Sunday 16 December 2018

NI's Justice Minister: Abuse inquiry 'complex'

Northern Ireland's Justice Minister, David Ford
Northern Ireland's Justice Minister, David Ford

Niall O'Connor

The North's Justice Minister has raised doubts over the establishment of a cross-border inquiry into the IRA sex-abuse scandal.

David Ford has become the latest political figure to warn of the complexities of such a probe, which would involve the input of both An Garda Síochána and the PSNI.

While stopping short of ruling out the prospect of a cross-border inquiry, Mr Ford said it was important to avoid any interference in investigations into abuse allegations

"I have discussed the issue on a number of occasions, most recently in the last week of February, with my colleague Frances Fitzgerald, the Minister for Justice and Equality," he said.

"We have looked at the options for wider reviews, but setting up a cross-border review - as has been suggested by some people - would be a very complex issue," he added.

Politicians on both sides of the border have consistently said they want an inquiry into claims of widespread sex abuse and the subsequent movement of alleged abusers into different jurisdictions.

Mr Ford said there were a number of options available, but that both governments needed to be mindful of investigations by the two police forces, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the North's Police ombudsman.

Raped

Calls for a cross-border inquiry came in the wake of the Mairia Cahill abuse case. Ms Cahill was raped as a teenager before being subjected to a kangaroo-court style interrogation.

A second victim, Louth man Paudie McGahon, was also raped by an alleged IRA member.

He was then asked by the IRA whether he wanted his attacker shot, exiled or whether he himself wished to inflict a beating.

The revelations have led to renewed pressure on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to give any information he has to gardaí.

Irish Independent

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