Ouai x Byredo is back with more scented haircare
Ouai x Byredo is back with more scented haircare

Holly O'Neill

This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million
This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million

Megan Burns

Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings
Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings

Lizzie Gore-Grimes

With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of Mink Hand and Foot Spa on mastering multitasking
With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of...

Lauren Heskin

Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids
Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids

Geraldine Carton

Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer
Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer

Sarah Finnan

Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend
Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend

Holly O'Neill

What to do when your boss is a bully
What to do when your boss is a bully

Colette Sexton

Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West Cork
Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West...

Sarah Finnan

8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend
8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend

Jennifer McShane

Image / Living / Culture

How this Irish true-crime podcast about swim coach George Gibney made it to the pages of the New York Times


by Amanda Cassidy
19th Jun 2021

pexels

blank

For too many years, too little was done in Ireland about allegations of child abuse by well-known swimming coach George Gibney. But a new podcast might finally be the tipping point that brings justice to the victims, writes Amanda Cassidy.

 

Produced by Second Captains and in association with the BBC, Where is George Gibney is a difficult but vital listen. Over a two and a half year period, producers Mark Horgan and Ciarán Cassidy set about meeting with those who have accused the former swim coach of sexual abuse.

Their stories of being disbelieved, let down by authorities, and having their lives destroyed are the driving force for the podcast which has already been downloaded almost two million times.

Anguish

Horgan initially wanted to offer a voice to all those who’d been a victim of Gibney. He felt like other historical cases of abuse (Larry Nassar, the USA gymnastics coach as well as stories about former football coach Barry Bennell in the UK) had been a turning point for survivors of sexual abuse in sport. The Me Too movement was bringing worldwide attention to those finally facing down their greying abusers in court.

After years of anguish, it was their time.

George Gibney is a 72-year-old former Olympic swim coach. He was accused of abusing some of the swimmers he worked with – most of whom were minors at the time. In 1994, Gibney avoided trial on 27 charges of rape and sexual abuse because of a loop-hole in the Irish justice system which meant that the alleged incidents between 1967 and 1981 and the charges that were brought were described as too old and lacking in details to allow him to defend himself properly.

Investigations

He managed to obtain an immigrant visa and moved to the US. He now lives in Florida. The podcast gained a lot of attention for its strong interviews as well as its pace – as the producers chased Gibney’s movements in the US leading to the climax when they finally doorstep him at a supermarket.

The podcast began helping to turn the wheels of justice on behalf of the victims. The Gardai are now investigating accusations that Gibney sexually abused two swimmers who came forward after hearing the podcast. An update to Irish law means he may finally be brought to justice.

Then the New York Times picked up on the story. This week it reported on the harrowing details of the case. It explains how even though no criminal complaints or charges have been brought against Mr. Gibney in the United States, that may soon change.

This was one of those black moments in Irish history — and there were many of them — where the Irish courts mirrored Irish society in not knowing how to deal with historic child abuse

Criminal charges

“Justine McCarthy, a journalist for The Sunday Times of London and author of Deep Deception, a 2009 book about sexual abuse scandals in Irish swimming says had interviewed an Irish woman — once a prospect for Ireland’s Olympic swimming team — who said she had been raped by Mr. Gibney at a training camp in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in 1991, when she was 17. John D. Fitzgerald, a senior trial lawyer with expertise on Irish criminal and extradition law, said that were there to be new criminal charges in Ireland, this could potentially result in an extradition request under Ireland’s bilateral treaty with the United States. This application could then be contested in the American courts.”

It is now hoped that the new allegations, the weight of the podcast, and the victim’s testimonies will finally mean justice could be within grasp.

“The podcast producers said their original intention was to give a voice to the victims of Mr. Gibney’s alleged abuses, and there had been little expectation that it might lead to a criminal investigation.” The New York Times reports.

“This was one of those black moments in Irish history — and there were many of them — where the Irish courts mirrored Irish society in not knowing how to deal with historic child abuse,” Mr. Horgan said. “I think this is an opportunity for Irish society to right one of those wrongs. We really do hope something comes of it.”

You can read the full article here

You can download the 8-part podcast here 

Also Read

blank
INTERIORS
Transform your garden with our round-up of dreamy outdoor furniture

Shop our round-up of gorgeous garden furniture, from rattan sofa sets to hanging egg chairs.This summer, we are going to...

By Shayna Sappington

blank
CULTURE
7 recent Netflix picks we’ve watched binge-watched more than once

Netflix has so much new content on rolling release each month, it’s easy to miss some of the gems. Here...

By Jennifer McShane

What's on June 2021
CULTURE
What’s on June 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try

IMAGE.ie’s guide to what to watch, stream and read this June. Friday, June 25 Fathom, Apple TV It’s bad that...

By Lauren Heskin

blank
CULTURE
8 classic (and brilliant) true crime documentaries to watch next

The true crime genre continues to break new ground when it comes to giving controversial cases a fresh lease of...

By Jennifer McShane

The kitchen, dining and living area spills out into the garden, with the granite patio mimicking the poured concrete floor inside. A Habitat table and Robin Day chairs provide dining space in summer.
INTERIORS, PROPERTY
An architect’s advice if you’re planning the perfect extension

Architect Stephen Musiol of Dublin practice Small Spaces gives you his expert step-by-step guide to preparing for a home extension....

By IMAGE

blank
CULTURE, FASHION
History-making women: The best moments from the Brit Awards 2021

The glamour on the carpet, the history-making win, and 4,000 in a space during Covid – it all happened.The BRIT...

By Jennifer McShane

French toast
premium FOOD & DRINK
What to eat for brunch this weekend: Oh, Mon Dieu, French Toast

Finn Ní Fhaoláin’s French toast can be adjusted for dairy-free and gluten-free diets and is so easy and delicious, you’ll...

By Meg Walker