SINN Féin leader Gerry Adams is "well aware" of the details of IRA sex abuse cases and must "present himself" to gardaí, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has claimed.
Speaking at the beginning of six-day tour of the United States, Mr Kenny launched a blistering attack on Mr Adams and Sinn Féin, over their failure to adequately deal with rape and sex abuse claims within the republican movement.
Mr Kenny accused Mr Adams and the party of having information surrounding kangaroo courts, the use of safe houses by the IRA and the movement of paedophiles down South.
And for the first time since the emergence of the Paudie McGahon case, the Taoiseach made a direct appeal for other abuse victims to come forward without fear.
He referred to claims by IRA rape victim Mairia Cahill that around 60 other individuals have suffered abuse at the hands of the IRA.
"If from what I understand, from when Mairia Cahill spoke, that there are many others out there, who may also have the courage to come out and tell their story, I would ask them, if that's the case, there is nothing to be afraid of here," he said.
Speaking to reporters during his six-day visit to the US to celebrate St Patrick's Day, Mr Kenny moved to completely discredit claims by Mr Adams that he has been upfront about IRA sex abuse.
He said Mr Adams knows the identity of Mr McGahon's alleged abuser, his whereabouts, and the names of those who took part in so-called 'kangaroo-court' style interrogations of victims.
"This happened in the jurisdiction, in Co Louth," Mr Kenny said.
"What are safe houses for? Are safe houses for raping people? Are they for interrogations? Are they for kangaroo courts? Gerry Adams knows full well what they are for. He knows where they are. He knows the people that were involved in them. His first duty here, is if he says 'anybody with information should give it to the gardaí' then he should present himself and tell them what he knows," he added.
The Taoiseach also said he is considering what options the Government can take in terms of dealing with cases of IRA sex abuse.
Last night, Mr Adams dismissed Mr Kenny's remarks saying they were "opportunistic and demeaning to his office".
"Mr Kenny says that I should go to the gardaí about anything that I know regarding issues of sexual abuse. He says this in the full knowledge that I have already done this. Mr Kenny is more interested in exploiting it to attack me and Sinn Féin. His remarks are both opportunistic and demeaning to his office," Mr Adams added.
And writing in today's Irish Independent, Mr McGahon said Sinn Féin and the IRA are "one entity", describing them as a cross between a "mafia and a cult".
"So a few sad childhood rape victims would easily be swatted away and silenced," he said. "It has one leader, Gerry Adams, who has remained untouched in that position for well over 30 years unlike any other democratic political organisation. No one dares question the leader who is looked on as God."
May 2009: Reacting to the Ryan report into child sex abuse in religious orders Caoimhghin O'Caolain said the Ryan Report was "a sickening litany of abuse and exploitation. It is an indictment of not only the religious orders, but also the State through successive Governments".
June 2009: Mr O'Caolain said: "Most of this abuse takes place in the family home. If the services are not in place, the State today will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it conspired with the church to cover up the abuse of children."
Nov 2009: Gerry Adams told the Northern Assembly: "Victims of abuse need support, care, understanding, love and, most of all, they need to be believed, especially if the abuser denies any wrongdoing."
Mar 2013: Mary Lou McDonald attacked the State's role in the Bethany Homes. "The State was implicit in these homes. These people have been gravely wronged and ignored for far too long."
A week ago today I was a nobody, just another anonymous face in the crowd. It was the way I liked it. But something that I had buried for 23 years was eating me up inside and was about to finally boil over.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called on Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to “present himself” to gardai over information his party has on IRA sex abuse cases and ‘kangaroo-court’ style interrogations.
Francie Molloy is the kind of Sinn Fein politician that all Sinn Fein politicians claim to be. Straight-talking. Outspoken. Sharp-tongued. Inclined to make sensitive public pronouncements without clearance from the party's press office. "Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight," Molloy raged via Twitter at 11.54pm on Tuesday. "Joint Indo bluesh... production."