I listened in last week to the podcast, Where is George Gibney?, pushing down a growing feeling of nausea as I heard voices I recognised from decades ago, describing the sexual and mental abuses they experienced at his hands.
The compelling podcast, produced by Mark Horgan and Ciaran Cassidy from the Second Captains team, covers the well-told tale of serial abuser George Gibney, the Irish swimming coach who continues to escape justice for his crimes.
Swimmer Tric Kearney described her experience of daily sexual horrors. Jesus. I thought: why don't I remember her? Then the narrator said she used to be known as Patricia McCahill.
Patricia, the young swimmer who used to also train with us in gymnastics. Our old friend Patricia, then one of Ireland's brightest swimming stars. George Gibney had been raping and sexually abusing her practically on a daily basis. How did we not know?
I listened to the rest of the podcast, wondering how this man had managed to do this to our friend and to others, right in front of our noses.
At the time I didn't know what he was doing. What I do know, however, is that in 1994, on my weekly phone call from Galway to the mammy in Dublin, she mentioned that Patricia McCahill from Trojan Swimming Club had called out of the blue looking for me. What was it about?
"George," I said immediately. "It's about George Gibney."
Last week, my childhood friend Fionnuala Doyle wrote something similar on a Facebook page that our Trojan colleague Jean Ringrose had set up for fellow gymnasts: "[We were] sitting together at the kitchen table in a cottage we shared back in 1994 and we heard an announcement on the news that a well-known Irish swimming coach was being investigated. We looked at each other and we both said 'George Gibney'. We shared our stories for the first time and we had never told anyone else, least of all our parents."
From the late 1970s, young gymnasts and swimmers would head to Newpark Sports Club in Dublin for early morning training sessions before school. On weekdays my alarm would go off at 5am. On freezing, dark winter mornings I would pull on my leotard over my underwear, then tee-shirt, sweater, footless tights and only then emerge from under the blankets to finish the job with tracksuit, top and bottoms, socks and runners.
School and sports bags containing my uniform and lunch would go on to the back of my bike and I'd cycle to training. Afterwards one of the swimming coaches would drive me and a few other swimmers to school. I thought nothing of having to be in bed by 9pm in order to be up again to train the next morning.
Though this all occurred decades ago, Jean's Facebook page was a wonderful way for us to reconnect and remember all the crazy experiences we had together. However, there was one black cloud in our memories. George.
Last week Jean put up the first two podcasts of Where is George Gibney?, saying: "I feel it necessary to throw it out there to our group and perhaps allow us share how his ways had an effect on us".
"I was thinking of reaching out to say that they should look beyond Trojan swimmers," added Fionnuala. "I think we should be heard. We never told anyone."
What was it we never told?
Fionnuala and Jean describe experiences with George that make me shudder.
"He insisted on giving me a lift home," said Fionnuala, after she had spent months trying to avoid being alone with him. When she insisted on getting out, he said: "But you need to thank me like you would thank your dad. Give me a kiss."
Fionnuala said: "So I went to kiss him dutifully on the cheek and he turned his hand under my chin and French-kissed me. He then tried to persuade me to become a swimmer."
Jean wrote: "He [George] often trailed us in our walks to and from the gym, offering us lifts. He once had the audacity to 'hug and kiss' me in the little room between the shop and pool. I kept silent like everyone else and even in my 20s when I started back swimming with George, I still said nothing. We were too young and innocent to deal with his atrocious ways."
My own experiences with him included unwanted hugs and kisses and inappropriate touches and comments. He would want us to sit on his lap in his office. The odd time he had to take our gym classes, he would grope us while 'supporting' our moves. Once, new leotards arrived and he made me and another gymnast try them on in his office, changing in front of him.
I knew this was wrong. And yet I didn't say anything. I got my hair cut short, Purdy style. George told me it looked like someone had put a bowl on my head and cut around it. There were no more hugs. And while I was relieved, I also felt oddly disappointed that I was no longer attractive enough to be wanted.
Angie O'Brien's memories reverberate with me as they highlight the manipulation of the arch predator that I recognised. "He made it very clear to me that I was not a favourite," she said. "Many years later as the scandal emerged, I realised that he manipulated me to want to be noticed… there was something about him that I wasn't sure about - but I still felt the rejection."
"George was like a predator, always lurking," added Jean.
We knew it. But at the time, we said nothing. Not to each other, not to anybody. It is a relief to finally get our words out, down on the page, to realise that we weren't crazy. We knew and yet we didn't know.
We discuss our own daughters and how we can only support them and talk to them, give them courage and hope that they can speak out if they are targeted or manipulated by sexual predators, so they know when they are being groomed, whether online or in the real world.
And we hope that breaking our own silence on our experiences may help them and others to recognise this abuse for what it is and speak out.
The first four episodes of 'Where is George Gibney?' are available on BBC Sounds. Confidential information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org