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BBC sounds, music, radio, podcasts, this podcast refers to child sexual abuse and contains interviews that some listeners may find upsetting, as well as some strong language right from the start. Episode two, We've been expecting you.
There were definitely around here when I saw them, but they're just in general. Shit, they could have gone around to the left coast, fuck where we go to Montgomery. Yeah, you think this is the way to get the house? Fuck, that's the way back to our house. Yeah. In the days after Casani first saw George Gibney, Cass being our producer here, Cassidy, by the way, we tried to find out as much as we can about Gibbons's life today.
They'll be back at the gas, you know. When the time is right, I'll try and talk to him. But we want to avoid a doorstep that leads to nothing and alerts him to us. We want to understand how he lives his life today, where he works. Is he involved in swimming? Does he have access to children? I we've gone so each morning we parkop opposite the entrance to his housing development. Gibney now lives with another man and leaves the house only by car, and some days he doesn't leave at all.
So as we wait, we make some calls around the area more than happy for.
Well, he spends a lot of his time in the house. That's all I can tell you. So it tends to come, you know, he gets in his car in the garage, opened the garage door, drives up costs and drives away. They keep to themselves. They go in and out. They just they're not they're not social. They're not neighborly. Typically in the neighborhood like that, where the houses are further apart as opposed to apartments, you know, the neighbors may not talk to each other.
You just don't know. Couldn't be Shirley. It's exactly the same car. Nasser. Hello, yeah, it's Mark speaking, I don't know how long ago it was, but I had a detective come and ask me about him, but that was probably, I'd say, five or six years ago. And nothing came of it, you know, but I don't think many people know things keep popping up, you know, about him. We're wondering, you know, how why would does he get his money from?
And you know where you know, he's got a credit card here. I don't know if he's got a Social Security number. I got Mark. I can't even stand to look at the man. You know, I don't know. You have to be forgiving and forgiveness. But but, you know, he needs to he needs to stand up for what what he did to those poor children.
OK, I'm with O'Toole and we are taking a journey he first took decades ago after that talk with Chalky White on the plane to Perth. So at this point, Gary was a double Olympian, but he was also just 24, he was still a student. He believed Chauke, and he also believed there were more victims of George Clooney out there. I had nothing to lose, actually, is is the real truth of the matter, I had, uh, nothing to my name.
I was going into my last couple of years in medicine. And it's just it's just the way it was that, you know, and I knew that I had to do it and I had to just go for it. She's a total immersion. Gary had one major thing he had to do first, he went back to his old swimming club, Trojan's, where he'd been coached by Gibney since 1977. He knew Gibney will be there. So we decided the time was right now to confront him.
I knew that they would be training from, uh, five until seven in the swimming pool Tuesday, walked onto the pool bank and he left me standing there for about, I'd say about two minutes.
He was, you know, pretending to coach. I was just standing there. That didn't bother me. So I just waited. And I can see the parents looking at me, looking at me. And then he walked over to me, sidled up to me. He was standing there and I said, I just calling in to tell you that I'm leaving. He looked at me and he said, like, as if he was the most shocked man in the universe.
And he said, Why? And I said, I think you know why I'm leaving. And I just turned and left. I didn't look back. Didn't look back.
And we're still straight on here, and it should be said Richard Nixon. There we go. Gary's next move was to get in contact with parents of the current swimmers at the club, some believe them, some refuse to listen and some get angry. But his conscience was clear and he had a plan. He wanted to speak to as many people as possible. That may have been a risk from the late 60s right up to the present day. And then if they wanted, the survivors themselves could perhaps build a case against him.
Well, I knew some of the swimmers because I had been swimming with him from about 1977. So I knew those swimmers from 1977 onwards and thought I could connect with some of those. So that's a 15 year period. Before that, I didn't know an awful lot and, uh, choke his wife and actually filled me in on an awful lot of people in that in that time period. And so she gave me names and she said, you might want to talk to this person.
We want to talk to that person. One of the first houses Gary visited unannounced is the house we're travelling to now. He doesn't ring the doorbell for 27 years.
I remember meeting one woman and calling to her door and finding her address and then, you know, eventually finding where the house was and I called out to her on a Saturday night. I think it was knocked on the door and her husband answered the door. And that's when I said hello, my name is going to and I'm looking for. She said her name and he said, yeah, she's in the back. And we've been expecting you for years.
I was relieved to be able to do something finally about something that I've lived with for a long time, where Hannah is 35 this year. I remember being in Switzer's, expecting her going up an escalator and seeing George going down an escalator, holding a little girl's hand and that image, you know, I was, oh, you still doing this? I knew in my heart it wasn't something he was going to stop. I don't know what it was about seeing him with holding a child by the hand.
That image of him and so it was actually brilliant that Carrie came to my door pretty well.
This is Bacani. She was a little girl and get a swimming club, which he was there in the late 60s.
Back then, she was Bernadette Byrne saying, you look well, we're looking over. You know, we are older today.
She's a special needs assistant to the secondary school.
Bird was a proper swimming talent to an Irish junior backstroke record holder, although she plays down all her swimming achievements. Now she's ready to talk publicly about her abuse. And when we chat, she always has her husband, Paul, by her side. But it wasn't a case of what are you here for? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I think we were probably just ready. We were ready.
Yeah. Twenty eight years since your father, so in 92, what are we now have been to 91, 92 percent to 27 years? Yeah, yeah, almost to the month.
We spent some time looking through some of Barry's old photo albums.
So this one is like a 67 and it was in the I.V. bath.
Maybe just describe the photograph there or them. Yeah, I'm nine. I'm the only looking and I'm a baby really when I see it now that's 69.
Sixty seven this year.
And I do know he had started abusing me there. For tell me about the gaps, that gap is marrying 24 hour swim team with coach and for you, there's there's been four photographs reported. Yeah. So far. They talked to me a bit about what happened there. Yeah, well, they would have features.
Give me. I often wonder, what was I going to be like, like I'm like this up to age nine and that the day he touched me, did he, you know, squeeze and kill whatever I was going to be? Yeah, you look back, I think that with your own eyes and mind as an adult and it is good to see.
Well, no, I was a child. When I was training in Marion College and. Sometimes, you know, at the end of a training session, so that was all boys and just me or maybe one or two, and at the end of maybe an hour of hard training, George would say to me, go into the dressing rooms and wait.
And so I would be in there like in the cold. And I was in to get dressed. So I'd go into a female dressing room on my own and it could be an hour waiting for him to come. Then you knew what was coming. A wooden and books and the novela there, a. It's hard to believe that you just did what you were told, but I mean, obviously now I know it was I was waiting he was waiting for the whole place to clear of everybody else.
And you just obediently went went in there and waited. You know, I even sometimes picture, you know, that I was going to school and and just live in even while it's like a parallel of the horrible abuse is going on.
And, yes, I'm getting up and I'm training and I'm going to school and I'm doing homework that kind of like I can see myself. Just think it's a funny world, isn't it, to kind of picture somebody keeping all of that as well.
And, you know, I can see all my my friends are my sisters around me and kind of thinking that that is a funny kind of bubble that you're locked in. You know, it's not like a situation where you're locked in a bunker. And I know you know that you're fed through a window. I was living I was going to school. I was, you know, whatever, but locked in, I suppose, into that world of powerlessness.
But the number of times that has happened to me was a lot. It was probably three years probably. Daily. But when you think about it, when that night that Gary came in, what comes into your head?
I instantly trusted him and I just instantly thought, this is good. This, you know. You know, it was kind of like he was gathering, you know, as he went.
It was all support. I would feel, you know, an awful, awful secret in knotted up in you for years. This is awful. So it's kind of like the start of it was the start of an unraveling and relief that something is going to happen.
Obviously, I didn't know what to say.
Thanks again for your honesty. You did a great job. Thank you.
I give you the same 25 years, you know, good to see as we were like 61, finally won 81, 86 Chariandy.
God bless you. You know, I left that house and got into the car and I was a little bit stunned, I have to say.
I was a little bit perplexed because I did. It was the it was the one thing that I didn't expect was to be welcomed so with such open arms. And when I sat down, she said, look, I know why you're here and just tell me what I have to do. And she was just waiting for someone to come along and, you know, gather the troops so that this horrendous situation could come to an end. After leaving Burs, Gary knew he was on the right track, so he kept searching some of the others, I just cold called to their house and others I phoned ahead and see and others I would bring their place of work.
And ask them to meet me and or contact friends or ask ask their friends what they might give and give me a phone call or leaving a number. And it's a little bit of detective work, which eventually you could find someone who knew someone who knew where this person might live. Bacardi swam back and choky zero, but Gary believe Gibney had abused some of his own former teammates, swimmers he'd regularly trained with himself, more recently a Trojan's between the jigs and reels.
I thought I had a list of people that I wanted to get in contact with and I wanted to speak to them personally, wherever possible. And that's what I did. And I was looking for there, having been isolated at times and having heard that they might have had personal training sessions with them at times, babysitting for them was another big thing so that he would he would have invited them into the bosom of his own family. And they were the triggers that he would have been as affectionate to them publicly.
So this this outwardly public showing of affection, which could be interpreted as being, you know, a magnificent gesture from a superb coach and anyone that had any kind of treatment in that fashion, I signal the match and we're still straight on here says. One of the people Gary singled out was the girl he told us about in Episode one, she was a close friend who used to exchange postcards and letters with back in his early teens. But they fell apart and he never really knew why.
And I knew that she no longer lived in Dublin, but I didn't know where she lived. It was more personal for me, and I certainly put an awful lot more thought into this before I contacted her. Is it the car or inside or the engine in the car is perfect. I wracked my brain, wracked my brain, trying to remember her phone number that I hadn't called for eight years.
And I said, come on, you got gotta it's only seven numbers, you know, and you used to dial us once, twice a week at least. And so I wrecked my brains. All I could remember was that all her numbers were divisible by three except for the first two numbers. So I had the first two numbers. So then I only had five numbers to get. So it's either three, six or nine. And so I write my brains left my fingers, you know, just hit the buttons that they wanted to hit.
And when I called the number, her mother answered and I said Hello, I'm looking for. And she said, oh, well, you know, she's and she's moved now. She lives down in another city. And I said, well, can I have her address? And she said, of course. So she gave me the address and she said, you don't want her phone number. And I said, no, just her address. So when I hung up from her mother, I wrote a letter to her and I put it in an envelope.
And then I took that envelope and put it in another envelope with a cover letter saying, dear. And I said her name and I'm writing to you about things that might have happened to you once we were swimming together in Trojan and things that George Clooney might have done to you, if you know nothing about what I might be talking about. Do not open the letter on the inside of this envelope. But if you know what I'm talking about, please open this letter.
There was one one summer that he would stay at my house after the morning session until the evening session. It was just easier and then we popped down again in the evening and like we just we just had such a lovely summer. And then the next summer, he went away to America, and so I was right in way to. I traveled to court to meet Trish Kearney and I brought something from Gary. Is that a familiar. Where'd you get that, Barry Allen?
He said to me, please don't give it to Trish. I'd like her to know that I really did care enough to keep it safe for nearly 40 years. But she said out of that. Wow, Trish was a major swimming talent when she was 15, she won 10 goals of the Irish National Senior Championships and she was a real prospect for the Olympics in 1984. Back then, she was known as Patricia. Today, she's a talented writer and her first book is about to be published.
Wow. Ida. I must have been where was when I was 15 was a. I I can't believe you kept that. Wow, I didn't even I don't remember sending him that. How does it make you feel? Geez, it's just funny, like, you know, as I say, his friendship was huge to me in the last. It was huge. Would you read the postcard? Hi, Gary, I'm having a fab time where this just fantastic, this is only the second day of the term is coming along great.
I missed training when I was at home and looking forward to seeing you again. October, try to keep your tantalizingly low of childhood straight. I think he sent him there hoping that it would isolate the two of us are kind of separate us, and then Gary came back and very quickly after he came back, things had changed completely and everything had changed. When I came back, he was incredibly confused because he'd had these letters. And that wasn't the person he met.
He he was very cross that I wasn't, you know, I was kind of running away from him and we were on the deck course, all of us in my head was that I knew, given he was looking at me. And Gary was just so cross, and I just remember giving his eyes were just pouring in to me, and especially after what had just happened, there had been an incident would give me just before that other earlier on the day I was raped in a toilet.
Child abuse is daily. Two times a day, at least, maybe, and it could be everything and anything, so it was pretty severe. It's just horrendous, horrendous. When I look back at it, I wonder, you know, how how you can live, how you can go to school and sit in school, how you can sit in your house, how you can go to bed at night, how you can talk to your family. Having that just happen, you can talk about me going to a pool training and then like he was stalking me everywhere.
Even at lunchtime, you know, I I went home every day, so he'd keep on driving along the road as I walked and he'd just crawl along with his window down. He was ringing constantly on the phone and was the phone in the hall and like, if I didn't answer, you'd hang up and he just rang and rang and rang, like it could ring nonstop.
That didn't last for long. He generally just came to the house and he'd be outside the back and he'd be checking that you're in your room, he'd be seeing in the windows.
Maybe you'd see him. I know he was there. I can remember one day in particular, cycling school, bawling, crying after a horrendous morning with him at the pool and just thinking, oh my gosh, I know. And I'm I'm old. This is still going to be I never for a moment thought I could get away from them.
So you walk every day? Yeah, yeah, in the morning. All of us. I love this one because this one has the woods, the fields, and then we're coming down to the sea now. For Tresh, the abuse didn't stop at school. She grew up when she went to college, she became a nurse. But Gibney still there. Like the madness of still having deveney in my life at that stage at 19 years of age, like and, you know, he was he was very unhinged at that stage between about 18, 19 in particular.
Like, he was just stalking me everywhere. Like he was on the wards. He was outside my car. There was different shifts I could have finished. It looked like he would just be there because, like, he didn't know what time I finished. So I think I probably felt a danger for some time. I remember there was some girl killed and her mom and I remember thinking, oh my God, that's going to be me, and nobody will even know why he's done that.
Any time a car slowed down behind me, I thought the signal that to me is going to kill us. There were incidents this week where one in particular, where I got in the car and drove off and he didn't speak for ages. We went further out.
We went out towards the mountains.
And I, I you know, we all have an instinct, you know, to survive. And I was I was kind of very aware that I was I felt I was in danger. He stopped and he got pickup, started talking and he got very cross.
And I remember him grabbing me in the car.
And it was just that that physical, you know, moment.
I remember thinking he was going to kill me, and then I remember when he grabbed me just knowing he's up and coming, I'm going to kill him. Oh, I lost it and I got very violent. And he opened the door and let me out and he drove off. And that's I don't remember coming home, I don't remember anything. That was the end, never. And once, you know, once I broke free kind of thing, I just thought the real me, you know, was never going back.
That was the end Trish left, she moved to Australia, she got married, she began living her life. She was free. But I do feel very lucky to have. I've lived way more of my life after Giverny than George and give me I was, you know, maybe not even seven year period. And should I be that would be tragic if this took away everything. That's me, my philosophy. Then years later, she got that letter from Gary with the envelope inside the envelope.
I got a registered letter and I've never had a registered letter in my life, so remember, got this registered better and. At that stage, I was having the flashbacks and things, you know, I was having memories, even though I was ignoring them. And so when I got this letter and I opened it.
It said, I just remembered reading things like George Gibney abuse, there was different words, kind of jumped out from my point of view.
I saw that letter and all I saw was, George, give me other people abuse. And. I recall that. Very, very quickly. I was I was going to the guards. I even though it had been obviously so private for me or so huge for me that I had told nobody. Once I knew once it had been articulated to me. I had no mercy, I just guards'. Soon after Tresh made contact with the guards or the Irish police, things suddenly started moving quickly.
I remember I was flying out to Los Angeles on in December and I picked up the Irish Times and I saw this little piece in the Irish Times that said a man had been arrested this morning or yesterday morning in Carpenteria and brought to the local Garda stations being questioned about child sexual abuse. And I said a senior sports figure. So I recognized who that was. And that was the first time I allowed myself a little fist pump or a little bit of celebration because then I realized something was happening.
But it wasn't until I saw it in the papers that I felt this is for real. This is actually happening. And that's when I felt, yes, you know, we're going somewhere with this.
By December 1992, six former swimmers made sworn statements to Irish police alleging that they'd been abused by George Keaveney. They included Burr, Trish and Chokey.
Abers was so careful. So like it was always just a wee tiny column saying whatever. And I did wait. I remember waiting I right for my charges because my charges weren't put to me initially. They gave the first light and then there was another. And then finally I saw a little tiny thing of there was more charges and I saw the detail and I knew they were my. And that that gave me joy just to think. There you go.
OK, now you know that I've come forward and that you know that I have spoken. The walls had finally started to close in on George Keaveney, he was faced with a total of 27 charges of child sexual abuse that spanned different eras, beginning as far back as 1967. But he had yet to appear in court. And it turns out the kidney was already planning his escape. If you've been affected by any of the issues in this series, please contact support organizations in your own country for a list of organizations in the U.K. that can provide support for survivors of sexual abuse.
Go to BBC, Dakoda, U.K. forward slash action line. If you were a former swimmer with George Keaveney or have any information, however minor, that you feel could help the producers, please contact us confidentially at. Where is George Gibney, a BBC Dakoda, U.K. that's where is George Gibney all one word at BBC, Dakoda UK and you can find us on Social at Second Captains. Where is George Gibney is a second captain's production for BBC Sense. The series is written and produced by me, Mark Horgan and Kiran Cassidy.
It's co-produced with Maria Haugaard and editing is also by Caroline Cassidy. Research and fact checking is by Chilian Down our composers Michael Fleming and Sound Mixing is by Jeffrey MacDonald. Our theme tune is by Aaron Dessner. The executive producer for the BBC is Dylan Huskins, and the commissioning editor is Jason FIPS. You can listen to episode three of Where Is George Clooney? It's called Bayle from next Thursday, 10th of September. You can subscribe and the free BBC sends up.
BBC sounds in twenty seventeen, a huge news story brought me back to my hometown of Huddersfield.
Amanda has been shot dead by police. I want to know why he was killed. I'm moving this hour on why uncover it was gang violence, money laundering and drugs. There's been another incident.
Sounds like something out of The Godfather hometown.
Listen on the BBC sounds at.