Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD met with the Northern Justice Minister David Ford MLA in Stormont today to brief him on his proposal to establish an all-Ireland inquiry into the issue of child abuse by the Provisional IRA and establishing a mechanism to allow victims come forward in safety and with immunity.
Deputy Martin commented, “Today was a useful meeting with Minister Ford. He is fully aware of the issues arising from the Mairia Cahill controversy and the questions that arise. We also discussed a number of cases of other victims who have come forward to tell their story. My meeting with him today was to explain in more detail Fianna Fáil’s proposal for an all-Ireland independent and legally empowered inquiry.
“The practice of moving abusers over the border appears to have been significant. It is clear therefore that any proper effort to get the bottom of the problem will need to be cross-border in its scope and operation. It is also clear from the treatment of Mairia Cahill that any such inquiry would need to include a mechanism to allow victims come forward and have their anonymity and safety protected. Based on the information available to date, we know that there are abusers living within the Republic and in the North whose identities are unknown to the PSNI and the Gardai, but are known to a political party. This is unsustainable, potentially puts children at risk and needs to be addressed.
“I had a detailed discussion with Minister Ford on all of these issues and would be hopeful that his counterpart in the Republic, Minister Frances Fitzgerald will take forward our suggestions in a constructive way.
“Too many Irish children have suffered from abuse at the hands of powerful organisations. Those entrusted with public service have a duty to make sure that their stories are heard and that as a society we do whatever is necessary to ensure it can never happen again.”