Abuse survivor advocate Colm O’Gorman has warned reports that sex offenders could have been removed from communities without the involvement of the justice system as “deeply troubling”.
The One In Four chief and Amnesty International figure was speaking in the wake of claims that Sinn Féin was involved in the cover-up of child abuse cases involving IRA members.
“It is not enough to leave it to victims to take steps to protect other people from sexual violence,” Mr O’Gorman told Newstalk.
The comments came after Paudie McGahon went public last week with claims he was raped by an IRA man who used his family home in Louth as a ‘safe house’ when he was 17. Mr McGahon said he was then made to take part in an IRA ‘kangaroo court’ where he was told it was his choice if his rapist was killed or exiled to England. Mr McGahon says he chose the expulsion option. Mr O’Gorman said victims should never be put in such positions.
The Sinn Féin leadership has denied the party was involved in any cover-up and if IRA kangaroo courts existed, that was wrong
Mairia Cahill, who alleged last year that she was raped by a senior IRA figure in the 1990s, said there could be at the very least 60 cases of similar abuse that may exist.
The Sinn Féin leadership says it believes Ms Cahill when she says she was raped, but do not accept her account of an IRA kangaroo court that followed.
Ms Cahill said more victims had come forward since her case became public, and she knows the names of at around 40 alleged victims that have been given to the authorities.
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