Tag Archives: Liveline

This afternoon

St Michan’s Churc, Church Street, Dublin.

Archdeacon David Pierpoint said the St Michan’s Church has been targeted by thieves who have vandalised its crypt and taken the head of an 800 year old mummy known as ‘The Crusader’.

St Michin’s Mummies

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Clockwise from top left:Joe Duffy, Hailey Keirse sent the card to Jean-Claude Juncker above with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Brussels on Wednesday

Further to mystery surrounding the extraordinary Thank You card ‘sent’ to Jean Claude Juncker by EU fan Hailey Kierse.

Ms Kierse told Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One’s ‘Liveline’ yesterday that she sent the appreciation when the President of the European Commission refused to remove the backstop from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

She said she wanted to “kiss him” as she feared Ireland would become a “whipping boy”, and the Good Friday Agreement would be at risk if the backstop was to be amended.

Ms Kierse asserted “absolutely no agenda” and had not even heard of Mr Juncker before sending the card.

Conor H writes:

The only reference to Ms Kierse on social media is a Twitter account that follows a number of politicians , including Leo, and only has one tweet…

…which was sent out to all news organisations last August. All most odd. Have we been played? What’s going on?


Yesterday: Junck Mail

Seems legit.

And by ‘legit’ we do mean ‘sketchy as get out’.

A thank-you card from Ireland for Jean-Claude Juncker (Kate O’Neill, The Times Ireland edition)

What about the CHILDREN?

Liveline tweetz:

Is the Irish Book Awards running an Acid Drop Ad Campaign? Alice says this image is “mimicking someone taking an acid tab….Why are they normalizing illegal drug taking and linking reading with getting high? Preposterous. Ignorant. Dangerous.”


An Post Irish Book Awards

G’wan the 29 per cent.



G’wan the 60 per cent.



Well maybe you shouldn’t be living heeeeeeeeeerrrrrrre.

From top: Karen Leach, Derry O’Rourke and George Gibney

This afternoon.

On RTÉ’s Liveline.

Karen Leach spoke to Joe Duffy about the abuse she suffered at the hands of former Irish swimming coach Derry O’Rourke.

She also spoke about fellow former Irish swimming coach George Gibney.

Readers will recall how, in November 1997, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, O’Rourke, who was represented by Patrick Gageby SC, pleaded guilty to 29 sample charges of sexual abuse against 11 young swimmers, on numerous occasions between 1976 and 1992.

Judge Kieran O’Connor was told O’Rourke originally faced 90 charges.

The court also heard O’Rourke tried to hypnotise some of his victims.

In January 1998, O’Rourke was given a 12-year sentence.

Karen told Liveline that she didn’t tell anyone about how O’Rourke abused her until after he was jailed.

She said the abuse destroyed everything in her life and that her heartbroken mother later took her life.

She also mentioned another Irish swimming coach George Gibney who had sex abuse charges against him quashed after a 1994 High Court judicial review.

Karen said:

“Derry O’Rourke was my swimming coach, the Irish Olympic coach at the time also and I swam from the age of about 10 to 17. I had a dream as a little girl and my dream was to swim for Ireland at the Olympics, that’s all.

“I believed I could do it. My mam and dad believed that I could do that and he knew what my dream was. He took full advantage of that from me and many other swimmers in our swimming club.

“He’s not the only swimming coach that  has abused swimmers in Ireland. It started with my training. Everything he said, everything that he wanted, he got. No one answered back Derry O’Rourke. He was god.

“He was given the power by people and adults, the Irish sports organisations, the government, everybody. He was given the power and in that power, he took it to abuse me and many other children.

“It destroyed my life and I lost everything, absolutely everything. It’s only this year, 2017, that I’m talking to you as Karen Leach, 100 per cent, back in my mind, heart, soul and body.

“I spent 37 years in prison because of what that man did to me. He got 12 years concurrent for 18 girls and many more that have contacted me since I went public, have never, weren’t able to come forward and speak. He was out after nine years.

George Gibney did the same to his swimmers in Trojan [swimming club]. He, someone helped him, he’s living free in America. He never faced anything.”

“It started when I was 10. I’m 48, it’s only this year that I’m free of it. That’s what I mean: 37 years of prison.

“Not only for me but my dad died five years ago, a devastated and heartbroken man.”

“When he was sick in hospital and dying, I knew he was dying, I told him that I loved him, he was the best dad ever and he looked at me and said ‘I don’t know about that, Karen’.

Sixteen years ago, after the court case, my mam told me on the Thursday that she loved me and that she was sorry she didn’t look after me as a little girl. I got a phone call from the guards on the Bank Holiday Monday saying my mam was taken out of the canal by a farmer.

“She was heartbroken. My dad was heartbroken. My family is broken.”

“I spent many years in hospital, I had to be locked up and put away in order to be kept alive because of the many suicide attempts that I had because, as a result, I couldn’t live with what he did to me. It destroys, it takes everything from you when you’re child.

“It’s the same, to me, it’s the same as murder.

“Derry O’Rourke murdered my heart, my soul, my mind, my body as a little girl, he took my childhood away. There are many children living in this country that have been murdered as children from child abuse and didn’t make it to be an adult because they couldn’t live with it.

“I’ve survived the suicide attempts, I’m here, I have my voice, I now am going to speak for every child in this country to ensure that they do not live or end up with a life like mine.

“I also speak for anybody that’s been abused. Some people that have not been able to come forward and speak because they’re still too scared. They think they might not be listened to, might not be believed, I speak for those people too.

“I will not, now that I have my voice back, ever allow anyone to forget about what happened to us.”

Karen Leach

Previously: Two And A Half Years



This afternoon

A fuming Joe Duffy (centre) challenges unruffled Rio Police commissioner [a commissioner is the second-in-command of a civil police division in Brazil] Aloysio Falcão (top) about the filming of the arrest of “distressed 71-year-old” Pat Hickey among other gripes on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline.

Grab a tay.

Joe Duffy: “Commissioner Aloysio Falcão of the Rio de Janeiro police and one of the lead investigators in this case, good afternoon.”

Aloysio Falcão: “Good afternoon, how are you?”

Duffy: “Good, thank you and I hope you are aware also, are you aware Commissioner, that in Ireland this has been the biggest story in the last 10 days?”

Falcão: “Yeah Yeah we knew.”

Duffy: Why did you decide to film the arrest of Pat Hickey.

Falcão: “Because we knew that Pat Hickey was the guy who [unintelligible]

Duffy: “Okay Commissioner, that’s all fine but in Ireland that’s not a crime, it’s not a crime and it’s not a crime for Pat Hickey to be in communication with Marcus Evans, it’s not a crime why did you decide to film to video to bring along a cameraman to film Pat Hickey in the middle of the night, a 71 year old man obviously in distress why did you decide to  film and release that video?”

Falcão: “In Brazil, ticket touting is a crime, you know.  It’s a serious crime, I had to respect…”

Duffy: Of course it’s a crime in Brazil, It’s not a crime in Ireland, but some people believe it should be a crime in Ireland.  But why did you film the arrest of Pat Hickey?”

Falcão: “I did the arrest because I had to respect the law.”

Duffy: “Is every arrest in Brazil filmed?”

Falcão: “No, but…”

Duffy: “So why did you film this man being arrested?”

Falcão: “I had to do what the judge said on the warrant.  When I arrested him I  sent him to the hospital to check everything out, he spent in the hospital one day…”

Duffy: “I understand and very good, very good, very good, that’s important.  Why did you decide and who filmed this man in distress in his bedroom?”

Falcão: “Because he was in the hotel, in his bedroom, you know we had judge warrant, we had to do it.  And he wasn’t in his room, his wife was in his room, his wife, he was in a different room from his wife.  His wife told the police he went back to Ireland you know.”

Duffy: “Hmm well as I said last week when all of this was happening, there might have been a misunderstanding.  It is a different language.  Are you saying the Judge ordered the arrest of Pat Hickey being filmed.”

Falcão: “Yeah, yeah he did.”

Duffy: “So are you saying the judge said I want to see video and film evidence I want to see the film, the movie of this man being arrested.”

Falcão: “Not the judge’s order, it’s like the media.  We didn’t authorise the media, you know.”

Duffy: “And Commissioner, where does the investigation stand now.  Is there any possibility that Pat Hickey who, as you know is a 71 year old man, you know and you had to call the doctor, that  Hickey could be released on bail and out of that prison.”

Falcão: “Yeah, we have a kind of domiciliary prison where the guy is older than 80 or is in bad health, his lawyers are trying to get this kind of prison for him to be in.”

Duffy: “So can I ask you, Commissioner, on behalf of the Rio de Janeiro police, would you object if the judge said you can release this man from prison and put him under as you say domiciliary containment, would you object Commissioner?”

Falcão: “No.”

Duffy: “So you would be in favour of Pat Hickey being released  from prison once he does not leave Rio, is that correct?”

Falcão: “Sure.  The Brazilian system is not unfair [unintelligible].  I’m going to talk to the judge today.”

Duffy: “So you’re going to talk to the judge today to say you have no objection to Pat Hickey being released.  Have you any objection to him leaving Brazil?”

Falcão: “Yeah. He has to stay in Brazil because he has more questions about more people who are being arrested… he can be in domiciliary jail but it’s the judge’s decision, I can’t decide that, you know.”

Duffy: “But can you – is it within your power to say to the judge we will allow Pat Hickey to hold in a hotel in Rio so long as we have his passport and he cannot leave Brazil, is that your opinion?”

Falcão: “I have the power to talk to the judge but not to release him from jail.”

Duffy: “Yes but once he stays in Brazil.”

Falcão: “Yeah but we don’t have this power you know, it’s the judge’s decision.

Duffy: “But approximately Commissioner when do you hope to hand the file to the judge and say we’ve done all our investigations now you decide when is that a week a month, how long ?”

Falcão: “I can’t tell you, maybe between 1 and 3 months, between 1 and 3 months, I hope so you know.”

Duffy: “So if Mr Hickey –  which he vehemently asserts, as does Mr Mallon, that they were innocent, you’re saying well we will not have a decision on that from the Brazilian system for up to 3 months?”

Falcão: “If they are innocent for sure we have a decision, the Brazilian court, it’s Brazilian law I don’t know how it works in Ireland but we have to make sure that people don’t run away from the country otherwise it’s going to be impossible to inquire them.”

Duffy: “Have you asked Interpol to help?”

Falcão: “Yeah, for sure.  I am in contact with the Interpol the Interpol is going to help the Brazilian police.”

Duffy: “And what country are Interpol going to ask to assist?”

Falcão: “Interpol is based in France.

Duffy: “Yes, I know that, it’s based in Lyon but are you saying to Interpol, can you get information from Ireland?”

Falcão: “I can’t tell you about the information but what I can tell you is that I made contact with Interpol they are helping the Brazilian police.”

Duffy: “Have you had any representations from the Irish government?”

Falcão: “No.  That’s why I also want to get some help from the media because we need some help from the government.  I know Shane Ross had a meeting but he has left.  I also want to know about the government position, what they are doing you know.  Our police can be helped by your government.  We can trade information about this scandal.”

Duffy: “But have you contacted the Irish government via our embassy?”

Falcão: “Not yet.”

Duffy: “But you’re saying you want to speak to Shane Ross and also the Irish Government.  Do you want to speak to the Irish police?”

Falcão: “Yes.  It would be great for the enquiry because more information is much better, it’s more fair for the process, we don’t want to be unfair, I have to know what happened with the government in Ireland and also the government, they will want to know what happened in Brazil.”

Duffy: “Well, Commissioner, a number of politicians in Ireland, some in opposition, some in Government, Minister Simon Coveney, Shane Ross made a reference to it as well, as the leader of the Labour Party said this is not the way we do things in Ireland, I’m quoting a onetime leader of the Labour Party, can you understand that the arrest of this man, the filming of the arrest the immediate removal, okay you took him to a hospital, and his incarceration in prison, to some people in Ireland to a lot of people I think in fairness they don’t think that is very fair.”

Falcão: “I know.  What I can tell you is that the police treated him very well.  We left him in the hospital for one day, he then went to the prison when the doctor examined him met him and said well now he’s okay… I talked to him and his lawyer always, always you know.”

Duffy: “You know this cocktail party, this sting operation where you sent undercover policeman to this cocktail party does that mean you have been on, when did this case open, did it open when the Olympics started or had it started a few years ago, how long have you been on this case?”

Falcão: “We had a lot of investigation at 2014 at the World Cup football, we arrested a director of THG and we know that THG was trying to get credentials for the Games, that’s why we started the investigation. Two years ago.”

Duffy: “You were watching THG before the Olympics.  Before they arrived, were you aware of the arrival of the Irish Olympic Committee, were you suspicious of a connection then.

Falcão: “The Olympic Irish Council was suspected when we found maybe 800 tickets and all those tickets were designated for the Irish Olympic contingent.”

Duffy: “So is it fair to say that before then, Pat Hickey and indeed Kevin Mallon  and indeed other people whom you now want their passports, you were not suspicious of them you were not suspicious of them, you only became suspicious of them when you found those tickets at this cocktail party for instance.  Before they arrived in Rio you were not suspicious of them.  You only became interested in them when you found the tickets at this cocktail party. All the tickets you found were only from the Irish Olympic Council?

Falcão: “ Only Irish.”

Duffy: “Whey did you put Pat Hickey’s boarding card and his accreditation, why did you put them  on your table for those photographs you were at?”

Falcão: “I didn’t put them on my table.”

Duffy: Ah now no hang on hang on the media didn’t have his passport why did you put his passport on the table

Falcão: “We confiscated it.”

Duffy: Oh what you have okay okay, that’s the way in Brazil, okay. And did Pat Hickey have a second passport?”

Falcão: “He had a second passport he gave to the police, yes.”

Duffy: “And is the second passport Irish?”

Falcão: “Yeah, I think so.”

Duffy: “But you can’t have two passports.  And both passports were valid?”

Falcão: “Yeah, yeah, I think because he travels a lot he has a second passport.”

Duffy: “A spare one. But you’re adamant It wasn’t a false passport, it was a spare passport.”

Falcão: “It’s original, it’s a true passport.”

Duffy: “But there’s nothing wrong with that is there?”

Falcão: “Nothing wrong.”

Duffy: “Okay Commissioner thank you for your time.”

Falcão: “Okay thank you I appreciate that also.  Sorry for the question I didn’t answer.  It’s difficult to talk over the phone.  I’m not good at the language.”

Duffy: “But given that you raised the question you didn’t answer, do you regret, are you sorry that you let the cameras in to a 71 year old man in distress?

Falcão: “No, I didn’t authorise that, I didn’t.  It was a problem with the hotel security.”

Duffy: “And also, do you carry a gun?”

Falcão: “ I can tell you, I didn’t like what happened.”

Duffy: “Well then why didn’t you tell the media, you have a gun on you in the photographs, why didn’t you tell the media to get lost.”

Falcão: “The media were there, a lot of television, they saw the police coming in, they entered in the hotel, security people didn’t stop them, when Pat Hickey was arrested we didn’t put anything on the internet, we went out through the basement because of the media, I authorised this, he asked me can I go out through the basement because of the media and I said, sure, yes.”

Duffy: “And you’re saying Pat Hickey requested that he be taken out of the hotel privately?”

Falcão: “Yes, the basement, I authorised that.”

Duffy: “Commissioner Falcão, lead investigator with the Rio police, thank you.

Fair and balanced?

Or police brutality?

Only you can decide.


Earlier: Dan Boyle on Thursday

Previously: RTÉ Is Ireland’s Biggest Problem