Allegations of a cover-up of sex abuse cases in the Republican movement have left Gerry Adams in a “difficult position”, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
Mr Kenny entered the war of words on the Sinn Féin leader during a visit to Japan after it emerged Mr Adams had agreed to meet a woman who said her rape claim was investigated by the IRA.
Following allegations by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that the Republican movement had behaved like the Catholic Church and put its own interests ahead of victims, Mr Kenny said anyone with information should go to the gardaí.
“I don’t have an evidence of that and if I had evidence, I would refer it to the gardaí immediately. The last time I was asked a question about this, it related to Gerry Adams, I said it was very important, when a person comes across information like this, that it is reported to the authorities immediately.
“And anyone else out there who has information or evidence like this should do likewise. This situation puts the leader of Sinn Féin in a very difficult position,” the Taoiseach said.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accused opponents of engaging in “gutter politics” regarding the claims.
Ms McDonald said the accusations were unfair and unfounded and motivated with the intent to do political damage to Sinn Féin.
“Who am I to say what might or might not have happened in the thousands of homes or among the thousands of people who would be described as members of the Republican movement?” Ms McDonald told RTÉ.
Mr Martin alleged Mr Adams was aware of at least two cases of sexual abuse dealt with internally by republicans. He alleged the two cases were dealt with internally by the republican movement and not reported to the police, and that Mr Adams was aware of them.
“From information we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have been a broader trend in the republican movement. Just like the Catholic Church, that the republican movement saw the institution of the republican movement as more important than individual victims,” Mr Martin said.
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