Friday 24 October 2014

Ministers to discuss Savile's visits to children's hospital

Published 27/06/2014 | 02:30

Central Remedial Clinic founder Lady Valerie Goulding with then President Erskine Childers and Jimmy Savile. Savile also befriended Charles Haughey.
File photo dated 15/8/2000 of Jimmy Savile.
File photo dated 15/8/2000 of Jimmy Savile.

HEALTH Minister James Reilly is to discuss Jimmy Savile's visits to the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin with Children's Minister Charles Flanagan.

It comes in the wake of the horrific revelations about the former television star who after his death was found to have been a paedophile who engaged in macabre abuse.

Dr Reilly said he would speak to Mr Flanagan on the issue of the safety of children who may have come into contact with Savile when he was in Ireland in the 1970s.

When the revelations first emerged, the Central Remedial Clinic, which cares for children with a physical disability – and benefited from the 'Top of the Pops' presenter's help with funding – said it was unaware of any allegations surrounding him while he was in Ireland.

Mr Savile's pulling power brought out a crowd of 30,000 in 1971 when he led a charity walk from Dublin city centre to Baldoyle on behalf of the CRC.

One newspaper report said that "Jimmy Savile delighted the crowd by stripping to the waist and flinging his shorts into a screaming throng".

When interviewed by the Irish Independent that year he was asked: "Is there anything that particularly moves or shocks you?" Savile said: "No."

Correspondence released through the national archives show that former Taoiseach Charles Haughey thought Savile might make a good mediator for meetings between the British and Irish governments.

The two men met in 1980 in the CRC through Lady Valerie Goulding, who founded the clinic.

Documents later released under the 30-year rule showed that Mr Haughey suggested he could "be a good mediator, as he really is very well in with Mrs Thatcher and members of the Opposition as well".

Savile, who had a talent for ingratiating himself with key people of power, later became a regular visitor to the Haughey home in Abbeville.

Irish Independent

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