Wednesday 13 November 2019

Time for Adams to come clean on IRA rape claims

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Editorial

Editorial

It is deeply unsettling to most right-minded people that any leader, be they political or religious, would fail to make known to police authorities credible allegations of child rape.

Unfortunately, in Ireland's recent history, we know of far too many cases of horrific abuse committed against the most vulnerable in society.

By his own admission, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams failed to inform authorities in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland of Paudie McGahon's claims that he was raped by a leading IRA figure when he was just 17.

Mr Adams says he accepts Mr McGahon's account of what happened and has said the person who raped him has brought shame on the republican movement.

According to his version of history, Mr Adams has known of these allegations since 2009, yet made no attempt to do anything about it. This is simply disgraceful.

Yesterday, speaking in Atlanta, Georgia, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Adams is "well aware" of the details of IRA sex abuse cases and must "present himself" to gardai.

Referring to comments from Mairia Cahill that around 60 other people have suffered abuse at the hands of the IRA, Mr Kenny laid the burden of responsibility at Mr Adams's door.

The response to date from Mr Adams, who has been President of Sinn Féin for more than 30 years, has been wholly unacceptable, and if he is genuinely concerned about Mr McGahon and the other victims, then he should do what the Taoiseach has called on him to do. By his own admission, Mr Adams knows the identity of Mr McGahon's alleged abuser and his name was on a list given to him last November.

Mr Adams's continual failure to answer questions as to his role cuts to the core of his credibility as a leader. With a year to an election, the question must be asked, is this the kind of leader we want running the country?

Irish Independent

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