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In the wake of the Maíria Cahill affair, the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for a cross-border commission to be established to examine how Sinn Féin and the IRA dealt with abuse cases during the Troubles. Mr Martin said “allegations of a cover-up demand a wider response”.
His suggestion may well be worth exploring if it was to include the movement back and forth across the border of the abused Bethany Home and Westbank Orphanage children.
Mr Martin said successive Irish governments had set up commissions inquiring into institutional responses to sexual abuse cases, and instanced the Laffoy, Ryan and Murphy commissions. Children did come forward but some were not listened to.
Following the Children’s Referendum of 2012, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government will respond “positively and wholeheartedly” and match the new legislation with appropriate action, yet when the children from the Bethany Home and Westbank Orphanage asked to be included in the Residential Institutional Redress Act 2002 these rights were found to be empty rhetoric.
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