Child abuse: the story no one wants to think about…

There’s an eery silence from much of the mainstream media (excepting the Sunday Tribune and the Irish News, of course) over the accusations by two different women against Gerry Adams that when he was informed of their experiences at the hands of other Sinn Fein activists. That might be explained by a couple of things. One, the implications for the policing and justice talks are literally incalculable and, accordingly people are taking the ‘process’ based decision not to rock public opinion more than it needs at this time. And two, it may have something to do with the sheer scale of the political problem it gives rise to.

In meantime, Gerry Adams asserts he is not under any political pressure…Of course, it remains to be seen whether that confidence is well placed or not. The fact is that he and his party have been in trouble before and seen their way through. Sinn Fein has proven nothing if not resilient.

But these stories take the party into new territory. It is in the nature of all soldiery that it requires a thuggish character. The problem for an army fighting a war almost entirely at ‘home’, is that that thuggishness has played itself out on those nearest and dearest them.

Adams’ problem here arises from his alleged proximity to all three cases, and the consistent way, it seems, he dealt with them. In effect, he would have been treating these cases as a military commander in chief, and not as the leader of a constitutional party with a powerful democratic mandate. It is the glaring contradiction between those two roles now that will effect any ensuing political crisis.

As old soldier’s know, it is the third shot from a snipper that allows the enemy to triangulate and spot your position with accuracy. If it transpires all these women’s accusations prove true then we are not talking about a series of judgement calls so much as ‘unofficial’ party policy.

It is certainly hard to see any signs of a coup. Adams is written through the DNA of the modern party. If Dublin councillor Killian Forde’s internal memo is an accurate picture of the state of play inside the party, the official structures of the party play second fiddle to Adams’ own personal network of his own loyalists.

The party is framed so much around loyalty to the leader there is insufficient internal dissent within the party to fashion and a credibly alternative leadership to the one currently configured around Adams.

Besides, the emergence of these stories are a key factor the party has insufficient control over. Once people are seen to start talking without the world collapsing, others (and there are bound to be others after the maintenance of any private army over a forty year period) may be emboldened to speak out.

But there’s one other appalling thing about these stories: the questions it raises about the state’s part in all of this. Where were the cops? And where were social services? Some of the details of these stories are as bad anything relating to the Baby P case in Haringey.

The impression given is that large parts of Republican Belfast were abandoned by the state’s services to be run in accordance with the wishes of local paramilitary godfathers.

And whatever the political consequences of these stories emerging, these issues cannot go forward without a proper and thorough external investigation on how social services handles such cases…

  • alan56

    Am absolutely astonished by the ‘mainstream ‘ media reaction to this story. Can you imagine if this was Brown,Cameron or Salmond… It would be lead story everywhere. It begs the question. Do we really have normal incisive fearless journalism in Northern Ireland or just political hacks who have grown too close to those they report on? ( There are of course honourable exceptions) but Radio and TV plus major papers have serious questions to answer.

  • TAFKABO

    Excellent blog Mick, it behoves us all to step back and look at the bigger picture here, in regards to our failings as a society in dealing with these issues. Whilst I think it only right that any individual be held to account for any neglect in their duty of care as far as their public duty as a representative, we really need to be looking at state organisations as a whole and their role in these matters.

  • al

    Bearing in mind the strong Republican connections it’s no wonder the police and social services never got close enough to stop this alleged abuse. The whole history of N Ireland is only really emerging recently in the public eye and it’s sickening. Not the sort of thing that the mainstream press want to write about. They don’t want to be responsible for rocking the boat.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Al, its about time the press decided its not their choice what they report – one of the worst crimes of the troubles was the lack of a free press (due to Govt and terrorists).

    Hopefully the press pack are starting to realise that, if the politicians want to play in the democratic field then the traps are opening and they can do their job.

    I hope that there are enough journo’s left/coming through who have not been irreparably housetrained.

  • al

    I agree Oscar completely but it seems the press like some sections of society in N Ireland are still living in the past.

    I still wonder how much control the government have over the mainstream media in N Ireland? Since the GFA they have been hell-bent on making the Assembly work and certainly as Mick has suggested now is not the time for stories like this to be headline news.

  • Kensei

    Bearing in mind the strong Republican connections it’s no wonder the police and social services never got close enough to stop this alleged abuse.

    Would this have been any less explosive in 1987? In 1996? I can’t see how and it’s a wonder the RUC did go with the propoganda that Gerry Adams brother was a child abuser. However wrong Gerry Adam is, he’s not the one with a duty of care. This bit is in danger of being overlooked:

    But there’s one other appalling thing about these stories: the questions it raises about the state’s part in all of this. Where were the cops? And where were social services? Some of the stories are as bad anything relating to the Baby P case in Haringey.

    People went to the RUC, went to the social services. Why wasn’t it followed up?

  • jtwo

    Mick as I explained on the other thread the ‘eery silence’ probably has everything to do with the fact that nobody wants to in effect identify a sexual abuse complainant when they don’t have a waiver which allows them to do so.

    Media law and ethic 101

  • alan56

    jtwo,

    Understand the need to protect complainant and difficulty with details but the ‘eery silence’ over the the totality and gravity of the story?

  • jtwo

    Still I’m sure Slugger HQ has two signed waivers from both complainants – they wouldn’t go off half-cocked or anything?

  • tacapall

    The RUC and PSNI, social services have questions to answer and their time will come when all facts are established, there is no hiding place for them, but
    the people of west belfast live in a bubble that is their own wee world, most people would rarely socialise outside of it, questions, opinions are not asked/given for fear of repraisal. Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein believe/delude themselves that there is no talk at grassroots level, but that bubble is at bursting point, this “Scandal” will not be fixed by excauses or pulling the wool over peoples eyes.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Kensei, in saying this, the danger is not that the social services and RUC are overlooked, but that the story as a whole is overlooked.

    I’m not going to defend the government, RUC, Social Services, or anyone who was compliant in this. I just want the story told, the guilty parties identified and the corrective actions put in place. I have had a cynical comfort zone about the troubles for some years now, in a ‘at least they’ve stopped shooting eachother’ sort of way, but maybe its a case of the democratic liberal middle ground starting to get their balls back, and our armalites are information and freedom of information.

    So I don’t care where the string goes when we untangle the knot, this is going to get very nasty for a lot of people, and I want and have a right to know.

  • John Joe

    It seems that every story in NI has to be given a political angle.
    The social services in offices in Ardoyne and West Belfast were staffed largely by locals – they weren’t abandoned to be run by SF or the IRA. There was nothing to stop them ‘getting close’ to stopping the alleged abuse as they routinely liaised with the RUC and had direct access to the victims through the provision of services. Remember – the Kincora story broke in 1980, with prosections and an inquiry through into 1982-3 and again with a further inquiry in 1984. The vulnerability of children in care at this time would surely have been an issue for social services and there would have been considerable awareness of such.
    Whatever the obvious moral implications of the failure of individual SF members and Gerry Adams to deal with accusations of abuse, I am not aware of the legal status of SF or the IRA to deal with them. I am also surprised at how much of the current narrative almost seems happy to retrospectively legitimate the application of justice by the IRA.
    Ironically, social services HAD a legal duty of care to exercise here and do need to account for their actions.
    We can’t search out conspiracy and spooks to colour every story – NI wasn’t immune from human failures within the system – and we’re are always in danger of overlooking some failures in the past (and by extension, the lessons to be learnt from them) by evoking the troubles as the root of all evils.
    I suspect the mainstream media are uncertain over how to deal with this story for the reasons I just described above. None of the abusers have been successfully prosecuted making this a difficult story to detail.
    We have all been well trained in how to make sectarian head counts, but aren’t particularly good at interrogating and evaluating the delivery of the public services and challenging those responsible for their provision. Perhaps a future contribution of journalism would be to try and stimulate those skills!

  • Paddy

    “Whatever the obvious moral implications of the failure of individual SF members and Gerry Adams to deal with accusations of abuse, I am not aware of the legal status of SF or the IRA to deal with them.” There was none.

    “I am also surprised at how much of the current narrative almost seems happy to retrospectively legitimate the application of justice by the IRA.” Not so. They seemed to have been very selective thugs.

    As regards child sex abuse: The Baby P, Moors murders are too horrific to dwell on. As is the serial Provo abuse. But, for the Provo cycle to end, the head of the serpent, Gerry and hydra friends, must go.
    The issue of Provo culpability is far different from social services, who canot be expected to cross the Provos in places like Ardoyne.

  • Marcionite

    All the old war horses of all protagonist parties must leave the stage. Their political gearing is on Gear War, not in Gear normal-boring-politicking. The provo arms may have gone but the pseudo military mindset of SF and the totalitarian way their people in W Belfast has been subjected to for decades is still the de facto modus operandi if that whole community.
    The press’s reaction in the main has Bern shocking. I can some up the press reaction here to both this and the Robinson story as like an old granny who wrings her hands and whimpers “ach sure God love him, I knew his mammy, lovely woman”

    parochial, unquestioning, pea brained and I suspect as someone else said, under the control of a don’t-rock-the-boat agenda set by Whitehall ghosts

  • “There was nothing to stop them”

    Apart from Mafia-style paramilitary organisations, JohnJoe. A clipboard would be no match for the old iron bar, baseball bat or gun.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    JohnJoe,

    “It seems that every story in NI has to be given a political angle.”

    Do you think this story is unrelated to politics? – here’s two links –

    (1) its come to light because it is standing politicians who allegedly (a) perpetrated the abuse and (b) another allowed it to continue in a sitaution were he was rejecting British authority/state, and attempting impose a independant recourse to justice – his choice – but he can’t have it both ways.

    (2) Potentially it is politcians (UK, Ireland, NI)who have suppressed this information in order to influence a political decisions in Northern Ireland.

    Now, I think the Human rights of a 10 year old child are kind of significant here… and I don’t give a toss who loses their job/faces prosecution in the authorities or elsewhere, if they have failed knowingly to protect this child, or worse allowed this abuse to go on, then they are guilty. Sharing the guilt doesn’t lessen it.

  • Mick Fealty

    jtwo,

    The Beeb are being cautious, fair play to them.

    I am not sure where the story about the lack of a waiver comes from. And it is true that this waiver story alone may be responsible for a considerable chill factor around the reporting of this story. Pretty nasty stuff really.

    But it would be wrong and misleading to insinuate that the victim in the case (you seem to have thrown in another case which does not relate to anything Slugger’s written) above did not want her alleged abuser named.

    In addition, there is also, I understand, court material in the public domain that would lead us to confirm the identity of the alleged abuser in this case.

  • Paddy

    Very slightly off topic but I checked out Sinn Fein’s website, which has a statement blaming the abuse on dissidents, securocrats and the usual suspects.

    They also have a cut and paste Flash job on their main page.The fourth picture nin this (after the third, wishing us a bilingual happy Christmas), urges us to join Sinn Fein’s onlne community. Fair enough but the accompanying picture is of some very nervous looking seagulls. Just like Gerry’s take: strictly for the birds.

  • The Raven

    Can I just note, this morning’s Beeb NI website LED with a story on this, including a suspension. And now it is nowhere to be seen. It is still on the site, but not referenced in the politics section, or the NI frontpage section. What is going on?

  • sluggisht

    What is going on?
    ______________________________________

    SF is applying section 31 to the BBC

  • jtwo

    Raven,

    I suspect they have been told by their lawyers to bury it until such time as a written waiver from the complainant is produced.

    It’s curious that the victim didn’t want her alleged abuser named in the Tribune but it was all systems go in the Irish News. Which probabaly raises a few questions in their minds.

  • Kensei

    Nevin

    Apart from Mafia-style paramilitary organisations, JohnJoe. A clipboard would be no match for the old iron bar, baseball bat or gun.

    You can’t beat up a story, or the entire social services.

  • seosamh

    As I recollect the Irish News reported that the Shinners said that Meehan had been removed over a year ago.
    Just checked the Newtownabbey Council webpage. Meehan is still listed as a councillor. What no co-option?

    Shinners please explain.

    http://www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/councillors/party.asp?cat=Council&css=normal&party=4

  • Kensei, it would be interesting to know whether all alleged assailants were treated equally. Perhaps some had immunity certificates.

    As for your reply, you just have to blatter the first journalist or social worker – if the notoriety of the alleged assailant isn’t sufficient to keep them at bay.

  • Kensei

    Nevin

    As for your reply, you just have to blatter the first journalist or social worker – if the notoriety of the alleged assailant isn’t sufficient to keep them at bay.

    Ah, I see. The entire apparatus of the status can be frozen by a threat against a social worker.

  • iluvni

    Any word from NICCY or NIHRC about the child abuse scandal enveloping the leadership and members of Northern Ireland’s 2nd largest political party.

    No?..thought not.

  • Mick you ask questions at the end you have already answered at the start:

    Q “But there’s one other appalling thing about these stories: the questions it raises about the state’s part in all of this. Where were the cops? And where were social services?”

    A “One, the implications for the policing and justice talks are literally incalculable and, accordingly people are taking the ‘process’ based decision not to rock public opinion more than it needs at this time.”

    OK, there is a specific context now, but the rest is all there. How many times have we heard that “Remarks are not helpful?”

    Surely part of growing up and political maturity is the willingness of the press to go for it and let the politicians work out the consequences. There has been too much mollycoddling and cosying and potecting of ‘parties’ by government and media in the shadow of some sort of great disaster if a word is out of place. This is the most pervasive and corrupting influence on the body politic in Northern Ireland.

    Good on Suzanne Breen and shame on others who are not prepared to take our politicians to task. In the absence of an opposition at Stormont, who else will keep the politicians accountable?

  • al

    http://www.u.tv/News/SF-member-suspended-over-sex-claim/8fdc6176-9c11-4c64-9364-3cceec608303

    At least UTV have some balls and aren’t afraid of the big bad shinners.

  • Paul Doran

    I thought this was a serious website

  • Danny Boy

    These women’s stories are not at all surprising. Many people I know have similar tales, just not involving the great leader himself, and not even all involving the same bunch of clannish, locally powerful men. We have plenty of those to go round. It is chillingly ironic that the violence against women and children that was once put on the back burner until the war was won is now being put on the back burner until the peace is processed. Part of building a just society has to be recognising that this violence and how we deal with it has always been as ‘political’ as anything involving ballot boxes or armalites.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paul,

    What’s your point?

  • seosamh

    Just checked the Sinn Fein website. Briege Meehan is still listed there as a Sinn Fein councillor. Don’t tell me it takes the Sinn Fein webmaster over a year to update the status of the party’s representatives.

    Talk about sloppy work.

    Situation Vacant. Webmaster for Sinn Fein Website.

  • #25 Kensei, I should imagine that would be the case in areas controlled by the various local godfathers. There could also be a requirement for political clearance.

  • Paul Doran

    Point is, A lot of people are posting , who are they, what affilations are they, I would like clarity

  • Mick Fealty

    Do you want to start with who you are and then perhaps others may choose to reciprocate?

  • John Joe

    A clipboard would be no match for the old iron bar, baseball bat or gun? Cheap shot but not a valid one. Given the extent of poverty in many of the most (para)militarised areas of Belfast in the 1980s and 1990s, public services provided for much of the basic social and economic infrastructure. There has (as yet, anyway) been no suggestion of threats to prevent them doing their job in any of the cases under discussion.

    I do have a major concern here. If this remains a story how abuse was handled in ‘republican’ areas rather than of social services handling of such claims – we’re not going to know how widespread a problem inaction by social services was (and by extension how they responded generally).

    The failure of individual politicians to take action is one thing for which, one would hope that their constituencies and parties will hold them to account. I wouldn’t forgive politicans much, but how many of them have been trained in how to deal with people who have suffered, perpetrated or made accusations of abuse etc? I’ve only had to deal with it once, in a minor way, in a work scenario, and was completely out of my depth (and I’m not a shrinking violet by any means). The social services are supposed to be trained in these matters, though. If this is a systemic failure to deal with accusations brought by victims of abuse, we are simply prolonging the sufffering of those victims.

    And Oscar – you are right – sharing the blame doesn’t lessen it (in some respects in magnifies it as the more people were aware the greater the failure that someone somewhere didn’t deal with it properly. But if (as Mick suggested in another thread) there is to be the prospect of having an election focussed on issues other than sectarian politics – we have to try and pick apart the threads of these same issues to try and understand them. Just as with the allegations of impropriety in planning made against various politicians – we keep treating the public services and the people who run them as some benign entity and that the only failures are with politicians. If we put as much energy into demanding accountable and delivering public services, we’d make sure blame is appropriately apportioned so that such things don’t happen again. Making sure the mistakes of the past don’t happen again surely has to be part of the strategy here.

  • Paul Doran

    Paul Doran.Clondalkin,Dublin, former member of SF for about 2 years.Presently member of the Communist Party.

  • al

    Whatever Paul. Why does it matter who people are? Everyone has a right to express their opinion, it ain’t an AA meeting.

    I would agree with Danny Boy in post 5 of this page. Aspects of this are very much political.

  • John Joe

    I’ve never had any political affiliation. Originally from North Belfast, now living near Dublin.

  • iluvni

    why did you leave Sinn Fein?

  • Henry94

    Paul

    I thought this was a serious website

    It’s very serious about stopping the devolution of P & J. That’s the context.

  • Mick Fealty

    iluvni,

    Any chance of a disclosure (it’s not compulsory as you know, but…)?

  • Kensei

    #25 Kensei, I should imagine that would be the case in areas controlled by the various local godfathers. There could also be a requirement for political clearance.

    In which case there’d be plenty of concerned social workers coming out of the woodwork stating they’d told their superiors but were told to shut up.

    If it was the case, I don’t blame anyone. But a couple of courgeous voices and there’d be no keeping a lid on it, 1987, 1996, 2009

  • Mick Fealty

    Henry,

    Now, that’s unfair…

  • Paul Doran

    Of Course it matter who people are and what agenda they are pushing.Sexual abuse is a very serious issue. it just does not happen, there are sometimes reasons for it.the accusers has been abused themselves, it goes on and on.

  • Paul,

    If a commenter said they were a unionist, a non SF republican or a belonger to any other stripe, would that increase / decrease the value if wgat they say here do you think? Do you have some kind of ranking system that applies points?

    The sites where people say ‘you’re only saying that because you’re a bollix’ are the ones that aren’t serious, I reckon….

  • al

    Paul are you ‘the’ paul? You’re style of typing is a bit of a giveaway..

  • Mick Fealty

    Real names are good though (good to see three in a row for once). I notice some of the conversations on Facebook are sometimes the morning interesting and civil because they are between ‘real’ people, not avatars.

  • Paul Doran

    Paul Evans. I have no interest in what “Stripes” they carry. I am merely suggesting that people should state their name. What is there to be afraid of.Look above and see the names. They could be anyone.I have stated who I am.A lot of people don’t like communists,or community activists, they like to keep things as they are

  • Paul Doran

    Al on a lighter note. My mother always told me that I was the Paul.Yes my Grammar is not good as my wife would say.

  • JohnJoe, in areas under paramilitary control social workers and others would have at times taken their orders directly from the local godfathers. This isn’t exactly news or unexpected.

  • tacapall

    A lot of people don’t like communists,or community activists, they like to keep things as they are
    Posted by Paul Doran on Jan 18, 2010 @ 03:15 PM

    Unfortunately Paul communism is a dirty word nowdays, the gaurdians of society have made sure its connected to totalitarianism and despotism.

  • iluvni

    Mick,
    I’ll have to make something interesting up.

  • John Joe

    I’m sorry Nevin but that is straight from the book of Norn Irn cliches. It didn’t happen in the areas of North Belfast I’d have known quite well in the 1980s and 1990s, like the New Lodge, Carrick Hill, Newington and Ardoyne. I can’t speak for anywhere else.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    The BBC being very cagey on this on Stormont live, clearly not confident enough to mention it in any other terms other than allegations in ‘press reports’, but hinting strongly that there is a big story in the off-ing.

  • joeCanuck

    Unless you are well known, giving your bio is fairly worthless. I’ve been known to tell lies (not on SOT, of course).
    My name (e-mail) is real.

    In response to a question earlier, “Where were the cops?), I haven’t seen anywhere that the 2 women have reported their allegations to the PSNI. Anyone know the facts (as reported) about that?

  • JohnJoe, I’m thinking mainly of the 70s and 80s and anecdotes I was picking up from social workers and probation officers. More recently there are still accounts of people being ‘exiled’.

  • Mr Crowley

    A clipboard would be no match for the old iron bar, baseball bat or gun? Cheap shot but not a valid one.
    Posted by JohnJoe on Jan 18, 2010 @ 02:50 PM

    I must have just imagined that whole Joanna Mathers thing and the message that it sent out.

  • sluggisht

    Joe the Sunday Tribune has the details

    http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2010/jan/17/adams-was-told-about-what-x-had-done-to-me/

    In spring 2008, the victim and her two brothers went to the PSNI to make statements about X. She says a police report was sent to the Public Prosecution Service seven months ago, but she is perplexed as to why X still hasn’t been charged: “I want X in court. I want X to admit what was done to me. I can’t move on with my life until I get justice.”

    http://www.tribune.ie/article/2010/jan/17/exclusive-gerry-adams-ignored-two-more-rape-victim/

    Cahill (28) revealed how the IRA had brought her face-to-face in 2000 with the man who had previously raped her, saying they wanted “to read the body language” to see who was telling the truth. “I felt physically sick,” she stated. She said she was never advised to report the rapes to the police or social services.

    “I wanted to go to the Rape Crisis Centre. I said I needed professional help. The IRA offered me a counsellor. I said that would be a charade because it would be an IRA-friendly counsellor.”

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks, sluggisht. I didn’t read all the articles.

  • Henry94

    Cahill (28) revealed how the IRA had brought her face-to-face in 2000 with the man who had previously raped her, saying they wanted “to read the body language” to see who was telling the truth.

    Isn’t Freddie Scapatticci lucky he never ran into those geniuses with their super body language reading powers.

    Running an alternative justice system was always a crude operation and even legally established justice systems have had to learn how to properly address these cases.

    The political blame game is an equally crude, opportunistic response. If ever there was an argument at a political level for an agreed justice system with mass support this is surely it.

    But for the individual victims nothing short of getting the perpetrators into court will do and it is on that we should be focused.

    If Sinn Fein made mistakes or Gerry Adams made mistakes then their will be a time to admit to them and apologise. But not at the cost of giving anybody the chance to claim they can’t get a fair trial. That has to be the first objective.

  • TAFKABO

    I’d love to start posting under my real name but I’d hate to lose all the bad will I’ve accumulated under this one.

    For the record.

    Bloke from Belfast (Stranmillis if you’re interested).

    No party affiliation, small u unionist.

    Atheist humanist.

    Do I pass the test Paul, can I continue to post now?

  • TAFKABO

    Henry, don’t you think these things are more likely to make people want a better, more open and accountable justice system?

  • Mark McGregor

    Name: Agent Orange
    Location: Tandragee
    Affiliation: TUV

    Hope this satisfies Paul’s posting crieria.

  • mickhall, boring old fart who likes the sound of his own keyboard.

    When people are posting here about other folk not doing their jobs, being unprofessional, and leaving a child open to abuse in a potentially life threatening situation. I feel they are obligated to post under their real name or give a short statement about why they feel unable to do so.

    As far as I am aware, I could be wrong, but I have not seen a statement from the PSNI about this issue. It seems to me it is one of public concern, and as they have been accused of not acting properly, normally one would have expected them to have issued a statement, not least because they are so media savvy.

    That a neighbour is said to have reported the abuse of the child and a school nurse/teacher also looked into the matter makes me feel,

    1/ the community had a certain amount of trust in the social services.

    2/ The social services were not entirely intimidated by the PIRA, wary maybe, but intimidated, I hope not.

    The question is when this was reported to the police what action did they take? My fear is they shuffled the file down to the Branch office and they dealt with the matter from then on in.

    It is time a powerful organisation like the BBC got off their arses and asked the Chief constable some difficult questions about these sexual abuse cases.

    Finally I would ask this, Gerry Adams has said he took advice from people who have experience of dealing with sexual abuse, etc. A perfectly reasonable thing to do, however, I feel it is now for him to tell us who he asked for advice. As it may well ‘partially’ explain his subsequent inadequate behaviour.

  • Mick Hall, it was reported elsewhere that one of the cases was passed by the police to the PPS.

  • Henry94

    TAFKABO

    That’s the point I was making. We need to get to a point where the vast majority of both communities feel the same affinity with the new justice and policing system that the unionists did with the old one.

  • Nevin

    Yes I read that about the PPS, but I wonder if that was the equivalent of kicking a ball into the long grass.

  • Danny Boy

    ‘Obligated to post under their real name’? I don’t want to derail the thread but this seems silly. I could be a peculiarly dextrous three toed sloth for all any of you know, and that’s just how the internet works. This is a political blog in Northern Ireland – sharing opinions about people ‘not doing their jobs’, ‘being unprofessional’, and sometimes killing quite a lot of people, for God’s sake, is what it’s for.

    (SWF, 27, likes long walks and Radio 4)

  • Dixie Elliott

    Thomas Elliott aka Dixie from Derry…

    Why aren’t PSF raising the PSNI’s failings in regard these cases in the Policing Boards?

  • Alias

    “But these stories take the party into new territory. It is in the nature of all soldiery that it requires a thuggish character. The problem for an army fighting a war almost entirely at ‘home’, is that that thuggishness has played itself out on those nearest and dearest them.” – Mick Fealty

    Is there any evidence at to suggest your assertion that soldiers are more likely to paedophiles and child abusers than other social groups? Omitting the sexual abuse in the relevant examples, is there any evidence to support the claim that soldiers are more likely to engage in violent crime than other social groups?

    I think you are confusing occupations comprised of law-abiding citizens with criminal organisations comprised of those who are afflicted with an anti-social personality disorder that draws them to criminal activity, and to organisations that facilitate it, such as paedophile rings, murder gangs, organised crime, etc.

    Violent psychopaths would be drawn to the criminal and immoral activity that the Shinners facilitated. In effect, organised murder gangs serve the same function for such psychopaths as paedophile rings serve for child sex abusers.

    The convergence between the percentage of the population in Northern Ireland (3.6%) who are afflicted with an anti-social personality disorder APD and the percentage of the population who were involved in the organised sectarian murder campaign is unlikely to be coincidental. Indeed, it also unlikely to be coincidental that violence in other categories soared after the murder gangs were disbanded.

  • Alias

    Typo: “Is there any evidence at all to support your assertion that soldiers are more likely to paedophiles and child abusers than other social groups?”

  • granni trixie

    Mark; TUV! how come?

  • Garza

    Sinn Fein are going to die in the South now, they are finished down there.
    I suspect that many of their voters will stay home in NI come the GE this year. But they will get enough slavish drones out there to remain the biggest nationalist party.

  • tacapall

    Is there any evidence at to suggest your assertion that soldiers are more likely to paedophiles and child abusers than other social groups? Omitting the sexual abuse in the relevant examples, is there any evidence to support the claim that soldiers are more likely to engage in violent crime than other social groups?
    Posted by Alias on Jan 18, 2010 @ 06:21 PM

    Yes there is ! Almost every war that has ever been fought in this world, men, women and children have been raped and abused, usually by the invading army.

    (moderators would not let me post link)

    More than 20,000 Muslim girls and women were raped during the religiously-motivated atrocities in the former Yugoslavia in Bosnia. This was mainly during an organized Serbian program of cultural genocide. One goal was to make the women pregnant, and raising their children as Serbs. 1 Another was to terrorize women so that they would flee from their land.

  • Paddy

    Cahill (28) revealed how the IRA had brought her face-to-face in 2000 with the man who had previously raped her, saying they wanted “to read the body language” to see who was telling the truth.

    Isn’t Freddie Scapatticci lucky he never ran into those geniuses with their super body language reading powers.

    Good response. And we are supposed to give over our personal details to Fagin Adams’ latest hatchert boys. Let’s wait until the tide turns and Provo pedos end up on the wrong side of the bats. Or will their dispensation ever end?

  • tacapall

    Good response. And we are supposed to give over our personal details to Fagin Adams’ latest hatchert boys. Let’s wait until the tide turns and Provo pedos end up on the wrong side of the bats. Or will their dispensation ever end?
    Posted by Paddy on Jan 18, 2010 @ 06:40 PM

    Dont get this one Paddy.

  • maybe they waiting for the guy to arrested or charged, crazy i know

  • conn

    Why is it that the moderators of this board are so quick to shut down discussion on other threads that have sailed much less closer to the rocks than this one?

    Is this about exploitation? Who is being exploited? Could this thread end up in a court of law that releases an alleged abuser back into society?

    I’m sorry to say that the tone of this discussion has become not much more than a kangaroo court.

    Due process has to be respected and protected from the mob!

    Slugger O’ Toole has lost respect in this case, both in it’s wilful disregard for the privacy of the victims and in it’s cheap double standards.

    At least three threads in this past fortnight have been shut down for saying a lot less that could damage a future criminal case.

    Sorry folks your fixation on holding a trial here, does you, our free press? and those in need of justice no favours whatsoever.

    It is a disgrace that this thread is still open for unmoderated comment, given that at least one serious criminal case may be prejudiced.

    I had thought better of the moderators before this thread, but this has become sick of itself.

    (BTW – Conn, Peace Activist, Northern Ireland, 40 ish, Caucasian, somewhat atheist, slightly arrogant and occassionaly eccentric.)

  • Danny O’Connor

    I think that this is a horrific case of serious sexual abuses being covered up by the leadership of the provisional republican movement.This movement is now negotiating for the devolution of policing and justice powers to the assembly,a position that is in itself perfectly reasonable.
    Would it be too much to ensure that those doing the negotiating had at least some understanding of what these responsibilities actually mean,because,given recent revelations, I don’t think they do.I don’t think that they would know it if it bit them on the arse.
    Justice is a something that must apply to all and must be for all.It is not something which you can demand for yourself and yet deny that same justice to others.I do not see that level of commitment in their recent actions.
    Am I confident that when this so called sunset clause expires in 2012,in the ability of the SF nominating officer appointing a justice minister,who ,could command my support- not at the moment.
    I have to think of the character not only of the nominee,but the nominator.
    I hope that the victims will get some closure on what has left them so deeply wounded, and that their future will be filled with many good things,and their severe hurts will be eased and healed.

  • al

    conn I re-read this thread and there’s nothing that I can find that could in anyway threaten any forthcoming trial. I find people on Slugger tend to be aware of their actions and words. This thread has been more about a who-is-who of Slugger than anything else.

    There’s definetly no sign of a mob on here conn.

  • conn

    Al,
    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.
    I’m not a lawyer, so I wont be sure of what might threaten a trial.
    But I am concerned that this and other threads on the site, far from seeking to enlighten a discussion of relevant issues, and this is certainly a relevant issue, are skewing off into areas which are bordering on prejudical comment on what may well need to be well-shored-up fact, fairly soon, and just common human decencey with regard to those involved in this case.

    I am aware that the moderators took a very serious tone on this with another recent case that came to light and indeed closed down a number of threads for further comment for legality, decency, etc.

    I agreed that was the right thing to do.

    The moderators have reminded us of the guidelines for comment this week and yet I seem to be reading comments which are much less about the ball than the man.

    Granted we haven’t yet reached the depths of politics.ie, but I’d really not like to go there with slugger.

    There are still people who are innocent victims of serious abuse, trying to negotiate how they get through this mess and this and other threads are more concerned with the Sunday World aspect of the story.

  • 0b101010

    Paul Evans. I have no interest in what “Stripes” they carry. I am merely suggesting that people should state their name. What is there to be afraid of.Look above and see the names. They could be anyone.I have stated who I am.A lot of people don’t like communists,or community activists, they like to keep things as they are

    You could just as easily have said you were Martin Morris in Donegal, Jimmy Joe from the Moon or a dog mashing the keyboard and no-one reading your comments would have sufficient knowledge to prove or disprove it. Identity is hard enough to prove in the physical world of relationships, trust and paper identification, but it’s an absolutely meaningless concept on the Internet. Not only can someone say they are anyone else, from anywhere else, identity is so malleable that it can get to the point where it’s harder to disprove someone else isn’t you.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “Cahill (28) revealed how the IRA had brought her face-to-face in 2000 with the man who had previously raped her, saying they wanted “to read the body language” to see who was telling the truth.”

    CRJ I think they call it. You can see why he was such a fan.

  • Mick Fealty

    Conn,

    Fair comment. It would be really useful if you could identify what you consider to be the offending threads. Off site would be good: mick.fealty@gmail.com

    Threads that have come off line as a whole are where we have recieved blanket complaints and not had the time to sort and sift to keep the most of the legal stuff up there.

    Our aim is always to respond promptly to reasonable complaints. It is the only way we can keep debate open.

  • conn

    Thanks, Mick – I will email you this evening. Conn