BBC sounds, music, radio, podcasts, this podcast refers to child sexual abuse and contains interviews that some listeners may find upsetting. Episode six, Sunshine State. OK, did that looks like a silver Honda looks a little bit newer. I'm going to give it a go.
OK, we continue to follow George Keaveney around Florida. I don't think you are OK. We just need the lights. We've changed cars. Scarves like the one he drives up everywhere. I think are we hallucinating serious scenes? You know, I just remember a bit about it's hot. Some days we just sit there baking in the Florida sun. We're not sure if he knows about us yet, if his neighbors told him about the strange car they spotted earlier in the week.
Well, they can get out this way, but they are onto the main road. We've no idea what George Clooney thinks about his life now, how he feels about how he ended up in Orlando. What I can say about Florida, though, is that it's the perfect place for a man like George Clooney to disappear because he just blends in. It's where so many men, his age, men who look just like him, come to retire five to nine on your cell wall that fall.
Miami pop star Pitbull releasing a new video to promote the rapper, signed a contract last year with the state's tourism marketing agency known as Visit Florida, for an undisclosed amount to act as a tourism ambassador for Florida, but said, you know, how many of your tax dollars are going to people? So I guess I got to go first thing so. That's it is a. As in the type of car, if Keaveney does ever think about what happened, then his downfall began with that conversation on the plane between Chauke and Gary.
It all began with Chalkie. Because did he ever do anything to you that, you know, did you ever go any further than just normal coach swimmer relationship? And I said, no, no. And then I think he said, no, you're not understanding me. Has he ever sexually abused you? And I said, no, why are you asking me that question? And he says because he he did it to me and when he said he did it to me, it was like this, the clouds parted and then everything.
It was like the cornerstone in the piece of the jigsaw. Everything started to make sense to me. Everything. Since that conversation on the plane. Chucky's marriage broke up. He came out and he decided to leave Ireland. Hey, Chokey. No, I'm right here, I'm at the corner, I'm at the I'm just pulled in around the corner there at the crossroads. Great scene is by. After spending time living in places like Japan and India and Thailand and South Africa, Choky now lives in Florida.
This weather ain't bad like Florida. Thank you very much. Strange coincidence, Chalky and George Keaveney living in the same state. Chuck, you talk me through this place as we're walking, right? OK, we're in Pompano Beach in a place called Extended Stay America. This is where I should stay. Tjokkie works as a business implementation consultant. He's currently living in a long stay hotel, just off a freeway outside Miami. And that's where I meet him.
Look at the colors. I went to see my room. So it's dark there, kind of light brown walls, which can give you a feeling that this is what you're in. You know, actually, let's put this on. You know, this is kind of a circus, although they're in the same state for chokey. There's no point wasting energy thinking about George Gibney, it's just not worth it. I mean, Florida, I know, is not very far from where I am in Florida.
There was a time, you know, years ago where I thought, hmm, I could go to this state, I could kill them, kneecap them, do this, do that and get back. And nobody would ever know it was me. And then I'm in Florida and I'm looking and saying, I wonder where he is. How about if I go and try and find them and. Yeah. And say I what?
If I ever come up against him in the future, I just want him to look and say I wish I was you, Chalkie, because my life has been hell as a result of what I did to you. Now, this is the comeuppance that you're actually getting. Look, I wish my life was anything like yours because of what I have actually gone through.
We go to jockeys room to talk. We are from Ireland. This is my room, my television rules, 24 hours.
I never switch it off because in the middle of the night, it's kind of like a company. I'm not on my own. At least the TV is there. I don't get distracted by anything at all. It's just on. And I just feel like there is somebody there.
And as we sit and talk, Choky tells me why he's been on the road so long, why he doesn't live in Dublin. Not an easy one to say, but I'm not sure that I can. If I put it down, OK, the easiest way to say is I'm constantly on the run. I'm not sure that I can ever feel comfortable about really settling down anywhere. It's just for whatever reason, if I'm back, I see somebody, somebody with the hairstyle that looks exactly like is a person with a beard, a person with glasses, see somebody from swimming.
Same place. I see. I see your face said a beard. Two glasses. There are many things there are there are reminders of people in swimming that I just don't have anymore. And it's just kind of reminds you, my biggest fear is that the time will come when I'm not able to go somewhere else and run away from it. And then I kind of worry about when I'm not able to run from what's actually going to happen.
OK, I'll get my keys and then I'll come out to you. You don't need to if you want to open up. No, no, no, no. I need to go back to work on that. OK, ok. OK, I'll see you, I promise. Oh, yeah. See the car. Yeah.
It's time to go. Chauke says you'll come with me. He says it's complicated to find the road.
I need to go on. I say, oh my satnav.
But he wants to grab some keys upstairs and join me in the car to direct me. There you go, where you're going and going, no, I grew up with you just so I see where you go, because you should be going up that way.
Within a minute of getting in the car, I was pulling over onto a patch of dirt road directly opposite the hotel. I wonder if you can just pull over here and Chauke clearly still had something on his mind.
Sometimes sometimes I wonder. Did does. Not do I ever. Do they ever think, you know, sometimes I wonder. First of all, does George give me ever even bothered to think about me, you know? Right. And why do you think it would make a difference to me? Probably doesn't, it doesn't, but I often wonder. Does he even does he even know and remember what it was and who it was that actually brought about his downfall?
I don't mean me, myself and my dad and and, you know, all the others. Does he ever think about those people? Sometimes I can I think about that in. That's something. Yeah, OK. Safe journey. Let me see you again, OK? You too. OK, thanks. But.
So who's right and who's likely? Well, we're going to try running, Jonah. Yeah, yeah. I just I'm sure you know that, Gloria.
I'm in Cardiff, Wales, and I'm about to go running.
They are having to take me Viser. I know we look like a shadow, but the lights go down the trail of I hate the of eyes and it was groovy and it's groovy. But why don't you have a voice for me. We shall be right now. Yeah it's sinkin but I can't like I can't wear sunglasses. I think they're too wobbly and I hate a full half. Right. But this is not the best look anyway.
The reason I'm here is because of Florida. When we were driving around Orlando following George Gibney, I thought a lot about this family, let alone back in the footsteps. This is Laura. Her sister Susan was a swimmer and Susan's coach was George Keaveney. Susan, by the way, isn't her real name. We're running because this is when Laura thinks about her big sister and she often thinks about her big sister. Every day, at least every day running especially I never think about all the time.
I'm very. Yeah, and especially when I've actually when I'm running, I think about because obviously she was a swimmer, but she was also a runner. And I think that's when I think about it the most.
We now know that George Keaveney still lives in Florida. We just heard from Choky, who now lives there, too. But for this family, for Susan, they still think back to something that happened in Florida decades ago, something that changed their lives forever.
I spoke to her mom about this because obviously her memory is a lot better than what mine was, because obviously I was a teenager, obviously. But I do remember my mom said it was literally when she came back from Florida, it was almost like she'd changed. She became extremely difficult, moved fighting with her all the time. So, yeah, that was something that my mom said. It was straight after Florida that it really her behavior started to go downhill.
Why didn't they come on, you know, she rang me from Florida and she said to me she hates and she she wanted to come home and I said, can you only three days left. And, you know, I said, just relax and try and enjoy it. Karen Walsh was Susan's first coach. She didn't go to Florida on that training trip, but she was instrumental in spotting Susan's talent. She was a twirler, she was in twirling band and Dulaimi and she turned up for a trial in a leotard.
And she got in and I remember calling the coach who's on the other side of the pool, taking the main session and say, look at her breaststroke kick. And she said, oh, God, that's great. Carol could see your potential, but to get Susan to the top level, there was only one coach in the country for her to go to. George Keaveney was over the other side of the city, but Carol believed Susan would have the best chance with him.
So each morning, Susan will get up at 4:00 a.m. to arrive at the pool for a five 15 start. And as his daughter trained with Gibney, Susan's dad would sleep outside in the car before his own work shift began.
I think actually I have a book and they used it, the guy who he was the development officer for, I was swimming, he wrote the book on how to set up a and the shots were amazing.
Amazing, like the length of her legs, the length of her arms, you know, the air, the weight of her shoulders. Perfect for butterfly, you know.
We got as we flick through the book, we see photos of Susan. She just looked brilliant. She would look like she looked like a model, you know, when you looked at her, you see pictures of her arms underwater, her legs kicking.
I know it's not so easy, let me see the light. It's tricky, haunting photographs of her before Florida, really. Well. It was criminal. Criminal, absolutely, that she didn't go to the Olympics and that she didn't have a chance to shine, you know. By 1991, Susan was right on track for the Olympic Games. She was breaking national record after a national record on her path to Barcelona was set, she had two international training camps.
First one was 9/11 in Holland and then Florida. After that, she'd have a shot at qualifying for the Olympics at the national championships in Belfast. My first swim competition away from Ireland was Eindhoven. She went out and she did a terrible swim. I remember walking up, he was at the top of the viewing gallery and she walked up and he wouldn't even talk to her. And she came down and she was crying. And I said, what's wrong?
She said nothing. She said she slid down the banisters in church herself. She couldn't swim, she couldn't turn properly, you know. She asked me, could she stay in my room and she'd want to stay in her own. I remember like the size of the room, it was colossal. And I said three year course.
The way I just saw it was she didn't want to be in her own, so let her sleep in my room and she could have the couch or whatever we organize. And I went to monitor. Oh, no, you could. Not at all. You couldn't do that. You can't have her in your room. And, you know, people looking at you and saying she showed favoritism and all this. No. So he said she said, I, I put a mattress in the girls room.
So I was like, you're doing everything family work. You don't really have the headspace to think because I was running as I like, it's almost like a mini therapy session to kind of let your emotions out and think about what you're saying. Sometimes I even run and run and crying at the same time. I know that this is just I often think of think of her. The next step to the Olympics was the Florida training camp. Well, mom said my mom said she didn't want to go.
She absolutely did not want to go to Florida at all.
She hidden her passport and they were trying to find a passport and they literally found a link two days before she was going to Florida, turned the house upside down and found us because obviously they wanted her to go because they thought it was such an amazing opportunity for. But on it, I think maybe the time they didn't realize that she'd actually hidden it. I can't remember the exact conversation, but I do remember, and she rang me from Florida and she was very upset.
Yeah, she ran my mom crying, I shouldn't say, he's just said I think she thinks you just said she wanted to come home. And she said she didn't like it and she. She was crying on the phone and I just was talking to her and I thought she just missed home and I said to her, look, you've only three days left. And I said, just relax and try and enjoy it. Obviously, he can't come home just like that from Florida, so I think from he talked about say no, you'll be fine, you know, you'll be home soon.
So, yeah. So, yeah, that was coming that my mom's mom said it was straight after Florida, that it really her behavior started to go downhill almost. She became, you know, very moody, very argumentative. She just thought it was just part of being a teenager and stress swimming, but never, ever crossed your mind that it was something that happened.
The Olympic qualifying took place in Belfast. It was just a few weeks after Florida. Dream was to go to the Olympics, but my parents sacrificed so much to get it there, you know, financially time, you know, dedicated to everything's, you know, geared up to get to the Olympics, Belfast, which I went, and that was supposed to be her qualifying one for the Olympics. I remember obviously enough on the side as you watched was quite an unusual thing with an old fashioned phone and I remember as being a boy high in the bar.
I remember her breaking, you know, and false starts a couple of times. Now, remember, she wasn't right. I remember she wasn't right at all, but my mom said, yes, she just got out of the pool. I think she I do remember the false starts. So I think she might have even been disqualified and too many false starts and then just got out and start absolutely sobbing on the bank. She just was uncontrollable, so they they took her, went to speak to her, and I think then there was another coach, female coach, who was with her and asked her directly.
Did anything happen in Florida? And she said no. And that was not long after Florida. You took away her chance of going to the Olympics because that was her ultimate ultimate aim. Now, whether whether she was going to win anything or not, I don't know, but her aim was to get there and to compete and represent Ireland in the Olympics and. And who knows what else she would have done after with her sporting career, who knows? As you remember, her just stopping swimming.
When she came back from Florida, did the Belfast thing, and then I don't know exactly the time frame, but then she threw herself down the stairs and became injured. And that's when she stopped swimming then, so she's most like took away her dream of qualifying for the Olympics because that was a dream.
So she stopped, then went swimming off completely. I don't remember, but my mom obviously remembers it very clearly.
She said, yeah, that was that was the end of it then. That was the end of her swimming. And then that's when everything went just spiral, spiral spiraled. I think she gave up swimming and she disappeared and then she tried to commit suicide. I got a phone call and I went up to see her in the matter and her. I can't really I I remember going into the hospital and I remember. Her room.
There were no blinds in the room and there were no curtains and there was no sheets, there were no sheets on the bed, and she had no there was nothing that she could use to to, like, try to commit suicide.
It was when I got the call to go in and see her and she told me about it, that. Susan told Carl what happened to her on that training trip to Tampa, Florida, in 1991, the team of young swimmers all stayed with host families for the duration of the trip, and they returned to these families each morning after training. But on one particular day, Gibney took Susan and one other young female swimmer for breakfast away from their other teammates.
Gibney then drove the girls to a separate hotel to discuss their swimming. He then brought Susan to a hotel room on her own and told her to wait inside as he went off with the other girl. He later returned, castigated Susan about her swimming before raping her in the hotel bed, she was 17. He warned her not to tell anyone. He said it would be his word against hers and that no one would believe her. It was in that time, I think was the next item that I wanted, that she and she had the picture.
And. She drawn a picture which was very good, and it was her with her head down and a rope around her arms or hands tied to a bed. And my God, that picture stayed with me for a long time. Years ago, Susan tried to get Gibney convicted, but the case collapsed as Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions didn't have jurisdiction to prosecute. Now, years later, she's too ill to ever be a witness.
I had a lot of guilt about that and bringing her over, you know, and she was like a sacrificial lamb to somebody like him because she was had the potential to be so good, like he ruined her, you know, he ruined all her dreams and everything of going to the Olympics and everything. Like he just ruined her. Susan is now a permanent resident in a mental health facility following numerous suicide attempts. Her family aren't sure that she'll ever leave.
I was just under six miles. All right, nice big glass of water or squash, whichever.
Even though I am a better. Fresh water. Squash, squash, orange or black and orange, be great fear. That's me and that's my sister and that's our two neighbors, and we just started the majorettes at the time, so my mom would have made all those costumes, those outfits.
I was about six. So. Susan. Mr. Ben. Gosh, I was just 11 there. I know my sister, she's a year older than me. You know, what does Florida mean to you when you're here? Well, I absolutely I love Florida, but this time when we were there, we were driving up to go to one of the beaches and we were driving past, you know, where Tampa is. And that's where she was.
And it's just like, oh, it's like it's almost over. But then, of course, obviously the night the such a horrible side of it. And obviously you are on the look out and you're kind of he looks a bit I don't know, maybe I don't know as hard as for the words.
I just the words aren't coming. I don't know. It's just a strange one really, because he's still out there enjoying his life and lovely sunny Florida. And that he has. And it's just unbelievable that he hasn't.
Court is just just goes to show you what kind of a person is. She was just not ready for it, and now she's at the pharmaceutical giant trophy in a pool, it's still quite cool.
Know a record breaking swimmer with Trojans swimming club. She has her sights firmly set on European Swimming Championships later this year, followed by the Olympic Games next year. When you take into account when you take into account that she was that she has little or no social life marathon training sessions and are struggling with the Leaving CERT as well. Susan seems like an exceptionally decent, disciplined teenager. Her reasons are simple. She is. She loves swimming.
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 Ghiberti or have any information, however minor, that you feel could help the producers, please contact us confidentially. Where is George Gibney, a BBC Dakoda, U.K. that's where is George Gibney all one word at BBC.
Dakoda, U.K.. And you can find us on Social at Second Captains. Where is George Gibney is second captain's production for BBC since the series is written and produced by me, Mark Horgan and Kiran Cassidy, it's co-produced with Maria Horgan and editing is also by Kathryn Cassidy. Research and fact checking is by Chilian and a composer, composers Michael Fleming and Sound Mixing is by Jerry McDonnel. 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 hear episode seven of Where Is George Gibney, which is called Chrysler News from next Thursday, October the 8th. And you can subscribe now on 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.
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