Below is the full text of the article in London’s Sunday Times. It is reprinted with permission. © Times Newspapers Limited 2015
Complete chronological links to Concussion Inc.’s Gibney series are at https://concussioninc.net/?p=10205.
Gibney rape victim “had secret abortion in UK”
By Justine McCarthy
18 October 2015
A FORMER swimmer has told gardai that a high-ranking official in the sport took her to England for an abortion after George Gibney, the national coach, raped her in 1991.
The woman has told officers conducting a review of the Gibney case that the official warned her not to tell anybody about the abortion.
She said Gibney raped her in a Florida hotel room during a training camp when she was 17. She discovered three months later that she was pregnant and she told the official, who is a professional person and knew Gibney.
She said the official obtained air travel tickets and accompanied her to England. She believes she was taken to an abortion clinic in London and remembers the official giving her pills that made her groggy during the trip.
Maureen O’Sullivan, an independent TD who raised questions in the Dail about the Gibney case, has acted as a go-between for the woman in making contact with the garda review team.
After O’Sullivan questioned the taoiseach about the case last spring, Noirin O’Sullivan, the garda commissioner, ordered a case review.
The former swimmer has made numerous suicide attempts and has been hospitalised many times throughout her adulthood. She has been receiving intensive counseling in preparation to make her garda statement. She contacted gardai because she wants both Gibney and the official to be prosecuted.
She claims Gibney took her to a room in a hotel in Tampa, Florida, saying he wanted to discuss her swimming but then he raped her and warned her that if she told anybody he would sue her parents and impoverish them.
The woman only told her parents about the abortion in recent years, though they knew about the rape.
They met three officials from the Irish Amateur Swimming Association, the sport’s then governing body, at the Aisling Hotel in Dublin in May 1995 and informed them Gibney raped their daughter while at an overseas training camp.
At a second meeting with two officials of the association’s Leinster branch the following month, they handed over a written statement from their daughter in which she outlined what had happened in Florida.
Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecent assault and unlawful carnal knowledge in April 1993. In July 1994, the High Court granted an order prohibiting the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from proceeding after the Supreme Court ruled that the charges were too old to be properly defended.
Gibney has been living in America since 1995.
A second garda investigation, into allegations that Gibney sexually abused four new complainants, ended in 2003 when the DPP decided not to apply for his extradition from America. The woman who contacted gardai last week was one of those complainants. On the night gardai informed her there was to be no trial, she attempted to hang herself from a tree on the grounds of a religious order and was rescued by a priest.
O’Sullivan has been contacted by another former swimmer who told her that she, too, was a victim of Gibney but feels unable to make a garda statement as she is in counseling. She asked O’Sullivan to continue pursuing the case.