Former Irish Olympic swim coach George Gibney may soon face extradition for up to 50 counts of sexual assault based on a recent recommendation to indict by Ireland’s national police agency, Garda Siochana.
Gibney, who coached the Irish Olympic swimming team in 1984 and 1988, was indicted in 1993 on 27 counts of indecent carnal knowledge of juveniles. But that case was derailed by a controversial 1994 Irish Supreme Court ruling that determined his right to a fair trial was compromised by the passage of time.
In 1995, Gibney moved to America with a diversity lottery visa, coaching at one point for a USA Swimming age-group program in the suburban Denver area. A Colorado police report in 2000 reviewed an informant’s worries that Gibney was part of a “pedophile ring” and that he may travel with children in his Catholic parish to Peru. More than a decade later, FBI agents were sent to Peru to investigate Gibney’s travel there after a FOIA case by journalist Irvin Muchnik.
That FOIA case also revealed that ICE officials ruled that Gibney was not a candidate for deportation even after he withheld from his failed 2010 U.S. citizenship application that he had been prosecuted for sex crimes in Ireland. He was also reportedly under investigation at the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.
Irish authorities reopened their investigation into Gibney, now in his 70s residing in Florida, following the 2020 BBC podcast, “Where is George Gibney?”, which prompted 18 victims to come forward with new information. Earlier this month, Irish media reported that the Gardai are awaiting a decision from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). If the DPP agrees to bring new charges against Gibney, the Gardai reportedly know his current whereabouts and are confident that they will get an extradition order.
As the BBC podcast points out in the first episode, the Gibney case is considered to be one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in Olympic sports history along with the Larry Nassar case in USA gymnastics and the Barry Bernell case in U.K. football.
“George Gibney is the most prolific child molester in Olympic sports history, including Larry Nassar,” said attorney Jonathan Little, who has represented dozens of plaintiffs in abuse lawsuits against USA Swimming and other Olympic sports bodies. “Gibney raped children not only in Ireland but in the United States. The fact that Gibney is permitted to stay in the United States when his criminal history is so well known is baffling to me and it shows the true power of the Olympic movement. As citizens, we need to be asking: ‘Who in our government is allowing Gibney to stay here and why?’”