Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has welcomed Gerry Adams’ belated acknowledgement that the IRA and Sinn Féin investigated sexual abuse cases internally, but has expressed concern at his continued failure to accept Mairia Cahill’s testimony and apologise to her on behalf of his organisation. The FF Leader also rejected what he described as a self serving attempt to use this issue to recast the IRA as protectors rather than perpetrators.
Deputy Martin commented, “After instigating a vicious campaign of vilification against Mairia Cahill over the course of the last week, it is of course welcome that Gerry Adams has belatedly acknowledged that his organisation did carry out internal investigations of sexual abuse allegations. However, it is deeply disappointing that even as he abandons a key claim he fails to do the right thing by Ms Cahill.
“He and his colleagues accept that Mairia was abused, but continue to refuse her testimony when it impacts on their organisation. Is it still Deputy Adams’ position, for example, that when he met her after she was interrogated by the IRA, that they did not discuss her abuse or the IRA investigation? That is unacceptable, unsustainable and further victimises someone who has been put through hell at the hands of Sinn Féin and the IRA over the course of a decade and more.
“It is also deeply disappointing that Deputy Adams has attempted to use his statement on this matter to rewrite the history of the provisional IRA and those who suffered at their hands. Deputy Adams muses at length about the work of the IRA shooting and maiming petty criminals, drug dealers etc. They were, he tells us, reluctant vigilantes, forced into their role variously by the British, the RUC, the criminal fraternity and demanding constituents.
“This self-serving analysis stretches credibility to breaking point, but is also completely irrelevant in the context of the accusations being made against Deputy Adams and his colleagues. The abuse perpetrated against Mairia Cahill, the internal investigation which subjected her to further trauma and the cover-up which then followed, all took place after the IRA claimed to have abandoned violence and embarked on a completely peaceful strategy.
“The Sinn Féin Leader needs to stop spinning and start facing up to his responsibilities to Mairia Cahill and those other victims that were failed by his organisation.”