Adams abuse case - Martin right to raise issue

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had not only every right but also the responsibility to raise the issue about Sinn Féin allegedly dealing with cases of sexual abuse internally, instead of reporting such allegations to the proper civil authorities.

It is, indeed, a sign of the times that he actually accused Sinn Féin of behaving like the Catholic Church on this issue.

In dealing with paedophile abuse, it is important people should not scapegoat members of the family of the abuser, because they are often victims also. Mr Martin raised questions about the way Liam Adams was allowed to work with children, long after his brother became aware he had been abusing his own daughter.

Of course, nobody should be surprised that a Sinn Féin leader did not report these crimes, but the party had a culture of not co-operating with the civil authorities in relation to all forms of crime within both jurisdictions on this island. It treated the law with contempt.

Mary Lou McDonald, vice president of Sinn Féin, accused Mr Martin of taking advantage of the traumatic case for his own political purposes, as well as exploiting the distress of the victim. This allegation was grossly unfair, because in this case the victim waived her anonymity in order to publicise the case.

The old silent approach to paedophilia never worked.

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