Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein President, has said he cannot and will not investigate sex abuse allegations made by victim Paudie McGahon.
Speaking this morning, Mr Adams refused to say whether he could find out where the alleged abuser is living.
He was responding to repeated questions as to whether he, as leader of the republican movement, could find out where Mr McGahon's alleged abuser is.
Sinn Fein has come in for stinging criticism from across the political spectrum since this latest set of allegations surfaced.
Mr Adams said he did not know where Mr McGahon's alleged abuser is - however refused to say whether he would be able to locate him.
"I'm not going to investigate these matters, that's a matter for the gardai," he said.
"I'm not a law enforcer, I'm a law maker. I cannot investigate, I will not investigate", he added.
Mr Adams said he believed Mr McGahon's claims that he was raped, echoing comments he made in the Dail yesterday.
"I believe he was raped. I believe the person who raped him should go through due process," Mr Adams said.
"The fact is the IRA should not have been near any of these cases. That was inappropriate. "
"I regret very much what happened to Paudie ... I want these issues to be dealt with," he added.
He said he first became aware of the allegations around 2009, when Mr McGahon went to then Louth Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan.
Separately, Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy has apologised to Mr McGahon, after he described his abuse claims as "rubbish" on Twitter.
Mr Molloy's purported tweet said: "Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight. Joint Indo bluesh.. production".
The tweet was later deleted and this morning Mr Molloy issued a statement.
"I apologise for any offence my post caused to Paudie McGahon or any victim of abuse," he said.
"I hope that justice is served and the appropriate support delivered to Mr McGahon."