Taking a stand when others turned away

 

Sir, – Johnny Watterson’s article “Olympian took a stand when others turned their heads” (Sport, July 14th) highlighted a dreadful chapter in Irish sport.

However, it failed to credit one person in particular, without whose journalistic integrity the story might never have been told.

After the Supreme Court decision to halt the prosecution of George Gibney, a decision I found both perplexing and personally devastating, it was not me who personally persuaded survivors to allow their stories to be published on the front page of a Sunday newspaper. It was not me who gathered several sworn affidavits from survivors of Gibney’s horrendous abuse. It was not me who argued with lawyers about defamation law, and it was not me that stressed the importance to an editor that the story needed to be acknowledged publicly.

Were it not for that journalist, the malignant underbelly of Irish swimming might never have been exposed.

That journalist deserves immense credit and thanks.

That journalist is Johnny Watterson. – Yours, etc,

GARY O’TOOLE,

(Former Irish

international swimmer),

Donnybrook,

Dublin 4.