Monday 19 August 2019

‘I cannot investigate, I will not investigate’ - Gerry Adams refuses to say whether he could locate alleged McGahon abuser

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

THE President of Sinn Fein has refused to say whether he could find out where the alleged abuser of Paudie McGahon is.

He was responding to repeated questions from Morning Ireland presenter Gavin Jennings as to whether he, as leader of the republican movement, could find out where Mr McGahon’s alleged abuser is.

Mr Adams said outright he did not know where Mr McGahon’s alleged abuser is – however refused to say whether he would be able to locate him.

“I’m not going to investigate these matters, that’s a matter for the gardai.

“I’m not  a law enforcer, I’m a law maker. I cannot investigate, I will not investigate”, he said following repeated questioning. 

Earlier in the interview, he said he believed Mr McGahon’s claims that he was raped.

“I believe he was raped. I believe the person who raped him should go through due process.

“Sinn Fein’s intention is to support him in that. Anyone with any information on this should bring it forward to the garda or the PSNI.

He said he had no knowledge whether Mr McGahon’s alleged abuser was still in the jurisdiction, however said if he was sent abroad this was wrong.

“I don’t have anything to contradict what he (McGahon) said. The fact is the IRA should not have been near any of these cases. That was inappropriate . The only people who should deal with these cases are policing authorities.

“I regret very much what happened to Paudie, I know that may not make it any easier for him or anyone else.

“I want these issues to be dealt with.

He said he first became aware of the allegations around 2009, when Mr McGahon went to then Louth Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan.

Mr Adams then read Mr Morgan’s letter to Mr McGahon after their meeting, in which he advised Mr McGahon to take his complaint to the gardai, and added that he had his full support in doing so.

Mr Adams defended senior party figures’ decision not to report the alleged abuse to gardai when Mr McGahon decided against it.

“This young man was an adult, he didn’t want to go to the gardai.

“Sinn Fein can’t force people to do this, they can only provide them with support.”

Earlier on the same programme, Mairia Cahill called for Sinn Fein and party leader Gerry Adams to publicly apologise to alleged abuse victim Paudie McGahon.

Ms Cahill was speaking this morning after the broadcast of a BBC spotlight programme during which Mr McGahon alleged he was raped by a senior IRA figure in Co Louth in the early 1990s.

She also called on Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy to apologise to Mr McGahon, after a Twitter account purporting to be his described his abuse claims as ‘rubbish’.

Mr Molloy’s purported tweet said: “Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight. Joint Indo bluesh.. production”

The Twitter account is listed on Mr Molloy's official website, however it has not been verified that the tweet was sent by him.

The tweet has since been deleted.

Speaking to Morning Ireland on Radio One, Ms Cahill said:

“I warned Sinn Fein at the time ... that when they said they weren’t covering up abuse that would invalidate victims and re-traumatise them, and cause other victims to come forward.

“I think it was much more difficult for him because he has seen how I have been treated in the aftermath. I believe his account entirely. Sinn Fein need to tell him they believe his account in its entirely and not cherry pick.

“The attacks on his character started before he even opened his mouth. The abuse towards me ratcheted up in the hours leading up to the programme.

She then called on the party, and specifically MP Francie Molloy, to apologise to Mr McGahon.

“I think Sinn Fein owes, and particularly France Molloy, owes that man an apology for his insensitive, crass and vile statement last night.”

Ms Cahill said that despite the abuse she has received, knowing she has helped one other abuse victim has made her decision to come forward worth while.

“I always said it would be worth it if it helped one other victim of abuse out there. And Paudie said it helped him.

“I think they need to stop denying the issue. There’s no point in Sinn Fein saying their members haven’t been involved in covering up abuse cases. We have the proof. They need to take that step and admit that it happened and it was wrong.”

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