Tag Archives: Irvin Muchnick

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney; and US journalist Irvin Muchnik

Over the Christmas break, American journalist Irvin Muchnick published a series of articles in which he reviewed his coverage of 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 April, 1993 – but sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

Gibney subsequently left Ireland, first for Scotland, and then America where he remains today.

During the Christmas break, Mr Muchnick posted four articles on December 27, December 29, December 30 and December 31.

At the outset of this series, Mr Muchnick explained the timing of the articles, saying:

Well-placed sources on both sides of the Atlantic are telling me that there is, at long last, real behind-the-scenes movement.

Whatever might be happening in Ireland is important enough; I’m told I’ll have reportable details soon. But what would be the real game-changer is happening in the US, where there is a quiet and overdue revisit of Gibney’s permanent alien residency privileges.

Mysteriously, the smooth sailing of Gibney’s green card has persisted since the mid-1990s. Most perversely, his status has remained undisturbed even since 2010, the year his application for naturalized citizenship got rejected on the grounds of his concealment of his 1993 indictment in Ireland on 27 counts of indecent carnal knowledge of minors.”

Further to this…

Last night, Mr Muchnick reported:

I have learned that the Department of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump is poised make some kind of move that the US authorities have ducked for decades.”

Mr Muchnick has not specifically reported what this “move” may be.

But he has recalled a number of matters which may be considered, namely:

Gibney lying in his 2010 US citizen application by not disclosing he had been previously charged in Ireland but this having no evident consequences for his green card residence status.

Gibney’s alleged rape and, as a consequence, impregnation of a then 17-year-old Irish girl in Tampa, Florida, during a training trip, and how the office of the state attorney of Hillsborough County, Florida Andrew H Warren told Mr Muchnick a prosecution of a rape committed in 1991 would not necessarily be barred by the statute of limitations.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan’s work with US Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Ms Speier telling Ms O’Sullivan that she would raise the citizen application issue with the House Judiciary Committee.

And the US Center for SafeSport’s investigation of Gibney – after a complaint was made to the entity by Ms O’Sullivan in relation to the Tampa rape allegation and Gibney’s time as a coach at USA Swimming-sanctioned North Jeffco swim club in the Denver suburb of Arvada, Colorado, after he arrived in the US.

Read in full here: George Gibney 2019: Identifying Where Irish and Americans — Law Enforcement Agencies, Government and Other Officials — Need to Interact (ConcussionInc.net)

Previously: George Gibney on Broadsheet

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan; George Gibney; and journalist Irvin Muchnick

This week.

Further to Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan writing to Shellie Pfohl – head of the new US Center for SafeSport – to formally request an investigation into former Irish swimming coach George Gibney….

US journalist Irvin Muchnick, of Concussion Inc., reports that the US Center for SafeSport has opened an investigation into Gibney.

Mr Muchnick writes:

The SafeSport Center’s investigation begins as O’Sullivan engages with American politicians closely identified with the youth sports coach abuse issue in this country — principally Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California.

This development also coincides with Congressional hearings this week in which Tim Hinchey, CEO of USA Swimming, and other national sport governing body heads and Olympic officials are being called on the carpet after the scandal of Larry Nassar, the prolific molester doctor of USA Gymnastics, raised the problem to its highest profile yet.

In a May 7 letter to O’Sullivan, the SafeSport Center’s Jocelyn Shafer confirmed that it was undertaking the investigation that had been requested …Shafer said the investigation was being overseen Malia Arrington, the center’s chief operating officer under CEO Shellie Pfohl.

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993.

He sought and won a controversial High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

After this, he left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then the US.

Gibney was 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.

In March 2015, it was reported that police in Colorado, America, investigated a complaint of sexual assault made by a young swimmer against Gibney in October 1995 – a year after the sexual abuse and rape charges against him were dropped in Ireland.

At the time of the complaint, Gibney was working as a coach in the North Jeffco Parks and Recreation District.

The Arvada Police Department in Colorado couldn’t establish if any crime had been committed.

US journalist Irvin Muchnick, of Concussion Inc, has previously reported that the police officer who investigated the complaint made in North Jeffco was the mother of a swimmer at North Jeffco.

Attempts by Mr Muchnick to obtain the 1995 Arvada police report have been unsuccessful as the local government has refused to release it.

Meanwhile…

Mr Muchnick further reports that this week, in an email answering some of the first questions posed by US Center for SafeSport, Ms O’Sullivan has written:

“He [Gibney] has been in the US since the mid to late 90’s; we know he coached in Arvada, Colorado. We know he was a board member of a programme for youth at risk and was chair of a church’s eye clinic mission in Peru.

“We know our police expressed concerns to US authorities in ’95, ’98 and 2001.

“We also know that he applied for US citizenship in 2010 but this was rejected because he had lied on his application [as shown by investigative journalist Irvin Muchnick’s FOIA case with Judge Charles R. Breyer in U.S. District Court in California].

“While my country has a lot of questions to answer we believe so has the US.

Who facilitated him into the US in the first place; what type of visa did he have; how was he offered employment in the US; why is he allowed continued residency in the US particularly as his application for citizenship was denied. Did the American Swimming Coaches Association assist him in re-locating to the US?”

US Center for Safesport opens investigation of rapist Irish Olympic swim coach George Gibney – has lived in the US since the mid-1990s (Irvin Muchnick, Concussion Inc)

Previously: ‘Gibney’s Victims Have Been Waiting A Very Long Time’

From top (left to right): Head of the new US Center for SafeSport Shellie Pfohl; Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan; George Gibney; and journalist Irvin Muchnick

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993.

He sought and won a controversial High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

After this, he left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then the US.

Gibney was 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.

Readers may also recall how, in March 2015, it was reported that police in Colorado, America, investigated a complaint of sexual assault made by a young swimmer against Gibney in October 1995 – a year after the sexual abuse and rape charges against him were dropped in Ireland.

At the time of the complaint, Gibney was working as a coach in the North Jeffco Parks and Recreation District.

The Arvada Police Department in Colorado couldn’t establish if any crime had been committed.

Last month, US journalist Irvin Muchnick, of Concussion Inc, reported that the police officer who investigated the complaint made in North Jeffco was the mother of a swimmer at North Jeffco.

Further to this…

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan has written to Shellie Pfohl, head of the new US Center for SafeSport, formally requesting an investigation of George Gibney.

Mr Muchnick reports:

The center had told this reporter that it would undertake, at minimum, a preliminary investigation on the basis of third-party reports. Lawyers who work in the abuse field had advised that O’Sullivan was best situated to initiate the process.

“In her letter request to Pfohl, O’Sullivan cited two known incidents on American soil involving Gibney, the former Irish Olympic swimming head coach who fled to this country after being charged with 27 counts of indecent carnal knowledge of youth athletes in his charge.

“The first incident was his alleged rape and impregnation of a 17-year-old Irish swimmer during a training trip in Tampa, Florida, in 1991, when he still resided in Ireland.

The second incident is a somewhat less clearly understood act of alleged sexual misconduct in 1995, when Gibney was a coach for the USA Swimming member team North Jeffco in Arvada, Colorado, and presumably was himself a USA Swimming member.

“In the course of an Arvada police investigation of that incident, which might have been spurred at least in part by a complaint about the incident itself as well as information about his Irish past, Gibney was separated from the North Jeffco club and, apparently, did not coach again.

“However, he remains a resident alien in the US to this day, even though his 2010 application for citizenship appears to have been rejected on the grounds that he lied on it about past criminal charges in Ireland.

“Concussion Inc. has sought unsuccessfully for access to the 1995 Arvada police report from the department and the city manager.

“On April 12, a prominent First Amendment attorney in San Francisco, Karl Olson, of Cannata O’Toole Fickes Almazan, sent on our behalf a request for reconsideration of their denial to Mayor Marc Williams.

“Olson argued that the city has the discretion to release the material under the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, and urged it to do so in light of the passage of time, the fact that there was no criminal complaint or charge against Gibney and the matter is closed, and the narrative is of great public interest in the current Irish-American campaign on behalf of Gibney’s numerous victims.

“Arvada has acknowledged receiving the Olson letter and promised a response.

In Irish legislator O’Sullivan’s other new move, she has confirmed that she also wrote on April 12 for the assistance of Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado’s First District.

“DeGette, the Democrats’ chief deputy whip, is ranking minority member of the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the handling of the abuse issue by USA Swimming and other US Olympic Committee national sport governing bodies.

O’Sullivan had appealed previously to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, chief sponsor of the Safe Sport Act of 2018, and Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, a leading voice of the “#MeToo movement” and the Democrats’ unofficial House of Representatives watchdog on the youth sports abuse problem. Speier referred the Gibney matter to the House Judiciary Committee.

“O’Sullivan’s letter to DeGette states in part: “I know there is tremendous work going on in the US in relation to uncovering the abuse of young people by their sports’ coaches and it is in that light that I am contacting you, hoping that this case of George Gibney be examined, especially due to your work with the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating USA swimming.” Gibney’s victims, O’Sullivan added, “have been waiting a very long time.”

Irish Politician Maureen O’Sullivan Files For U.S. Center For SafeSport Investigation of George Gibney and Seeks Support of Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado

Previously: George Gibney on Broadsheet

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney; Arvada police badge, Colorado

 

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993.

He sought and won a controversial High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

After this, he left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then the US.

Gibney was 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.

Readers may also recall how, in March 2015, it was reported that police in Colorado, America, investigated a complaint of sexual assault made by a young swimmer against Gibney in October 1995 – a year after the sexual abuse and rape charges against him were dropped in Ireland.

At the time of the complaint, Gibney was working as a coach in the North Jeffco Parks & Recreation District.

The Arvada Police Department in Colorado couldn’t establish if any crime had been committed.

However…

Further to this…

Irvin Muchnick, on his website Concussion Inc, reports that the police officer who investigated the complaint made in North Jeffco was the mother of a swimmer at North Jeffco.

Mr Muchnick writes:

Sources in both Ireland and the United States have told Concussion Inc. that the Arvada (Colorado) police sergeant who investigated George Gibney in 1995 — after the police learned of Gibney’s allegations of sexual abuse in Ireland and of a possible incident of Gibney’s sexual misconduct at the North Jeffco swim club in this Denver suburb — herself was the mother of a swimmer at USA Swimming’s North Jeffco program.

The news that Sergeant Jo Ann Rzeppa either didn’t disclose this seeming conflict, or was assigned to carry out her assignment to conduct an investigation at North Jeffco in full knowledge by the department of her connection to it, casts in a new light an ultimate police report that was already shrouded in mystery and apparent shortcomings.

Questions surrounding the actions or inactions of the Arvada police add to the body of information of how Gibney, whom we’ve described as the most notorious at-large sex criminal in the history of global sports, not only managed to gain entry to the US via a 1992 visa, but also has remained in this country ever since — thanks in large part to curious official decisions that have had the clear effect of protecting him from on ongoing campaign to seek his extradition and trial on dozens of both old and newly emerging allegations of molestation and rape.

Asked for comment on the information about now-retired Sergeant Rzeppa, a spokesperson for Arvada acting police chief Edward Brady told Concussion Inc. late Monday that the department will respond “once we have completed our research…. We will get back to you as soon as we are able.”

In 2015, before I knew that Rzeppa was possibly conflicted in investigating a complaint at North Jeffco and shortly after she retired from the police force, I had attempted unsuccessfully to contact her via Facebook. Today I could not get through to Rzeppa via what I believe is a good phone number for her in the greater Denver area.

Three years ago the Arvada police refused our request to release Rzeppa’s report on Gibney, with the claim that reports of child sexual abuse are exempt from Colorado’s public records law.

The summary provided by the police said Gibney “was suspected of possibly pinching (or snapping the swimsuit of) a North Jeffco swimmer. The APD investigated this allegation, but was unable to establish that a crime had occurred. Shortly thereafter, the APD learned that Mr. Gibney was no longer employed by North Jeffco. The APD had no other involvement in this matter.”

In light of the new information, and because the bulk of the report actually seemed to be an investigation of a tip about Gibney’s Irish past, and because references to any specific alleged victim could be readily redacted, I have asked Chief Brady to reconsider the records office’s 2015 decision not to release the full report.

Even without questions of a conflict of interest on the part of the investigating officer, the outcome of the 1995 Arvada investigation was alone enough to cast doubt on whether the local police and the swimming community leadership had taken any public safety initiative beyond simply reinforcing Gibney’s separation from the North Jeffco team.

Gibney would remain in the Denver area for an additional five years; his activities through that period included ones granting him close access to children. They included serving on the board of directors of a state government-subsidized program for at-risk youth, and chairing a local Catholic church’s eye clinic mission to Peru.

The only reason Sergeant Rzeppa’s name even surfaced in connection with the 1995 Arvada investigation is that she was named — as a fellow officer who was consulted for background — in a second police report on Gibney, in 2000, in the neighboring suburb of Wheat Ridge.

Perhaps the most emphatic indictment of the Arvada police’s passivity and the possible motivations behind it, however, would come six years later, after an investigative team for Prime Time, a program on the Irish television network RTÉ, tracked Gibney to Calistoga, California, and interviewed John R. Robertson, operations chief for the Napa County sheriff’s office.

Robertson (who is now the county sheriff) told Prime Time’s Clare Murphy that Gibney’s presence in the community “isn’t something we take lightly in the state of California or especially in the county of Napa.” Robertson added that the sheriff was adamant about “wanting to track these people” and share “information with the surrounding agencies.”

The conclusion of the Arvada report summary, “No further action was taken,” leaves open whether even perfunctory tracking of Gibney and sharing of information with local Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices ever happened in Colorado.

The findings in the settlement last December of my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for Gibney’s immigration records included multiple references in the government’s production to the existence of law enforcement records in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services file of more than 100 pages.

This entire sequence of events was set up by Gibney’s original 1994 hire at North Jeffco — two years after Gibney submitted an American coaching job offer letter with his successful application under a diversity lottery visa program of the period known as the “Donnelly visa.” The program had large set-asides for applications from Ireland.

Though the details of the job offer remained redacted under my FOIA settlement, U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer’s 2016 decision “(mostly) in Muchnick’s favor” fueled what the judge called my suspicion that “the American Swimming Coaches Association greased the wheels for Gibney’s relocation.”

…In the wake of the FOIA disclosures, Irish legislator [Independent TD] Maureen O’Sullivan has redoubled a campaign to get the cooperation of American politicians in seeking the sharing of information between Irish and American law enforcement agencies, and reconsideration of Gibney’s resident alien status in the U.S. Last week O’Sullivan told Concussion Inc. that she would be announcing new moves in the near future.

Colorado Cop Who Investigated George Gibney in 1995 Was the Mother of a Swimmer in His North Jeffco Program: Sources (Irvin Muchnick, Concussion. Inc)

Previously: George Gibney On Broadsheet

From top: Frank McCann walking outside Arbour Hill Prison, Dublin 7 last July (via Independent.ie) and George Gibney

Today.

Further to a report in the Irish Independent last Friday that former Irish swimming coach Frank McCann – who murdered his wife Esther and McCann’s sister Jeanette’s baby Jessica by setting fire to their family home in Rathfarnham in 1992 – is due for release…

US journalist Irvin Muchnick writes…

In 1992 Irish swimming coach Frank McCann burned down his house. It was his fourth, and this time successful, attempt to kill his wife Esther and their 18-month-old daughter Jessica. McCann chose multiple murder over disclosing that he had fathered a child by one of his swimmers, who was 17.

McCann is back in the news because, after two decades of incarceration for his crime, he has begun pre-release vocational training and supervised time out from Arbour Hill Prison. The Irish Independent reports that Esther McCann’s sister is fearful for the safety of the rest of the family. See here

In his 2016 decision in my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for George Gibney’s American immigration records, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer recounts the sordid history of sexual abuse in Irish swimming. This includes the stories of McCann and Derry O’Rourke; the latter pleaded guilty to 29 criminal counts of abuse in 1998.

“George Gibney,” Breyer wrote, “got away.” In my recent settlement of the FOIA case at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the American government conceded that Immigration and Customs Enforcement supplied a memorandum in 2010 stating that Gibney could not be removed from the country even though he had lied in his citizenship application that year about his own 27-count indictment in Ireland in 1993 for illicit sexual relations with minors.

The Gibney-McCann connection gets worse.

As president of the Leinster Branch of the Irish Amateur Swimming Association, McCann was told of Gibney’s abuse of Chalkie White, by White. Later another coach, Carol Walsh, brought the same information to McCann.

According to the news site Broadsheet.ie, Walsh said McCann told Walsh to back off.

McCann also said “he hoped to fuck [the Gibney story] wouldn’t break while he was president.”

Family in Ireland Fears Prison Release of Swim Coach Frank McCann — Who Murdered His Wife and Daughter and Is Also a Figure in the George Gibney Cover-Up (Irvin Muchnick)

‘If my sister’s killer is released, I’ll have to look over my shoulder’ – Man who murdered wife and child due for release (Irish Independent)

Pictured: Double murderer serving life for killing wife and daughter gets a taste of freedom with new prison job (Irish Independent)

Previously: Unreasonable Delay

Irvin Muchnick on Broadsheet

From top: A woman who alleges she was raped by former Irish swimming coach George Gibney in Florida in 1991 when she was 17; Gibney; a certificate of character signed by An Garda Siochana for Gibney’s US visa application in 1992; and documents from his visa file

Readers will recall the former Irish swimming coach George Gibney who is currently living in the US – despite him failing to secure US citizenship in 2010 after his application seemingly concealed how he had been previously charged in 1993 in Ireland.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993, in Ireland.

But he sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The judicial review was secured after a Supreme Court decision, during which Gibney’s senior counsel Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

Mr Gageby’s sister, future Chief Justice Susan Denham, was on the bench of the Supreme Court that day.

Gibney subsequently left Ireland, first for Scotland and then America.

Readers will recall the exhaustive efforts of US journalist Irvin Muchnick to obtain documents pertaining to Gibney’s US visa file.

After a settlement, heavily redacted documents pertaining to this file were released to US journalist Irvin Muchnick just before Christmas and show Gibney was granted a four-month visa during a visit to the United States in 1992.

This visa application was supported by a Garda character reference issued in January 1992 (see above) – a year after people who had been abused by him started to speak up and organise themselves.

On foot of these documents, on December 17 last, Sunday Times journalist Justine McCarthy reported how, in February 1991, European silver medallist swimmer Gary O’Toole – who was told in December 1990 by fellow swimmer Chalkie White that Gibney abused him in – told Gibney he was quitting Gibney’s elite team and when Gibney asked why, Mr O’Toole said: “I think you know why.”

Others had also spoken up before his Garda character reference was issued.

In January, 1991, while in Australia, Mr White told the honorary medical officer of both the Irish Amateur Swimming Association and the Leinster Branch of the IASA, Moira O’Brien, that he had been abused by Gibney.

White would later tell the Murphy Inquiry – set up to look at abuse in swimming (more below) – that Ms O’Brien told him it would be his word against Gibney and that he should ‘get on with it’.

Ms O’Brien would later tell the inquiry that Mr White was ‘confused’ and ’emotionally unstable as a result of a head injury’ and that he didn’t want her to report the matter. She would also later say a ‘doctor-patient relationship’ existed and that Mr White didn’t want his complaint to be reported.

In addition, in February 1991, Mr White told the then President of the Leinster Branch of the IASA, Frank McCann about Gibney’s abuse and McCann said he’d deal with it.

McCann, who also abused child swimmers, was later found guilty of murdering his wife and niece, in an attempt to cover up for his abuse in 1996.

According to the Murphy Inquiry a parent from a club other than Trojan Swimming Club, where Gibney coached, was told by an assistant coach of Trojan in November 1991 that the gardai and the ISPCC were informed of the allegations in relation to Gibney.

However, later, the ISPCC said it had no record of any such complaint in 1991 or in 1992. The Murphy Report states the first record on the Garda file is dated December 15, 1992.

In addition to Garda character reference and the 1992 US visa, the documents obtained by Mr Muchnick also show that Gibney’s application for US citizenship in 2010 was denied.

During the process of obtaining the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, during a court hearing about the matter, senior federal judge for the Northern District of California, Judge Charles Breyer pondered:

How is a person permitted to remain in the United States when, in fact, the circumstances of the Ireland experience or what occurred in Ireland are publicly known? That’s number one.

And number two, if, and I would use the word ‘if,’ he gave false answers in connection with an application, how is it that that somehow doesn’t bring into question the term of his initial visa permit or his initial visa?”

In February 1998, Justice Roderick Murphy was appointed by the then Sports Minister Jim McDaid to investigate abuse in swimming.

At the time, Dr Murphy was deeply involved in swimming as he was a member of Glenalbyn Swimming Club, an affiliate of the then IASA (Irish Amateur Swimming Association) – and a part of the Leinster Branch of the IASA.

The Murphy Report, readers will recall, also recounted the experience of a 17-year-old girl who was raped in Tampa, Florida by Gibney.

The report said:

Another witness alleged that she was indecently assaulted on a club trip to Holland in 1990 and raped in Florida in June 1991 by the first named coach [Gibney].

The woman who was raped would later feature in an RTE Prime Time investigation into Gibney in 2006, and recount what happened in Florida.

Footage of this has since been obtained by Mr Muchnick and posted on YouTube.

Readers may also wish to recall that, in 2015, Ms McCarthy, in the Sunday Times, reported:

“A former swimmer has told gardai that a high-ranking official in the sport took her to England for an abortion after George Gibney, the national coach, raped her in 1991.

The woman has told officers conducting a review of the Gibney case that the official warned her not to tell anybody about the abortion.

She said Gibney raped her in a Florida hotel room during a training camp when she was 17. She discovered three months later that she was pregnant and she told the official, who is a professional person and knew Gibney.

She said the official obtained air travel tickets and accompanied her to England. She believes she was taken to an abortion clinic in London and remembers the official giving her pills that made her groggy during the trip.”

Further to the documents obtained by Mr Muchnick, and Ms McCarthy’s 2015 report, the US journalist reported on his  website Concussion Inc on December 22:

In the case of the 1991 Tampa rape, the evidence reportedly includes the victim’s affidavit to Irish police… The 2006 television interview, in which the victim, who is not identified and whose face is obscured, also includes details of the alleged attack.”

“The next question — one that needs to be addressed by public officials in both countries — is how to make sure the Florida prosecutor acquires the affidavit. The state attorney’s Frazier said, “Receiving documents or evidence from another country would likely involve procedures set forth in applicable contracts or treaties between the nations at issue. Those documents would need to be analyzed to determine the specific procedure.”

The United States has a Mutual Legal Assistance agreement with the European Union, of which Ireland is a part. These protocols enable the establishment of “joint investigative teams.”

Yesterday, Mr Muchnick repeated this call, writing:

There is no excuse for continued failure by governments and journalists to examine the curious circumstances of Gibney’s 1994 diversity lottery visa and his continued resident alien status here even after a 2010 citizenship application — which seems to have failed precisely because he lied on it by withholding information about his 27-count indictment in Ireland for illicit carnal knowledge of minors.

There is, especially, no excuse for the Garda not to be directed to share with the state attorney of Hillsborough County, Florida, an affidavit that is known to exist by the victim of Gibney’s 1991 rape of a 17-year-old swimmer on a training trip to Tampa.”

The documents obtained by Mr Muchnick can be viewed in full here

Previously: George Gibney on Broadsheet

 A woman tells how she was raped by former Irish swimming coach George Gibney during a swimming trip to Florida in 1991 (top) in a video by US journalist Irvin Muchnick which contains footage from a Prime Time episode on Gibney in 2006 (above)

Last night.

At 8pm Irish time.

US journalist Irvin Muchnick posted a video containing footage from an RTE Prime Time episode – originally broadcast on January 12, 2006 – in which then reporter Clare Murphy tracked down former Irish Olympic swim coach George Gibney in Calistoga, California and confronted him.

It also includes testimonies of some of Gibney’s victims.

Readers will recall Mr Muchnick’s ongoing efforts to secure Gibney’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security, under the Freedom of Information Act, in the US.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993.

But he sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The review was made possible after a Supreme Court decision that initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

After this, Gibney left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then the US.

The swimming coach was 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.

In addition, a 2010 application by Gibney to obtain US citizenship – some months after Evin Daly, of the Florida-based advocacy group One Child International alerted the US government of Gibney’s past in Ireland – was rejected.

But he remains in the States.

The revelations about his 1992 visa and 2010 citizenship bid have previously been revealed by Mr Irvin.

In the Prime Time footage above, Ms Murphy stated:

“While George Gibney may be notorious at home, his US record is squeaky clean, however local police take his presence so seriously that the area’s FBI field office has been informed.”

Further to this…

Mr Irvin reports:

“Prime Time’s throwaway line that Gibney had a “squeaky clean” record in America is debatable.

In 2015 Commander Dave Pickett of the investigations bureau of the police department in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, gave us the following statement:

‘On September 20th, 2000, the Wheat Ridge Police Department was notified that an alleged sex offender named George Gibney was living within our jurisdiction.  Detective Lila Cohen investigated the situation.  Detective Cohen contacted the reporting party (RP) who was the president of an accounting company that employed Gibney.  Detective Cohen was told that:

* The RP had fired Gibney the day prior

* The RP had discovered concerning information regarding Gibney on the Internet

* Gibney had gone to Peru on behalf of a children’s eye clinic

* Gibney was on an advisory board for the Department of Youth Corrections

* Gibney may be a coach for the North Jeffco Swim Club

Detective Cohen notified the Arvada Police Department where the North Jeffco Swim Club is located.  Sergeant Rzappa advised Detective Cohen that she had already received information concerning Gibney.  Detective Cohen found that Gibney was on the advisory board of the Metropolitan State College Lab School at Lookout Mountain.  Detective Cohen advised the person in charge of the Lab School regarding the allegations that Gibney was a sex offender.  

She also advised that the Wheat Ridge Police Department had no indications of specific allegations in Colorado.

Because there were no allegations regarding any crime in this jurisdiction, no investigation outside of notification was done.’

“Jill McGranahan of the Arvada police then told us of an incident from five years before Gibney’s employer reported him to the Wheat Ridge police:

‘In late October, 1995, the APD was notified by a citizen that Mr. Gibney was employed by the North Jeffco Parks and Recreation District, and that he had previously been accused of child abuse in Ireland. The APD confirmed that Mr. Gibney had been charged with child sexual abuse in Ireland, but that he was not convicted on any of the charges.  During its investigation, the APD learned that Mr. Gibney was suspected of possibly pinching (or snapping the swimsuit of) a North Jeffco swimmer.  

‘The APD investigated this allegation, but was unable to establish that a crime had occurred.  Shortly thereafter, the APD learned that Mr. Gibney was no longer employed by North Jeffco.  The APD had no other involvement in this matter.’

Mr Muchnick concludes:

“Many people, in and out of law enforcement, in Ireland and the U.S. alike, have had Gibney on watch lists, formal or otherwise, for a long time. The missing piece remains the revival of the 1990s prosecution of him in Ireland.

“The original prosecution collapsed thanks to a Supreme Court statute-of-limitations ruling that is not, to put it mildly, destined to go down in the annals of thoughtful jurisprudence: one of the sitting justices, Susan Denham (later the chief justice), did not recuse herself even though she was the sister of Gibney’s lawyer, Patrick Gageby.

“Nearly a quarter of a century later, it is time to bring the Gibney nightmare to a close. It is time for the Irish Garda’s Director of Public Prosecutions to move purposefully on the call of Maureen O’Sullivan, a Teachta Dála (member of Parliament), to reconsider both the old criminal charges against Gibney and the many new ones on which information has emerged since he first got off the hook.

“It is time for the American legislators most closely associated with awareness of sexual assault in general, and statutory solutions for the widespread problem of amateur sports coach sex abuse in particular, to step up to the plate and assist TD O’Sullivan in these efforts.

“The legislators I have in mind include Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

“Finally, it is time to hold accountable whoever in the American swimming establishment might have been responsible for enabling Gibney’s long safe harbor here.

“The ugly truth is that George Gibney is no longer just another name in the half-buried history of the dark side of youth sports. He is, officially, a two-nation affair of state.”

In 2006 Investigation on Ireland’s RTÉ TV, See George Gibney, Man Without a Country — Watched by Many But Prosecuted by None. Can That End Now? (Irvin Muchnick, Concussion Inc)

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

George Gibney (top) and US journalist Irvin Muchnick

Readers may recall the exhaustive efforts of American journalist Irvin Muchnick to obtain former Irish swimming coach George Gibney’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security, under the Freedom of Information Act, in the US.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993.

But he sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The review was made possible after a baffling Supreme Court decision that initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

After this, Gibney left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then Florida where he went on to abuse.

The swimming coach was 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.

In addition, a 2010 application by Gibney to obtain US citizenship – some months after Evin Daly, of the Florida-based advocacy group One Child International alerted the US government of Gibney’s past in Ireland – was rejected.

But he remains in the States.

The revelations about his 1992 visa and 2010 citizenship bid have previously been revealed by Mr Irvin.

Further to this..

Mr Irvin, who writes on Concussion Inc, reports:

“Concussion Inc. has acquired explosive archival video, which shows that George Gibney has been under watch by American law enforcement agencies since at least 2006. The video will go live at  noon PST [8pm Irish time]

“The link is here

“The video has surpassing significance during the pendency of my Freedom of Information Act case seeking additional material on the U.S. immigration files of the former Irish Olympic swimming head coach who is arguably the most notorious child sex abuser in a sports world with too many of them.

“I prevailed last year in Muchnick v. Department of Homeland Security; the government’s appeal of Judge Charles Breyer’s decision is at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“After the video begins streaming online, I’ll be publishing additional interpretation and pointers.”

See It Soon: Video Showing George Gibney Under American Law Enforcement Watch Goes Live Today (Concussion Inc)

Previously: Irvin Muchnick on Broadsheet

George Gibney

George Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993 but the charges were dropped because of the length of time which had passed since the abuse took place.

The former Irish swimming coach was 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.

In addition, a 2010 application by Gibney to obtain US citizenship – some months after Evin Daly, of the Florida-based advocacy group One Child International alerted the US government of Gibney’s past in Ireland – was rejected.

It’s also understood Gibney may have lied in this application.

And yet.

Gibney remains in the United States.

The revelations about his 1992 visa and 2010 citizenship bid have been revealed by US journalist Irvin Muchnick who has been trying to get Gibney’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security, under the Freedom of Information Act.

He has received partial documents, most of them redacted, over the past number of years.

But a senior federal judge for the Northern District of California, Judge Charles Breyer, revealed the details of the 1992 visa and the rejected 2010 citizenship application during a court hearing of the FOI bid last year.

Mr Muchnick was only able to publish details of this hearing last weekend.

A transcript of that court hearing on October 28, 2016, in San Francisco can be read here

The federal government is appealing a previous ruling by Judge Breyer in Mr Muchnick’s favour and the matter is now at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Mediation Service so discussions are ongoing.

However, during the court hearing on October 28, 2016, Judge Breyer questioned why Gibney suffered no consequences from the US authorities.

He said the following:

“How is a person permitted to remain in the United States when, in fact, the circumstances of the Ireland experience or what occurred in Ireland are publically known, that’s number one.

And number two, if, and I would use the word ‘if,’ he gave false answers in connection with an application, how is it that that somehow doesn’t bring into question the term of his initial visa permit or his initial visa.”

Let’s say I, as an example, am granted a visa to come to the United States. And subsequent — and I answer all the questions and I don’t answer falsely. Okay. So I mean, I have that visa application.

And then a series of events occur which would normally disqualify a person from getting a visa, which maybe is an assumption that I don’t know, that I can’t figure out, but 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. And there’s no issue here of which I’m aware of, which is the asylum issue. Okay.

“So I apply — it’s unfortunate I’m using me as an example — but I apply, and then some things surface and I go back to Ireland and then I come back to the United States.

Now, if we froze events at that point, of course, my question would be, does the visa in the United States, one, expire? And two, if it doesn’t expire, is there a process where Department of Homeland Security reviews visa applications in light of undiscovered information and then takes some conduct, or takes some action.

I have no idea whether that’s the case or not.

“But that’s not necessarily the case I wanted to posit because the case I wanted to posit goes on from there. And it involves, at that point, me. Because I’m the applicant, I filled out a form, and perhaps, theoretically, I’m not honest in the form that I fill out for further relief; that is, to be a citizen. And so it’s denied.

But my question would be, by virtue of that activity, does that then go — didn’t — did somebody in the Department of Homeland Security say, Well, you know this person lied to us today, or whenever that application, I think we have to go back and question the legitimacy of allowing that person to remain in the United States.

There may be reasons to allow him to remain in the United States. There’s nothing that you have submitted to me that indicates any reasons why he’s allowed in the United States, nor any investigation, that I can see, of going back and looking at the original application or the continuation of the visa.”

The revelations mean that Gibney got a US visa a year before he was charged in Ireland.

He went on to seek and win a High Court judicial review in 1994 that quashed all the charges against him.

The judicial review was secured after a Supreme Court decision, during which Gibney’s senior counsel Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

Mr Gageby’s sister, future Chief Justice Susan Denham was on the bench of the Supreme Court that day.

Gibney subsequently left Ireland, first for Scotland and then America.

Justine McCarthy in The Sunday Times, reported that other documents released to Mr Muchnick showed Gardaí gave Gibney a certificate of character – issued on January 20, 1992 – to support his application for an American visa.

The certificate given to Mr Muchnick was reported to be partially redacted with the name of the issuing officer and its contents obscured.

The issue of the Garda character reference came despite claims that gardai were notified of allegations against Gibney prior to January 1992.

According to the Murphy Inquiry – which was set up to look at abuse in swimming in 1998 – a parent from a club other than Trojan Swimming Club, where Gibney coached, was told by an assistant coach of Trojan in November 1991 that the gardai and the ISPCC were informed of the allegations in relation to Gibney.

However, later, the ISPCC said it had no record of any such complaint in 1991 or in 1992. The Murphy Inquiry states the first record on the Garda file is dated December 15, 1992.

Further to this…

Readers may wish to recall the following timeline of events leading up to 1992…

In December 1990, swimmer Chalkie White told European silver medalist Gary O’Toole that Gibney abused him from the age of 11 in 1967, prompting O’Toole to find out who else had been abused by whom in the Irish swimming world.

In January, 1991, while in Australia, swimmer Mr White told the honorary medical officer of both the Irish Amateur Swimming Association and the Leinster Branch of the IASA, Moira O’Brien, that he had been abused by Gibney.

White would later tell the Murphy Inquiry – set up to look at abuse in swimming – that Ms O’Brien told him it would be his word against Gibney and that he should ‘get on with it’.

Ms O’Brien would later tell the Murphy Inquiry, Chalkie was ‘confused’ and ’emotionally unstable as a result of a head injury’ and that Chalkie didn’t want her to report the matter. She would also later say a ‘doctor-patient relationship’ existed and that Chalkie didn’t want his complaint to be reported.

In 1991, GIbney allegedly raped a female swimmer, aged 17, in a hotel room while they were on a swimming trip with the Trojan Swimming Club in Tampa, Florida. He previously attacked the same girl in Holland in 1990.

The rape resulted in the girl becoming pregnant and a high-ranking official in swimming taking her to England for an abortion. It’s also alleged that the official warned the girl not to tell anyone about the termination.

In February 1991, Mr White told the then President of the Leinster Branch of the IASA, Frank McCann about Gibney’s abuse and McCann says he’ll deal with the matter. (McCann, who also abused child swimmers, is later found guilty of murdering his wife and niece, in an attempt to cover up for his abuse in 1996)

Also around this time in February 1991, assistant female coach Carol Walsh, to whom Mr White also confided, also tells McCann about the abuse. She claims McCann replied that, “he hoped to fuck it wouldn’t break while he was president”.

He also tells her there was nothing he could do about the allegations and advised her “to back off and not get involved”.

Later, in an interview with RTÉ in 1998, Ms Walsh says that, after approaching the IASA about the matter, she received threats and anonymous phone calls.

On February 8, 1991, Gibney announced he was stepping down from his position as Irish swimming coach, after 11 years, “to devote more time to the Trojan Club and the sports centre he manages in Dublin”. Another abusive coach Derry O’Rourke succeeds him.

Mr White tells the National Development Officer of the IASA, in March 1991, about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Gibney. The officer later tells the Murphy Inquiry nothing specific was told to him and that he didn’t know of any abuse until November 1992.

In June of that year, Mr White told the secretary of the IASA, Hillary Hughes, about the abuse he suffered. The secretary later tells the Murphy Inquiry that she did not remember his allegations.

In November of 1991, according to the Murphy Inquiry, a parent from a club other than Trojan Swimming Club was told by an assistant coach of Trojan that the gardai and the ISPCC were informed of the allegations in relation to Gibney.

But later the ISPCC said it had no record of any such complaint in 1991 or in 1992. According to the Murphy Inquiry, the first record on the Garda file was dated December 15, 1992.

In addition, the Murphy Inquiry states: “The President of the IASA in 1992, had been told at the end of 1991 by a senior swimmer of complaints that [Gibney] was in serious trouble for molesting young children. The senior swimmer requested that the President organise a meeting at which Gardai would be present. The President took legal advice. No meeting was held.”

Irish Times journalist Johnny Watterson later reported that, after Mr O’Toole wrote to the IASA seeking a meeting, he received a reply on January 15, 1992 which said: “The IASA cannot act on mere rumour and innuendo and the person concerned has a basic right to his good name and reputation unless and until first hand complaint is made.”

Previously: Unreasonable Delay

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

How George Gibney Lied on His 2010 Application For American Citizenship (Concussion, Irvin Muchnick)

George Gibney’s 2010 Application For American Citizenship Was Rejected, With No Other Consequences, Federal Judge Said (Concussion, Irvin Muchnick)

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irvin

From top: George Gibney and journalist Irvin Muchnick

You may recall how, on December 6 last, the US District Court Judge Charles Breyer issued an order compelling the US government to release former Irish swimming coach George Gibney’s immigration and visa file to US journalist Irvin Muchnick.

The US government was given a 60-day window in which to either comply or appeal the ruling.

Today is day 42 of that window.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993 – but sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The judicial review was secured following a controversial landmark Supreme Court decision – during which Gibney’s counsel Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

After this, Gibney left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then Florida.

Previously: No Hiding Place

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