SINN Fein deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald has said she believes those who ran the IRA courts were decent people.
She also said she said she cannot account for where abusers told to leave went, following suggestions many of them may have gone to the Republic.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast she said:
“I have discussed all of these issues at some length with Gerry and party colleagues,
“What happened was a form of very rough justice in circumstances where there were allegations of sexual violence or abuse. It’s not a case of them being moved, they were told to leave.
“They were punished by the IRA, and then some of them were told just to leave. Where they went I can’t account for.
“Gerry has put that information out there. Gerry has stated his position on this.”
When asked by host Chris Donohue whether she supported Mr Adam’s statement that those who volunteered to run the IRA courts were ‘decent’ people, she said:
“I believe that the people who volunteered to the IRA were decent people, yes I do”
She also spoke on the party’s campaign against water charges – saying she was careful not to get families in to financial problems down the line by encouraging a boycott of registration for the charges.
“From the beginning of this who debacle I have been very conscious not to do or say anything that would rebound negatively back on families.
“I have people who come to my clinics who had been told not to pay their bin charges and are still trying to make good those debts.
“My concern at this stage is for the vast, vast number of people who can’t pay. They simple don’t have the resources to pay an additional bill. Many families can’t pay existing bills coming in the door.”
She said the funding for domestic water should come from high earners:
“They should scrap this idea of charging for domestic water. What they should do is take a look at the state of the finances, and make proposals and take decisions to ask those with more to contribute more, to pay a little more. That’s what they should have done.”