To End the George Gibney Misery, Good People in America Must Reach Across the Water to Good People in Ireland

Published August 10th, 2015, Uncategorized

Complete chronological links to Concussion Inc.’s series on George Gibney are at



by Irvin Muchnick


George Gibney victim and whistleblower Chalkie White — interviewed by Justine McCarthy of London’s Sunday Times — offers the latest morsel on the hunt for Gibney justice: the suspicion that he entered the United States in the mid-1990s on a “Donnelly visa” obtained in a lottery as early as 1988.

If that proves to be how things played out, then it shows that the rapist former coach of the Irish Olympic swim team might well have been plotting his getaway from dozens upon dozens of credible allegations of his molestations of both girl and boy athletes under his supervision — and doing so long before criminal charges were lodged in 1993. As with passports and every other form of transnational transit, there was a healthy market in both real and bogus visas that could serve as “get out of jail free” cards, and local cronyism might have ruled the day.

The Chalkie White revelation does not change the fundamentals of the story: the global network and cover-up of youth athlete sex abusers. On the contrary, the memory that Gibney claimed he had a Donnelly visa only reinforces the urgency of my federal lawsuit to compel the Department of Homeland Security to release more of the Gibney records on file at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The agency acknowledges that it has on hand 102 pages on Gibney, but released only four of those pages in response to my request under the Freedom of Information Act. And those four pages are a printout of an all-points bulletin on Gibney published by Irish native Evin Daly’s Florida-based One Child International.

But there is even more circumstantial evidence pointing to the fact that my FOIA request is not a fishing expedition, not an effort to invade personal privacy, but rather a legitimate and public-spirited probe of the processes of our government. The uses and misuses of the Donnelly visa program (and its later brethen, the Berman and the Morrison) bear scrutiny quite apart from the quest to get Gibney shipped back to Ireland and held to account for his heinous crimes.

The American government’s blanket withholding of 98 pages on vaguely stated grounds that they are “law enforcement records” — without either reasonably targeted redactions or a detailed explanation of the argument that disclosure night be harmful — also reinforces the possibility that USA Swimming and/or the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) were and still are in on the Gibney cover-up.

Remember that Peter Banks, now back in his native country as the chief of Swim Ireland, moved to the U.S. during the same period as Gibney. As the coach of U.S. Olympian Brooke Bennett, Banks even became an American citizen so that he could join this country’s Olympic coaching staff. He then left the active coaching ranks and worked for John Leonard at ASCA before returning to Ireland. Today ASCA has a very close relationship with Swim Ireland that includes the marketing of coaches’ clinics.

Though Banks himself is not implicated in sexual abuse anecdotes, he has been manifestly unhelpful in stonewalling inquiries regarding Gibney, and simply (and implausibly) asserting that he knows nothing about the whole scenario.

Irish legislator Maureen O’Sullivan is right to call her government’s actions and inactions on Gibney “a litany of mistakes.” Her 107 female American counterparts, led by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, are wrong in so far ignoring O’Sullivan’s pleas for constructive public intervention on this side of what is a  transcontinental litany.

Until the good people of America work together with the good people of Ireland to get to the bottom of the George Gibney story, the global scandal of abuse of kids in amateur sports will remain a doubled-down disgrace.