Sunday 21 January 2018

SF claim Burton made 'abuse slur'

SINN Féin TDs have officially complained that Tánaiste Joan Burton "abused" her Dáil privilege to make unfounded allegations about child sex abuse against them.

The formal complaint to the Dáil's disciplinary committee goes back to a bitter row in the Dáil chamber late last year which caused Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett to adjourn proceedings three times in a vain effort to calm deputies' tempers.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald had complained that people abused by the late Domhnall Ó Lubhlaí, an Irish-language activist, were not getting answers to their concerns. In her reply the Tánaiste referred to Sinn Féin and IRA links to a cover-up of child sex abuse in the past in the North.

Ms Burton also said that Mr Ó Lubhlaí had been an important "republican figure". Various formal complaints have since been made, but Sinn Féin has now raised it with the Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privileges.

Ms Burton has rejected the allegations.

John Downing

Irish Independent

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