening, rather, is what I call the “chum in the water” model for getting Gibney. This lacks some of the focus and clarity desired by advocates for Gibney’s likely scores of victims.

But the good news is that it could bring about the same desired and long-overdue outcome.

The main task of the grand jury is handing down indictments for sexual abuse cover-ups at USA Swimming – and perhaps more important, insurance fraud, some of it involving the organisation’s now-defunct reinsurance subsidiary, the Barbados-based “United States Sports Insurance Company.”

For, you see, money dictates the priorities of the legal system, along with just about everything else.

The backdrop is the embarrassment of the federal authorities two years ago, when they were exposed as having been asleep at the switch in the scandals surrounding Larry Nassar, the pervert doctor of USA Gymnastics.

The current grand jury now is probing parallel cover-ups at USA Swimming, the grist of which has long been in the pipeline of multiple Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices.

Simultaneous with this is a development spurred by various news headlines and this #MeToo moment: 15 of the 50 individual states have relaxed statute of limitations standards.

Associated Press reporting found that, for the Catholic Church, resulting new litigation “could surpass anything the nation’s clergy sexual abuse crisis has seen before, with potentially more than 5,000 new cases and payouts topping $4 billion.”

Gibney is one of several real and live offshoots of the grand jury investigation of swimming.

As I reported in July with the publication of an updated edition of my Gibney ebook, these investigators are not examining just the ambiguities in his old immigration paperwork.

They are looking at his work as chair of a children’s medical mission in Peru in the late 1990’s, sponsored by a Catholic parish in Colorado — the first of several states of his US odyssey.

I have further reported that the church mission may be connected to the expansion into the US of a right-wing Peruvian sect called Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (“Fellowship of Christian Life”). The Sodalitium’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari, lives in seclusion in Rome, and today is disavowed by the group, following the separate publications of its own independent investigation and of a book by two Peruvian journalists, which document horrifying allegations of widespread sexual abuse and kidnapping.

Last month the US attorney in New York, Geoffrey Berman, who is directing the grand jury, declined to comment on my reporting – first to an Irish media outlet and then to me.

But note that Berman didn’t deny the accuracy of my reporting, either.

My own query to the US attorney had included the name of the co-coordinator of that office’s work on human trafficking, who is said to be spearheading the Gibney aspect of the grand jury probe.

At this point, unfortunately, only the Off the Ball podcast and the Irish Sun have chosen to ramp up my newest Gibney findings.

The Irish Times and the Times of London, which seem most interested in recycling their greatest hits of two decades ago, have not.

But just because many major news media, in America as well as in Ireland, are too cautious to risk reinforcing the reporting of a lone freelance journalist does not invalidate its truthfulness and thoroughness.

So to those who remain hopeful, I say: Hang in there. And Happy Holidays.”

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

Unreasonable Delay

Irvin Muchnick on Broadsheet

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney; journalist Irvin Muchnick 

In July.

American sportswriter and journalist Irvin Muchnick gave an interview to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One, following the publication of the second eBook edition of his book about former Irish swimming coach George Gibney.

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.

During his radio interview, Mr Muchnick told Mr O’Rourke that there were federal investigations of racketeering and insurance fraud involving USA Swimming taking place.

Asked how such investigations may “turn up the heat” on Gibney, Mr Muchnick said:

“I know that there are federal agents who are involved in these swimming investigations who are taking a specific look at George Gibney right now.”

Further to this…

Last week.

Journalist Rebecca Davis-O’Brien, in The Wall Street Journal, reported:

“Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating USA Swimming, including allegations that the organization stifled athlete sexual-abuse claims, concealed its assets and improperly reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in rebates from its in-house insurance company, people familiar with the matter said.

“Over the past year, a federal grand jury in Manhattan has heard evidence in the investigation, which is being led by the Manhattan US Attorney’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

It followed an article last month concerning the same investigation by Scott Reid in the Orange County Register.

Federal grand juries are used in some US states to decide whether probable cause exists to support criminal charges against a suspect.

Grand jury deliberations are carried out in secret.

USA Swimming Faces Probe Into Sex-Abuse Claims, Business Practices (The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2019)

Related: Gymnastics Federation’s Payments to a Linked Foundation Is Under Scrutiny (The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2019) 

Wall Street Journal Bombshell: Federal Grand Jury and FBI Are Investigating USA Swimming Sexual Abuse — Including Concealed Assets and Irregularities With In-House Insurance Company (Irvin Muchnick, Concussion.net)

Previously: On Gibney’s Trail

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.

Irvin writes:

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.”)

Continue reading

 Irvin Muchnik with Maureen Sullivan TD at Leinster House this morning

This morning.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

Dogged, relentless American sportswriter and investigative journalist Irvin Muchnik is in Dublin until Sunday to meet people involved in efforts to bring fugitive swimming coach George Gibney to justice, including Maurren O’Sullivan TD and Dr Gary O’Toole.

Irvin writes:

My message is simple: If the goal is to nail, at long last, this disgraced Irish Olympic swim coach who has been hiding in plain sight in my country for a quarter of a century, then all the tools are in place.

Previously we’ve noted that politicians on both sides of the Atlantic must push for direct and formal information-sharing between Ireland’s Garda and U.S. law enforcement — both the federal Justice Department and the office of the state attorney of Hillsborough County, Florida. (Tampa is where Gibney’s known sex crime on American soil occurred, during an Irish swim team training trip in 1991.)

Last year Maurren O’Sullivan met in Washington, D.C., with Congresswoman Jackie Speier, the American politician who is associated with the #MeToo movement and is the unofficial House Democratic majority monitor of youth sports coach abuse issues.

In the current, and evidently culminating, circumstance of a wider investigation of abuses throughout Olympic sports programs, we need a renewed initiative with specific tactics. And Speier and other sympathetic legislators have to heed it and act on it.

Though not directly related, some wind under 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 final furlong of this marathon: important questions surrounding his role in a Colorado church group’s children’s eye clinic mission in Peru around 20 years ago.

To the Emerald Isle For the Gibney Project (ConcussionInc)

Tuesday: Irv In Ireland