A new podcast, Where Is George Gibney? examines the case of internationally-renowned Olympic swimming coach George Gibney, who was accused of abusing young swimmers, and tries to find out where he has been and what he has done since he vanished in the 1990s.
It follows a two-year investigation by reporter Mark Horgan and producer Ciarán Cassidy.
George Gibney was a popular personality in his native Ireland, regularly appearing on television screens and across newspaper headlines. He also gave sports analysis and contributed to educational swimming shows.
The former Irish swimming coach was often in the limelight until he was accused of twenty-seven child sexual abuse charges. He never stood trial following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Ireland in 1993.
Multiple survivors can be heard in the podcast, who talk openly about their experiences and accuse Gibney of sexual assault spanning three decades.
Speaking publicly for the first time, the podcast also includes some of the people who tried to help Gibney. It explores why he didn’t stand trial, his time in the UK; and investigates what he did after proceedings were discontinued as well as the life he has led since.
The charges George Gibney faced have been widely and repeatedly reported, but this two year investigation and in-depth podcast that follows it every step of the way paints a fuller picture of George Gibney – what was happening at the height of his fame and how he spends his time now.
Former Olympian Gary O’Toole speaks about what it was like to know Gibney at the time and how he portrayed himself to the world, as a high-flying and connected celebrity swimming coach.
On a flight to the World Championships in Australia, Ireland’s star swimmer, O’Toole, was confided in by a fellow member of the team and he later worked to encourage the survivors of George Gibney to come forward.
In Where Is George Gibney? presenter Mark Horgan travels across Ireland, the UK and the US to find out the life George Gibney has made for himself and how, and whether he could still have access to children.
Mark Horgan says: “At the heart of the podcast is the survivors’ stories, their bravery and the impact of not having a chance to see justice done.
“I believe the truth about George Gibney and his path needs to be told to the widest audience possible. The investigation continues, for anyone who has information they want to share.”
Commissioning Editor for BBC Sounds podcasts, Jason Phipps, adds: “Investigative journalism has been pivotal at exposing abuse and problematic power dynamics between talented young people and those they trust, including in cases of high-profile sport coaches.
“Mark Horgan and Ciarán Cassidy’s extraordinary investigative podcast brings to light this incredibly important story and the experiences of those who for decades have not been heard.”
Episode 1/10 of Where Is George Gibney? is available now on BBC Sounds.