herald

Wednesday 21 August 2019

My meeting with Savile -- Haughey girl

FORMER Taoiseach Charlie Haughey introduced disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile to his daughter Eimear when she was a young teen, not knowing anything about his sex abuse of young girls.

Savile was a regular visitor to the Haughey home in Abbeville, Kinsealy, where he was welcomed as a fundraiser for the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC).

The charity was co-founded by Valerie Goulding with the aim of providing care for disabled people.

Today Haughey's daughter Eimear Mulhern said she remembers meeting Savile, and admits being star-struck.

"He was very, very famous at that time, presenting Top Of The Pops and everything, and it was rare to see somebody so well known in Dublin," Eimear said.

Savile is believed to have visited Dublin for 15 years from the mid-1970s to lead charity walks for the CRC.

"I don't think it was in the house I met him. I don't remember him being in the house but I'm sure it's possible he was," Eimear explained.

"I probably got a handshake and an autograph. I really can't remember, but it was a big thrill to meet him," said Eimear.

The scandal has rocked the BBC to the core -- some 300 victims have come forward claiming they were abused by Savile.

At the time of the charity walks in Dublin the CRC was desperate for funds and the involvement of Savile provided a financial lifeline for the centre. Savile would be greeted with hysteria







Disturbing

Hamilton Goulding, the son of Valerie Goulding, who succeeded her as chair of the now State-funded facility, issued a heartfelt tribute to the knighted British DJ and former miner at the time of his death, describing him as a "very astute and clever man whose generosity was astounding".

But after he watched the deeply disturbing and ultimately damning ITV expose of Savile's sordid double life as a sex predator, Mr Goulding spoke of his profound disappointment and sadness.

And he stressed that in terms of charity events in Ireland, Savile was never allowed private access to hundreds of young fans or CRC patients who came out to see him.

Eimear Mulhern said she would have met Savile in a group of people, and not alone.

"Certainly there was no hint of any bad behaviour like we've heard about in the last few weeks," she said.

"If there was any hint of that, poor Lady Goulding would have had nothing to do with him. God, when I think about it now I'm glad she's not around to hear what was going on," said Eimear.

"It's disgusting. It's awful. I'm absolutely shocked at what we are hearing now," she added.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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