Wednesday 21 March 2018

Savile 'never alone with girls at Irish charity events'

Sir Jimmy Savile was accused of using his role as a BBC presenter to groom girls. Photo: PA
Sir Jimmy Savile was accused of using his role as a BBC presenter to groom girls. Photo: PA

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

AN IRISH charity linked to the late Jimmy Savile has said it was "shocked and stunned" by an ITV documentary claiming he abused young girls.

However, the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) said that at no time had the TV presenter been left unattended with children in its care during his visits here.

The statement comes after an outcry over the documentary 'Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile', in which five UK women claimed they were assaulted by the TV personality while schoolgirls in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The 'Jim'll Fix It' star visited Ireland annually between 1968 and 1981 to lead fundraising walks for the Central Remedial Clinic, which attracted more than 25,000 people on to the streets of Dublin at their high point.

But in a statement issued last night the CRC -- a charity for children and adults with physical disabilities -- said it was unaware of any allegations about Savile during or after his involvement with the charity.

"It is also our understanding that at no time was Jimmy Savile left unattended with children in the care of the CRC," the statement added.

Former 'Late Late Show' host Gay Byrne, who interviewed Savile on his chat show four times described him as "odd, and a little strange".

But he said it was his bizarre nature that made him famous.

"Jimmy Savile was very, very peculiar. It was almost his selling point.

"He was an odd, strange man but nobody seemed to care as everybody loved him," said Byrne.


"The only rumours back then, when Jimmy Savile came to Ireland, were related to him never having married.

"Once I asked him if he was gay on 'The Late Late Show'. He denied it. That was a brave thing to do as you didn't mess with Jimmy Savile. He was a man's man, and a fell runner, which meant he ran up mountains."

Showband singer Dickie Rock, who accompanied Savile on the CRC walks each year, said he too was "shocked" by the allegation against Savile.

"Each year Jimmy Savile would come over for two days to do the walk, I'd spend the whole time with him, and I can honestly say I never saw anything sleazy.

"Maybe I was naive at the time. I just never got that impression. He always seemed very courteous and helpful to everyone," Mr Rock told the Irish Independent.

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