GERRY Adams has advised singer Sinead O'Connor to contact gardai after she claimed she was molested by a now deceased Sinn Fein member.
The award-winning singer made the claim in a letter to IRA abuse victim Mairia Cahill, which was published in the Sunday Independent last weekend.
Ms O'Connor's letter was in response to criticism from Ms Cahill after she announced her intention to join Sinn Fein. Ms Cahill said she felt like she had been "kicked" when the Nothing Compares 2 U singer joined Mr Adams' party.
In response, Ms O'Connor said she was herself "repeatedly sexually molested" as a child in the 1970s by a member of Sinn Fein.
"And I am certain I was not the only victim of that man, who is now dead," she added.
Mr Adams addressed the issue at a press conference yesterday.
"She needs to go to An Garda Siochana if she hasn't already done so. That's all we can beseech anyone to do that makes such allegation," he said.
Mr Adams said Ms O'Connor's application to join his party is still a "work in progress".
Last weekend, Ms Cahill and Ms O'Connor spoke on the phone about the singer's plans to join Sinn Fein. Ms Cahill said she was initially "depressed" by the decision because she was a vocal advocate of sex abuse victims.
However, after their conversation, the Belfast woman said she believed Ms O'Connor's "heart was in the right place".
"It's been a tough few months and I imagined someone like Sinead would stand up for those victims of abuse that Sinn Fein, in my opinion, treated shamefully," she said.
"I know now after speaking to her that she intends to do that, though I am still mystified at how she is going to reconcile the issue in her head as she strives to make a difference from within.
"Sinead is not known for keeping her mouth shut. Sinn Fein are not known for their advocacy of free thinking. It's bound to end in tears. I hope she doesn't get hurt along the way," Ms Cahill added.
Ms O'Connor said she joined Sinn Fein to re-frame "what it means to be republican" and change the party's leadership.
"The very fact it is considered appalling to join Sinn Fein is why the elders should step down and is also why new people should join," she said.