The war of words between Enda Kenny and Gerry Adams intensified as the Taoiseach insisted the Sinn Féin leader must reveal all to the gardaí about alleged child abuse by IRA members.
As Sinn Féin went on the counter-offensive to insist that reports of an internal party document concerning alleged abusers were false, the Taoiseach said Mr Adams needed to do more.
The North’s deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, said he had no knowledge regarding claims that an IRA man, alleged to have raped Paudie McGahon when his family home in Louth was being used as a “safe house”, also raped a 12- year-old boy in Dublin and abused two teenagers in Derry. Responding to claims from Mr Adams that the Taoiseach had demeaned his office by the tone of his attacks, Mr Kenny said that the Sinn Féin leader had questions to answer regarding the alleged cover-up of abuse.
“I’ve made my point about Deputy Adams, both as the president and leader of the party,” said Mr Kenny during a St Patrick’s Day visit to the US.
“I believe Mairia Cahill. I believe Mr McGahon. I believe there are questions to be answered and Sinn Féin are in a position to answer those and Gerry Adams in particular is.
“He, Adams knows. It is his duty to go to gardaí and tell them all about these matters.”
Sinn Féin justice spokesman Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said reports that four senior party figures held an inquiry into alleged abusers were untrue.
Mr McGuinness said he had no reason not to believe Mr McGahon, but that some political parties and media outlets were exploiting the situation in an attempt to damage Sinn Féin.
Mr McGahon’s alleged rapist was included on a list of names given anonymously to Mr Adams.
Mr McGuinness said Mr Adams only became aware of the name in recent weeks, and does not know how the list was compiled.
“I don’t know how the list of names was provided,” Mr McGuinness told RTÉ.
“I don’t have any information about that at all. I know that a list of names was provided to Gerry and that he passed on the information to the gardaí.”
He insisted that a man named by Mr McGahon as being involved in an IRA “kangaroo court” set up to deal with the alleged rapist denies involvement.
“A certain individual has been named as being involved and has issued a very clear statement saying he had absolutely no involvement whatsoever in it,” Mr McGuinness said.
Pressed on whether this meant he did not fully believe Mr McGahon, Mr McGuinness said: “I’m not saying I don’t believe his story.
“What I’m saying is that the person who was named has issued a statement saying he was in no way involved in it.
“I’m not passing any judgement at all.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved