Thursday 14 December 2017

Chairman of charity close to Savile's heart pays fond tribute

Fiona Ellis

THE chairman of an Irish charity that legendary broadcaster and DJ Jimmy Savile supported for 15 years last night paid tribute to a "very astute and clever man whose generosity was astounding".

Savile had a long-standing connection with Ireland and was a tireless supporter of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC).

For years he visited Dublin to be the star attraction at the charity's fundraising walks and helped raise millions in funds for the organisation, which provides specialised services for children and adults with physical disabilities.

Hamilton Goulding, chairman of the CRC and son of its founder Lady Valerie Goulding, last night spoke fondly of Savile, who he met many times and who he described as "a terrific man".

"It was really fantastic what he did. He and my mother together came up with the idea of the first charity walk. It really was an incredible success. The first time I was ever afraid of being crushed in a crowd was that first walk where people packed the streets to see him and to participate in the walk. He did so much for the charity."

Mr Goulding said Mr Savile was larger than life but underneath his eccentric persona was a very clever man.

"He was a most unusual man, no doubt about that. A lot of the time he would act the fool and make funny noises and had his funny catchphrases. But in fact, when you got to talk to him seriously, you would discover he was a very clever man. He was very astute; ultimately I think he is a very private person.

"He will be missed. He was an amazing man."

Irish Independent

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