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 occasional strong language.
Episode seven Crisis renews while we've been here an hour and 15. Yeah. They have no idea where here they are. That was the same thing that even like the fact that they came down. Yeah, he definitely is known to us. Hey, look, look, look, yeah, this is just the two boys. There they are. Just keep your head down, keep your head. George, give me walking over to another side of the building.
They look like they're working here. They have some notes in their hand. George Gibney now lives in Altamont Springs, a respectable suburb in Orlando. We continue to wait outside his house and we watch. Oh. Ranger, after that, the overhead dog, we've been here for almost a week, maybe because we got to case the dog left left.
We follow George Clooney and his housemate to a local shop to get some groceries, and they're quickly back in the car.
Understand everything just to to dairy here, really. So they went this way today? Yeah. This is going to be a balance. And then we follow Gibney as he goes home. It's a simple seven minute journey that his church and our church where he passes the Church of the Annunciation, it's a local Catholic church that we believe he attends. A few cars and car cover. This is nice, isn't it? Yeah, she's so close to the church.
Yeah. As we wait, I make some more calls trying to get some answers on George Carbone's life today. We're trying to find out how he feels his days. Does he have a job? Is he coaching, swimming? Is he in contact with children? What's his routine now? Silver Honda.
That's not it. There is a three back. It's too big. We make contact with whoever we feel could help us. So local churches, local police, some religious groups, different charities, obviously swimming clubs and different coaches in the area.
Most people had never heard of George Kaepernick, let alone met. It's good that we got a sense.
Nancy O'Reilly. Hey, Nancy, how are you doing? It's Mark here from the BBC. Hi, Mark.
How many calls? I eventually got in contact with a woman called Nancy. She works in the Church of the Annunciation. She's the office manager there.
Yeah. In fact, I was at Mass on Saturday evening and he comes strolling in. He's always comes on our bookstore, buys candles, and frankly, we don't know where he gets his money from because he doesn't work. But he has a credit card, but we don't know, you know, and it never comes back that it's not it's never been declined. But he comes in and buys candles regularly. We can't we can't ban him from attending mass, but he's banned from everything else here.
OK, so no volunteering and those types of things.
He cannot volunteer here at all. He's been inactivated as a parishioner here. When we put someone inactive, it means that they are not if not a parishioner here, if they don't contribute any money to poor stewardship, if they do, we send it back. He's he's just determined that that he's not allowed to volunteer in any type of ministry here. But I don't think many people know. And who knows if he hasn't done anything here? Who knows?
You don't know where he's at or what he's doing, but he's not working, that's for sure. So what's he do all day long? So just like Nancy, we're trying to find out what George Gibney does now.
There's also a chance this car can we come to have a look at us just about that? As I sit there, I think about how Gibney got to this point, how he managed to get into the United States in the first place, how he was helped, and there's a three decade old mystery that we'd like to figure out who offered him the coaching job in the US that helped him get his visa. It's going to come over, I don't know, then we spot someone watching us, just standing there studying our car, slowly drinking a coffee that you can have a good outlook.
It's good to see you outside the car. The. Hi, how are you doing? How are you? I am kind of last year and I'm from the BBC and we're looking to we're meeting somebody here for an interview, a resident of Altamont Springs. I know it was just I'm sorry if I'm actually really conscious as well. I've parked in this residential area where people could think, what is the hell is that strange guy down there? Yeah. Yeah.
Think good. Oh, everything's good. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't hear there a coach. Oh. As we continue to wait, forgive me, I go over something I tracked down in Ireland. It's an old Trojan swimming club, coaches contacts both from Gibbons's time at the club and there are lots of familiar names. So look at these names.
It's there's Jerry Doyle, Father Arnold Bennett, Terry O'Rourke, all convicted, and then UK names right alongside him on the line below Gerry Doyle. Mike convicted from the UK. Paul Higson is convicted in the UK. We investigated a lot of people in this book. Take, for example, a former manager of the Irish Olympic team in 1984, a man called Billy Moore.
So he was the guy months after it came out in the papers about Keaveney in the Tribune, months after it became public knowledge, he was inviting him to coach kids in Manhattan. So he was seen alongside poolside alongside Gibney in Manhattan. And after that, that's after the Tribune story.
And he also questioned the mentality of anybody who came forward with accusations against Keaveney.
Charlie Wilson, Charlie Wilson. Big teams, GB names, Charlie Wilson was a Team GB coach at the Olympics in 1976, one of the swimmers, the famous Brian Brinkley, got a bronze medal in Bedford, a Bedford Madhani inside coach.
Really big name like that he had given me would have gone way back when news of the allegations against Gibney broke.
We learned that Wilson was a big defender of his documents. We which show that Gibney was actually living in the Bedford area for a period in 1995, and the Charlie Wilson, along with other families connected to Bedford Modernity's, took turns and putting Gibney up families with young swimmers. Gibney also coached kids at the club during this time. And then look at the name right beside it, Tommy Smith, so the mother helped him get that job and under in Edinburgh and the UK Team GB coach again and the Olympics.
Jamie Smith, that name again at the under a club in Edinburgh where he was appointed in August to coach talented youngsters, officials knew all about the allegations and went ahead with offering him the post man who got them into or helped get him into the winter club in Edinburgh.
After the news, a comment making this series. We also learned that 10 years after getting George give me that prestigious job in Edinburgh, Hayami Smith's son was putting up George Ghiberti in California at the request of his father. So his son put give me up in the house in California. Ten years later. 10 years later.
But what I think is really interesting is the amount of US names that are here and the US contacts, you see, you see 001 numbers all over here.
Well, it's tremendous. They've really recognized the standard of Irishwoman, the improvement, because we've been to Florida once or twice. As I go through the diary, name after name and coach after coach, I come across an Irishman but an Irishman with a Tampa address. But then does this name Peter Banks? Yeah. So Peter Banks, Irish name. Florida address.
Take the exit toward West Michigan Street, he's up to 50 feet. Peter Banks is from Dublin. He was George Gibbons's assistant coach at the Trojans Club for 12 years. Gibney was his mentor and they were synonymous with each other as George Rose the ranks of Irish swimming. But then in 1989, Peter Banks got a big swimming job in Florida. Banks went on to have the career George Gibney would have dreamed of. He coached Olympic gold medalists. He became a Hall of Fame coach internationally.
And he still coaches in Tampa.
Peter Banks agreed to talk to me about Gibney, and I was somewhat surprised because he's never been interviewed on the subject before and I had a lot of questions about the job offer for the visa application, how he feels all these years later about his mentor, George Gibney, and about why he never spoke before. We meet in a hotel in Rocky Point in Tampa in a pretty stuffy hotel room.
I just said, OK, here, I'll turn that, OK. And I also because the air conditioning makes a bit of noise and I'm going to turn it off. OK, so hopefully I've got water supplies there. So hopefully, OK, no problem. There's a lot of misinformation flying around, this might be a good way to put my two cents in and tell the story, the way I understand it is also a good way of getting my story out there, whether it's right or not.
But. You know, it's my understanding of what has happened over the years, you know? And the last actually the last time I met George Anthony was the day, the time he came out to collect his green card. He had to fly out here to collect his green card and he called by the pool. And a friend of mine, Dave McCullough, who's since deceased, called me and he said, just so you know, this is all just broken in the news.
And because, you know, there was no Internet and stuff like that. So Dave called me and George walked on the poolside and I pulled him aside and I said, George, this is just call me. And he said, I want to know, is this true or what's going on here? And he he never answered me. And I said, I guess by not answer me, is it a mission or what I said, but I don't want anything to do with you.
I said, this is my life out here now. And as far as I'm concerned, you've I can't remember the words I said, but I mean, basically, I said I didn't want to see him again. That was Pilsudski, that was he called into the pool one day he was over here, he had come over here to pick up his green card. I have never seen him a day since.
It's interesting that he never said anything about, you know, he literally walked, turned on his heel, walked out the door. And from that time in that you spoke about, well, give me a to pull in early 93. If you did you have any communication with him since no, not one single word to the attempt to get in contact with you. No, never did.
Gibney collected his U.S. visa from Tampa and saw Peter Banks for the final time in early 1993, which means his application was granted in 1992. He was a step ahead of the case and his timing was extraordinary. Given his application in 1992 coincided with the introduction of the marrison visa program in the US, where at least 16000 visas yearly were given exclusively to people from Ireland, more Irish were granted lottery visas to the US that year than any other time in history, and George Keaveney was one of them.
To get his US visa, Gibney needed an American job offer. And just to be clear, the job offer was made before the allegations against George Gibney became public in the press.
We were able to access a redacted copy of the job offer after a journalist called Irvan Mutchnick won a Freedom of Information case to access Gibbons's immigration file.
But it's heavily redacted, and all names and dates and addresses have been blacked out. There's always been a mystery about who wrote us even 30 years later. No one has ever admitted to it. The job offer, and that was with his visa, did you write that? I don't think so. I quite honestly, I don't think so. This is this is a redacted version of it you see there, Sam. So it's associated with a team, I don't know if you can read, I here would be very interested in your services as a coach to do their team.
I don't ever remember doing that. I mean, I don't ever remember that. Do you think he could have? I could have, but I don't ever remember ever being asked to do. But it would make sense if that was. And if it was, it was you put it together prior to anything, allegations like that, it's almost on the. Yeah. But also that he would collect the visa associated with this and an address near you or your son.
Yeah, I mean, I, I don't ever remember that. But again, you know, in passing a time when he was put in his application together, maybe he asked me for.
I again, I can't doesn't it doesn't ring a bell with me, it doesn't it doesn't have say, oh yes, I remember doing that, yeah. He had asked me to do that.
I don't ever worry about it. He might have. Yeah, of course he could have. It is unusual that you don't remember whether you wrote that job offer. Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, I could I mean, I could have done it. I'm not saying I didn't do it. I could have done it. But it could have been in in a in a way he could have been over at the time in one of the training camps. I said, by the way, I'm doing this. Can you write something up for me and you don't remember the club? Well, the club was I mean, blew it. Blew it.
Yeah. I mean, it would have been blown away. I mean, I was invested in the services of. Yeah, I would have been blown away if I was going to say anything.
It would have been where I was, you know, you know, from from various people that I've spoken to who are from the coaching side of things, the assistant coaches and from the people who are survivors of devious activity and also just people who are associated during that time were chosen. Some people were confused as to why you haven't spoken publicly about it before, and that's not suggesting anything. Yeah, but can you understand why I suppose the people that were around at that time when you were had spent a really significant proportion of time with gave any idea that you hadn't, I suppose, publicly condemned him?
Yeah, yeah. I don't know.
I mean, I was I was out of the situation, I suppose I had got on with my life. I was in America. I wasn't part of, you know, what was going on.
But I mean, I'm not sure was that my role in this whole thing.
Maybe some people think he should have been my role, but maybe at the time I didn't think it was my role to to speak up properly, because I don't think I was aware of any of those things that were happening when they happened. And maybe people think, well, you should have been. Well, maybe I should have been. But at the time, I. I don't ever consider any of those things that happened. I, I can say hand on heart that I, I don't ever remember seeing anything that would I would have constituted, as, you know, abuse in that way other than him being on the pool deck, you know, being aggressive and, you know, demanding a lot from athletes and being controlling and those sort of things, you know, and it might sound very, you know, innocuous in some ways or.
Well, that's true. But he should have he should have easily known that or he should have easily known what was going on here. What kind of moron is he? He didn't know what was going on here. But until you live those things, until you're part of them, who knows how you're going to react? Who knows how you're going to say and what you're going to say or what you're not going to say. You know, if we knew what we know now, yes, we'd all be different.
But, you know you know, you do things because it's the environment you're in, the environment you were brought up in and you treat them different ways. I mean, it's not about at the time. It's it is about right and wrong. But you don't think of that that way when you're standing there, living it every single day, you know, and you don't think about what's right or wrong. I mean it, you know, in the sense of I was there every day for 12 years.
Yeah. But so were a lot of other people. So a lot of other parents. So were a lot of other people around the whole place. I mean, so why does it come down to me? So yes.
Am I sitting here being nervous about talking to you about it? Yeah, of course I am. I wouldn't be normal if I wasn't. You know, why does it come down to one person? That's yeah. I was on the side of the pool every day and I was working hard and doing, you know, is it is a right that he he gets away with. It's no, it's not. But is is a one person to blame or is it the whole system to blame.
OK. And did you get everything you needed this? Yeah, I think so. I think I've got it yet. OK. I believe Peter Banks and I leave with a clear idea of what happened when George Ghiberti first came to Florida to pick up his visa. The very next morning at 7:00 a.m., we return to our spot across the road from Gibbons's housing development for a lot of police cars patrolling the area anyway. Another car going past.
First, they can't stop and then just before nine o'clock, George Clooney leaves the house in his car at the lights. Hey, we're going to have a look here. The car, like before, is driven by Gibbons's housemate. He's around the same age as Gibney, maybe slightly younger. OK, yes, I'm going to stay very far away here, OK, because we don't know, I think would be very unusual because they were even blocked. OK, they're going into Florida now.
They're going to be asking, given his car disappears into a raft of buildings. There are lots of different premises here. What want be going to talk? We wait in the car park for them to return. It seems to be a hospice to it's got a kind of religious connotation does. Sonidos. Well, we've been here to an hour and 15 minutes and we ponder questions, are they sick? Do they work here or are they just visiting someone?
They have no idea we're here. That was the same day that even like the fact that they came down. Yeah, he definitely is known to us. Then we spot the two of them walking from one building to another, carrying what seems to be notes that the two boys George gave me of walking over to another side of the building. They have some notes in their hand. They then suddenly go back to their car and drive out the car in this way.
OK, radio. Yeah.
After leaving George Keaveney go straight home. But we go back to the hospital to investigate more. So if you're coming up this way, that's where we saw him walking. Yes, and that's the door says employee entrance only. OK, if you see them, they went down here to the left. Yes. And if you see down there that entrance and see in there six or five, that's an employee entrance only. So the proper entrance for patients is around the front of it.
So why was Gibney wandering around the grounds of the hospital? Could this have been a once off? Was given just visiting someone or was he an employee caring for some of the most vulnerable people in this community?
You have one new voice message received, 17 oh for. It turns out that one of those names we contacted in the area messaged me back to listen to this message again. Supposed to play the message information by Coach Clay Parnell works with the local swimming club in Altamont Springs.
It's called Patriot Aquatics. And he had met George Carbone. And it wasn't a poolside, right.
Hello. Hi, is that Clay? Yes, hi, good afternoon. It's Mark Corrigan here from the BBC. How are you doing?
All right, fine. Just fine. How are you? I'm great, thanks. Thanks so much for sending me on your number so I can have a chat. Really appreciate it. Yeah. Well, how did it come to pass, Clay? Oh, it's been a long time. And I was, you know, just taken part in like a men's group cause, you know, and there was a group of us and, you know, you kind of go around the room.
I guess it's even some of it's a little bit hard to remember. But you go around the room, you know, of course, when you start start off at the beginning of the day or the morning and, you know, introduce yourself and tell everyone all about yourself. And, you know, I was just one coach, those kind of things. So after we did that, I he approached me and said, you know, something to the effect of some curse on I.
I just recall he was very special. But, you know, it's kind of sheepish about it and looking at me a little sheepish about it. And when I look back, I thought, well, maybe he was kind of feeling me out to see if I knew who he was or recognize who he was. So but then we got to talking a little bit about swimming and he seemed to know a lot about it. And I just thought I was going to ask the guy I didn't know he was you know, I really wasn't familiar with him.
It was some time later, I can't remember. It might have been a year later or six months or just online. Somehow the story had come across, you know, and mentioned him. And I'm sick. Really disturbing, very disturbing and just really quite unbelievable now. So I so I was like, holy smokes. I can't believe it. You know, that is now just very disturbing, disturbing stories to mind me asking you what the men's group was.
I'd rather not. I really don't think that this group, you know, nobody this group knew anything about swimming, you know what I mean? And I just I would rather not say what it was because I don't want them. I just don't want to get them involved, as they were, I'm sure are completely ignorant of anything, you know, as far as his background or our swimming background and saying we know that he had at one point some quite strong religious links and and that we just want to piece those things together.
What we are, I suppose, trying to figure out is the trends of the organizations that he's still involved in, because from the early days, he tended to be involved in organizations that had religious links but also had had trends into volunteering and that he would have could have access to children in that regard. So that's what our concern is.
And when I'm asking that question, let me ask you this. Have you found any organizations in this area that he's been a part of? Yeah, we do.
We know that he was part of the Knights of Columbus and and we know that he was part of the Church of the Annunciation, which is a church that's in Altamont Springs.
And I don't know if it's OK, since, you know, that that that was the men's group. There was a Annunciation. I'm a member of an association. Right. And that's the men's group where I bumped and we were doing a very long course. It lasted for months. Well, you know, you would meet once a week and then there would be a long weekend and all that stuff. And that's a men's group with Annunciation. And that's where it was.
That's where that's where I bumped into him. And then I saw him in church about a year later after I found out, I think I saw him attending church or something like that. And I'm like, oh, man. I just, you know, really made me feel pretty. Yes. That the stories I read were very disturbing. And I was very you know, I was like, oh, man, these seems to be involved in the church, you know, a little bit.
But I have not seen him in church for probably eight years. Not, you know, there's multiple services. So, you know, I go to the morning, he may go to another one. I don't know. I got the idea he was involved in some kind of like the Knights of Columbus. I don't know which one, but I got the idea was that there was a gold price for news. Prizewinners was the name of the course once I was involved in the merger of Chrysler News.
All right, so the very next day, we once again sit and we wait for George, give me. If nothing else, from today, we get 18 seconds of fire. As we wait, let me tell you a little bit more about the group you heard Clay mentioned to us, the Knights of Columbus.
It's a conservative men's only Catholic organization, and it was founded in the late eighteen hundreds and on the local group's website and Altamont Springs, they highlight their volunteering and fundraising for groups like the Scouts and the Special Olympics. Jeepneys housemate is a senior. Knights of Columbus is a former Knight of the Year. So it's perhaps unsurprising that George Khubani was also a member. In 2010, when his past was revealed, the Knights said that Keaveney had left, but after searching through all their monthly newsletters over the years, we found a photo of George Gibney volunteering with the Knights at the Florida classic college football game in December 2014.
So almost five years after they became aware of the allegations, there he is, George Gibney in a photo alongside 11 other knights, including his housemate. Here we go. And so I was going to go straight way again at almost exactly the same time, George, give me and the man he lives with leave the house. Which way? Yeah. And just go back to where you were yesterday. And we follow them and they look like they're going in the same direction as the previous day.
OK, so they're going back into the hospital, the hospice of the comforter again at exactly the same time. It's 9:00 a.m.. We wait in the car park. Er, there we go. So they're absolutely working in here, so I can see George give me I can see them walking with a shopping trolley and they're walking from one wing to another wing and they obviously have materials from the hospital within us. And there walk into another wing of the hospital, looks like it's a full shopping trolley full of file notes.
So they're volunteering here for sure they're either volunteering or working here for sure you don't walk around as a patient with a shopping trolley full of files. George Gibney was still volunteering. Afterwards, the hospice of the comforter, when contacted and told about, given his background, said he now no longer volunteers there. They also said they were not at liberty to give any more information on George Gibney. When contacted the Knights of Columbus and Altamont Springs told us George Gibney is no longer a member, but they wouldn't say when he stopped volunteering.
In some ways, nothing has really changed. What jumps out to me about the Irish and UK coaches Billy Moore, Harry Smith, Charlie Wilson is that people continue to help Gibney even after they knew about the allegations.
And still today, people like Gibbons's housemate and certainly for a time, the Knights of Columbus continued supporting George Clooney despite knowing what he'd been charged with in this way.
OK, ready to go? We now knew where George Ghiberti volunteered and we knew where he lived. It was time to speak to him. 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 Giménez 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 Kidney's a second captain's production for BBK, 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 Caroline Cassidy. Research and fact checking is by Chilian Down our composers Michael Fleming and Sound Mixing is by Geri McDonnell.
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 eight of Where Is George Gibney, which is called Talk from next Thursday, October 15th. After that, there'll be a break before Episode nine and 10 as new information continues to come forward. We produce these last two episodes in real time or in that next week. In the meantime, subscribe now on the free BBC Sanza.
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