Trish Kearney Above Water


Code 9781529333640

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About this Book

"When my parents signed me up to join Trojan Swimming Club, they had no idea the evil behind Gibney's interest in me. As a thirteen-year-old, who had known nothing but kindness and love, I was ill-equipped to understand what was happening, as he insidiously dominated my thinking and isolated me from anyone who might come between us. The process of entrapment was quick, and, in full view of my family and team-mates, I became a prisoner - bullied, manipulated and abused - yet nobody seemed to notice.
So complete was Gibney's control of me, that not only could I not see a way out, it didn't even occur to me to look for one."

In 2019, in the aftermath of her mother's death, Trish Kearney wrote the  story that had burned inside her for decades - but which she could not until then commit to paper. In her moving memoir, Trish writes about the child she once was, a great Irish Olympic hope, growing up in a happy family who nurtured her talent - only to have her potential destroyed by years of abuse by her coach, a man trusted by her family.

She describes how suppressed memories of those torturous times resurfaced as a young mother, and the day her life changed when a letter from former team-mate and friend Gary O'Toole came through the post, asking an unspoken question which paved the way for Gibney being publicly exposed. Trish was one of the six swimmers who charged the top Irish swim coach with sexual abuse offences in 1992. Their case was dropped on appeal by him in 1994, but the Murphy Report subsequently gave credence to their testimony. Today, George Gibney lives in the US and is internationally recognised as the most notorious at-large sex offender in global sport.

Above Water is a survivor's story, of coming up for air after decades of burying trauma and learning to breathe again. It shines a light into dark places just as it casts its beam outwards, signalling the healing power of love, family and an indomitable human spirit.

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