Extraordinary scenes in Dail as Taoiseach challenges Gerry Adams on abuse
REPUBLICAN sex abusers who were “expelled” by the IRA from the North are still living in the Republic, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said today.
Mr Kenny was speaking in a very heated Dail debate immediately after he finished a 90-minute with Mairia Cahill.
She alleges she was raped by an IRA man and later very badly treated during an IRA/Sinn Fein cover-up of the crime.
The Taoiseach directly challenged Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, to answer specific questions on the issue.
• Were people “expelled” from the North and still now operating in the Republic – and if so where were they and what were they doing now?
• Did three senior IRA people make Mairia Cahill repeatedly answer questions and also confront her attacker?
• Was she forcibly sworn to secrecy and forbidden to report the case to the police?
"It’s clear from my conversation this morning with Mairie Cahill that there are are a number of very clear questions that need to be answered
"One of those questions concerns the movement of people from Northern Ireland involved in the IRA who were moved down to this jurisdiction. And they’re still here.
"People know who they are. People know where they are. People know of their activities
"And it’s time these people spoke up and answered these questions," the Taoiseach told the chamber.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said victims of sex abuse at the hands of "powerful" men in the IRA were sworn to silence.
"The most powerful men within the IRA interrogated victims of abuse at the hands of leading men in the IRA. That happened," the opposition leader said.
"The most powerful men and the most powerful men conspired, conspired to protect the abusers and swore the victims to silence.
"It’s unpalatable to have to say that. There might be members of the house who might like saying that. But actually there’s no getting away from it."
During very heated exchanges, Mr Adams countered that both the Taoiseach and the Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin, had cast a slur “on thousands of decent Sinn Fein members” by falsely alleging they covered up sex abuse cases involving Republicans.
He also accused both of approaching the issue in a very "sliabheen" way and both the Taoiseach and Mr Martin were polticising the issue.
"Will you accept that these matters, serious, difficult matters, need to be dealt with in a victim-centred way by the appropriate authorities and not politicised as they have been in this chamber," the Sinn Fein leader said.
The Taoiseach agreed with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin that there will be a full Dail debate on the controversy.
He also promised that Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, will contact her counterpart in the North, David Forde, to discuss cooperation in handling the issue.
Mr Kenny also pledged that the Government will consider a way for Republican sex abuse victims being allowed a way of coming forward and telling their story in confidence.
The Taoiseach said it had been a privilege to meet Mairia Cahill at Government Buildings and hear her courageously tell her horrifying story.
The Sinn Fein leader strongly denied there was any “cover-up” by his party, he welcomed the Dail debate and said he and his party would fully participate.
He said he wanted all abuse victims to come forward and tell their stories.
“They will have Sinn Fein’s full support in doing so,” Mr Adams said.
Mr Kenny later told Adams: "I find it absolutely unbelievable that you would come into this House of Parliament and say a man who raped a woman, who sexually abused her, is a decent person"