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Sinn Féin in crisis over new IRA sex abuse claim

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Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald  voting on a motion at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Photo: Mark Condren

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald voting on a motion at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Photo: Mark Condren

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald voting on a motion at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Photo: Mark Condren

TÁNAISTE Joan Burton has accused Sinn Féin of orchestrating a crisis in Northern Ireland to distract from the latest damaging allegations of IRA sex abuse cover-ups.

Gerry Adams’ party is reeling after Paudie McGahon’s claims that he was abused by a senior IRA figure in Mr Adams’ Louth constituency in the early 1990s and subjected to a ‘kangaroo court’ organised by a Sinn Féin representative in 2002.

Ms Burton said that it was “interesting” that the party’s U-turn on welfare measures – which has left the Northern Assembly on the brink of collapse – coincided with the revelations in the Irish Independent and on BBC’s ‘Spotlight’ programme.

And Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin claimed there was a “tendency” for Sinn Féin to find “spectacular distractions” to combat negative news.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has openly challenged Mr Adams over whether other sex abuse victims remain silenced. “What is the issue here is that another kangaroo court was operational in the early 2000s,” he said.

Mr McGahon has moved his wife and children out of their County Louth home for their own safety since going public.

He had been warned that he would killed if he spoke out about the abuse which occurred at his family home when it was used as an IRA safe house.

However, he said: “I am glad that I exposed this. I have prepared myself for a backlash and denials from Sinn Féin.”

Belfast woman Mairia Cahill,  who had previously spoken about her own abuse at the hands of the republican movement, last night praised Mr McGahon’s bravery.

“There are many more victims and Sinn Féin need to admit it,” she said.

Online Editors