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'My life is more important than George Gibney's' | Trish Kearney

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

22:06 6 Apr 2021

After struggling to overcome the rage she once felt for George Gibney, and the fact he avoided a criminal punishment, Trish Kearney has expressed the peace with which she now lives her life.

Kearney discussed this and her book Above Water: A Stolen Childhood, An Enduring Scandal, A Survivors Story on Tuesday's Off The Ball.

"Of course I raged for years because he got away with it," Kearney said.

"I am very comfortable with it now because I really do not believe that any amount of years would ever have sufficed for me personally or for any of his survivors.

"I do understand that people equate justice with prison. I do believe for some it has been a very hard knock that he was never imprisoned for anything he did to them.

"I rarely actually think of Gibney or his life, or what he is doing, because it does not equate with my life. My life is more important than his life in my world.

"I live a great life. He lost a wonderful family.

"He lost everything. I do not mean lost it in a bad way. That is what he gave up by being the monster he was, that was taken away from him."

Kearney's story illustrates strength, courage and resilience, however, there have been many extremely difficult days during her long journey.

For much of her early childhood, Kearney forcibly forgot the abuse she suffered in order to cope.

"I got through my days by completely whitewashing it," Kearney reflected.

"I can still hear myself say these things: 'today I won't think about that now.' That is how I lived through it. For whatever reason, it actually worked extremely well for me.

"That is the way I coped, that worked for me. It is a very different story for everyone. Everybody copes in different ways."

"When you speak to people who are survivors of abuse, you will often see that time in their life was of huge turmoil," Kearney said.

"It is often 10, 20, 30 years after the abuse. They survive the abuse, they lived their life, you know? In some ways, that is why people could not believe them, because they just seem to be so ordinary and normal.

"They have to come to terms with all of that themselves later on. That process is not easy. It is a difficult one."

Kearney credited her close family and friends with being of immense help during those difficult years. She stressed how her life has evolved from that time.

"I am a very happy person and I am a person whose life has evolved."

"It is a scar I wear very proudly. It was a hideous ugly scar for a very long time and it is a scar now that is a part of my life and, not only am I happy wearing it, I am very proud of it.

"Like anyone who has come through anything or achieved anything in life you value the journey you have been on and where you have come to."

While she is in a great place in her life, Kearney acknowledged that other survivors may not be in a similar position and she supports them in seeking justice, whatever that may mean.

"I am quite happy for him not to come back," Kearney said of Gibney.

"I have said many, many times I would be there on the court steps with everyone else that needs justice if ever Gibney was brought back for it.

"Everyone has to come up with their own sense of what will heal them. If prison is what they need then I would back them all of the way."

If you have been impacted by any of the issues raised in this article, you can visit here for assistance

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Above Water Gary O'Toole Trish Kearney

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