Adams: I've passed information on abuse to gardaí

Adams: I've passed information on abuse to gardaí

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has told the Dáil he has received information from a republican source on allegations of sexual abuse, and has passed it to the gardaí.

"I have received information from a republican source in relation to these matters. It came to me anonymously, and while I cannot vouch for it, neither do I doubt its authenticity," he said.

"However, that is not a matter of judgement for me, so I have passed this information to An Garda Síochána."

His comments came in the Dáil this afternoon as TDs made statements on the allegations of sexual abuse by members of the provisional republican movement.

Mairia Cahill, whose allegations against senior republicans prompted the debate, was present in the public gallery.

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty also told the Dáil she has knowledge of several perpetrators of abuse, and has made an appointment with the gardaí to present the details.

"I have knowledge of eight other men - alleged abusers ... who were facilitated by Sinn Féin out of Northern Ireland, relocated to the Republic of Ireland," she said, "but to be honest with you, I'm too afraid to name them here today."

Speaking in response to the allegations made against his party, Gerry Adams insisted that he had no knowledge of any abusers who were moved from the North to Dublin or Louth.

He reiterated previous comments that "many people" turned to the IRA to fill a policing role it was not properly equipped for, and admitted that there is anecdotal evidence that some abusers were "resettled" to the UK and elsewhere.

He said victims who came forward to Sinn Féin were always supported, and he believes Mairia Cahill when she says she was a victim of sexual abuse, and that she was advised to go to the police - but as an adult, she initially refused to do so.

He accused other parties of "electoralism", and being primarily concerned with the next general election, and criticised the Government's record on funding for rape crisis centres and counselling.

The debate had earlier opened with a warning from the Ceann Comhairle not to abuse parliamentary privilege by making accusations people outside of the house.

In his opening statement, the Taoiseach commended Ms Cahill's actions in making her experiences public. He accused Sinn Féin of putting the institution first, and directly told Gerry Adams that as President of the party, he had a duty "to point out" who alleged abusers were, and where they were moved to.

Tánaiste Joan Burton, recounting her meeting with Mairia Cahill, said her story paints a picture of justice denied through a "crude" investigation by the IRA. She said Gerry Adams' treatment of Ms Cahill's allegations can be characterised as "denial, evasion, and seeking to protect the IRA."

She criticised the online abuse directed at Mairia Cahill, saying the least to be expected is that "the Sinn Féin president calls off the dogs of war … she has to be allowed to tell her story, without Sinn Fein's keyboard warriors attacking her every word."

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he stands behind his statements last September that abuse by republicans were widespread and covered up - and known about at the top levels of both Sinn Féin and the IRA.

"Rapists and abusers were sent to other communities in the Republic and the UK so that they would be protected," he said.

"I stand by every one of those statements - in fact, the reality is even worse."


More in this Section

President Higgins and Defence Minister evacuated from hotel in Lebanese capitalPresident Higgins and Defence Minister evacuated from hotel in Lebanese capital

Gardaí appeal for help in search for missing man in GalwayGardaí appeal for help in search for missing man in Galway

Probe launched as Fianna Fail TD claims colleague voted for him in DailProbe launched as Fianna Fail TD claims colleague voted for him in Dail

Taoiseach: All 27 EU states will need to approve any Brexit extension requestsTaoiseach: All 27 EU states will need to approve any Brexit extension requests


Lifestyle

It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

Halloween has become a consumer fest in recent years but there are a number of ways to reduce costs and waste — and make itHappy sustainable Halloween: Don’t be horrified with the waste at Halloween

More From The Irish Examiner