“Let [Gerry Adams] take that legal action, we’ll meet him in the courts”

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald’s clash with the Sunday Tribune’s Suzanne Breen on RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny [mp3 file] yesterday is notable mostly for the numerous breaches of Slugger’s ‘play the ball’ rule.

For background see the Liam Adams timeline, and some questions about Gerry Adams’ declared ignorance of his brother Liam’s involvement with Sinn Féin in west Belfast.

But if, as Mary Lou McDonald claims, Sinn Féin are committed to revealing the “full facts” about this, here’s another question for the party. When was the Lower Andersonstown cumann – of which Liam Adams was an active and founder member as well as joint signatory of the cumann cheque book – “dissolved”, and why?

We know from the party’s statement, which neglected to be clear on the actual date, that it was “a number of years” after 2000, and that Liam Adams “held a number of positions [there], including chair for a short period before the cumann dissolved.” In the interests of “complete information”…

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  • Danny O’Connor

    Blah blah blah,If SF could be an animated film , it would be Pinnochio and while standing in Belfast their nose would be in Dublin.

  • Paul

    Well done to Suzanne Breen I congratulate her and the sunday tribune for not allowing Gerry Adams and sinn fein to bully them into silence and are the only ones who have the guts and the courage in this appalling case/cases/scandals.

  • Jaggers

    The BBC reports today that a man named Robert Black is standing trial for the murder of a 9-year old girl in 1981. This is the link.

    http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8473842.stm

    What the article doesn’t tell us is that Robert Black is one of the most notorious child-killers in British history. See the wiki link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Black_(serial_killer)

    Why is it do you think that the media are not reporting Robert Black’s background. Do you think it might have something to do with prejudicing a fair trial?

    And if you do, why do you think it acceptable to challenge (and then presumably publish) the actions of those close to a person facing charges of of child abuse? Do you think that if you were to get statements of those close to this person telling you their suspicions and actions they took on the back of them that it might create an impression of guilt? No, then any ideas why the media is not giving us the full history of Robert Black?

  • Danny O’Connor

    Jaggers I mentioned no names

  • Jaggers

    Not having a go at you at all Danny, having a go at actions in the media which I think have the potential to deny someone accused of child abuse a fair trial.
    These enquiries should perhaps be pursued ruthlessly but conduct them in a safe manner which doesn’t prejudice the legal process.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    Great, detailed, lengthy, judicious, and fair interview by Kenny with M-L McD and S Breen. What an inneffectual stonewalling job M-L did and how effective S B was in rebuttal. More to come on Sunday in the Tribune then. M-L touting SF as the Irish political party which is most critical of sexual abuse !? It would make a cat laugh, as my granny used to say. Let the truth shine where it may, on Gerry, SF and yes, the police and the social services too, as need be. If ever there was a case of blaming-the-messenger it is SF and on the other side, the DUP. A truth-plague on both their houses.

  • I have a feeling the last thing anyone accused of either abuse or covering up abuse wants is a court case of any description. Such a case would involve inconvenient things like evidence and witnesses, statement made would be open to question and investigation.

  • joeCanuck

    Jaggers,
    Your link doesn’t work although the page exists.
    Is it because your last character, ) is black, not red?

  • Danny O’Connor

    Jaggers The story to which you refer is not the issue.The courts will decide on the innocence or guilt of the person(X) who is alleged to have abused his daughter, the issue is about the actions another person(Y) said he took, that have been subsequently shown to be a lie, that has been followed by a tissue of other lies,which begs the question whether or not (Y) was involved in an attempt to keep the whole thing hidden under the carpet,where it had obviously been brushed many years ago.

  • Jaggers

    Joe,

    Thanks for pointing it out – yes the full link is

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Black_(serial_killer)

  • Danny O’Connor

    The pen is mightier than the sword-or indeed the armalite.

  • Jaggers

    Sorry, there seems to be a problem with copying and pasting this link. I have converted it with the tiny.cc app and here it is

    http://tiny.cc/CQYzx

  • ranger1640

    The alleged crimes surrounding Sinn Fein personnel are of the most gravest type. However, and inevitably when it involves a political party it is the spin, sub-diffuse and alleged cover-ups that take the headlines. It is the spin, sub-diffuse and cover-ups that Suzanne Breen and the Sunday tribune have set out to expose.

    One must admit that the apparent brazen way Sinn Fein are trying to conduct the defence of their time-lines and actions (or not as the case may be), and threats of legal action does throw up doubts as to Sinn Fein’s circumspection in this matter.

  • Cynic2

    I suggest that Gerry sues. Then the Tribune can demand discovery of all the relevant materials and perhaps run a defence based on Gerry’s character too. That will be fun to see and the press reports will sell papers for days.

  • Brazen?

    Yes, perhaps, but the men and woman accused of abuse are known to their ex friends and no doubt soon to be ex neighbours. I wonder are they strutting now, or hiding, lurking, even in their ‘strongholds’.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    This argument is a complete red herring. Discussion of the provisionals’ policy of shielding its operatives from the authorities in the face of child sex abuse allegations has no logical bearing on the question of the guilt or innocence of any individual suspect. Catching Adams out in his fibs is good fun but tells us nothing about his character we didn’t already know. More importantly it ignores the main criticism against him and his organisation, notably his stated position in 1995 that victims must not contact the authorities and the likely consequences of disobedience to that instruction.

  • Harry J

    Do you think that if you were to get statements of those close to this person telling you their suspicions and actions they took on the back of them that it might create an impression of guilt?…….

    jaggers, Gerry Adams has already stated that he believes his brother to be a child molester – the question is why he did so little about it and who else in SF knew and when

  • joeCanuck

    There was a case a few years ago where a man was accused of killing a young girl from Castlederg, I believe. The jury found him not guilty and were then shocked afterwards to find out that he was already in jail in England for murdering at least one other young girl.
    The law didn’t allow them to be told. The law has subsequently changed; a jury can now be told about similar offences that an accused has been found guilty of.

  • Jaggers

    Joe,

    Indeed a judge can allow a jury to be told of prior convictions and if you look at the Robert Black entry on wiki you’ll see that the judge did do that in one of his cases but it is unusual.

    If you look at the reporting of the trial on the BBC website, the Bel Tel or Newsletter websites, you will not see any past reference to Robert Black’s crimes, and the implication I take from this is that they are trying to avoid a prejudiced trial.

    Questioning Gerry Adams and others in SF about what they did or didn’t do as a result of allegations may expose the degree to which the allegations were believed and why. And some might say that hangs a man in the public’s eyes despite the fact he hasn’t had his day in court and his solicitor says he strenuously denies the allegations put in 2007.

  • ranger1640

    The question is ultimately who do we believe?

    Do we believe Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein or do we believe the media especially Suzanne Breen, who seems to have taken up the torch for the media?
    Much to the shame of the sterile BBC, even RTE have shown more interest in the issues surrounding the allegations against Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein than the BBC.

    So far Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have been on shifting sands and are now moving to a more belligerent stance. As yet Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein still have not fully answered the questions around the time lines and the suggestions of knowledge of other abuse allegations and the actions taken? Were again they are accused of covering-up, spin and sub-diffuse.

    I think were Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein will come unstuck, is if they think the media especially Suzanne Breen, will back down in the face of their more belligerent stance. Is the Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein expectation, that Suzanne Breen and the Sunday Tribune has not got the information to back up their accusations, or don’t have thee consent from the interviewees for last weeks allegations.

    I’m sure Suzanne Breen was well aware of the likely repercussions of running the interviews and the forensic analysis of the statements made by Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein, and so far I feel she has not been disappointed.

    What now, do we see Gerry and Sinn Fein go to court, or will the conviction with which Suzann Breen is acting, bring forward further victims, as the lid gets lifted on the goings on within the republican communities.

    Could this be the precursor to a truth and justice commission???

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    I would think that the newspaper had lawyers go over the story before it was printed since it was such a legal issue and came to the conclusion they could run with it. If it does go to court–sinn fein might have to produce alot of information that will be asked by the other side..and it will open up a can of worms. It would be intereseting if they did sue…they would keep it in the public eye for years to come.

  • paul kielty

    I hope they do sue. What passes to often for investigative journalism, is no more than disgraceful slandering by the all powerful media outlets. They are the modern untouchables. They can ruin any persons lives at a whim. The press in the uk, namely the sun newspaper, decide whom will form the next british government! So please drop any sentimentality about the so called free press in Ireland. They are the shamless untouchables and bullies, whom blight Irish society.
    Strike a blow for free speech, SF, and sue the arse out of these right wing parasites!

  • Moderators

    Can you please be cautious in your comments.

    Speculation on what may be in newspapers tomorrow is not something this site can stand over.

    If something is not public domian please do not state it as fact here.

    Thank you

  • Moderators

    Folks you can either play nice on this thread or it will be closed until Mick has time to deal with it.

  • Eileen Calder

    West Sider – I do not take insttructions from London. If you regard Chris Moore as partisan take that up with him. I introduced Aine to him as he had done the Brendan Smyth and Kincora stories – I do not believe Suzanne Breen is part isan either and I did not introduce any survivors to her – I was also condemned for becoming involved in political matters when speking out against strip-searching as a form of sexual violence being carried out by the state and defending the right of Naionalist and Rapublican women to march into the city centre and calling the UVF in Mountvernon drug dealing criminal thugs – I have clashed with all the churches and most political parties on abortion I was called a puppet of Sinn Fein when I publicly condemned the SDLP for not immediately suspending a councillor guilty of child abuse. I have spent my life criticising the judicial system and social services. You can’t please everyone – I have not broken anyone’s confidentiality and served 3 days in prison for refusing to do so. When intervied by the media on release the FIRSt thing I did was to thank Ailish Carroll and the Republican prisoners for their support. Suddenly after over 20 years of this work I am accused of being Anti – Republican ???????

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Paul,

    On the contrary, if you go to the site you will see it describes itself as a campaigning organisation as well as a counselling centre. This is what it’s there for and I applaud her for persisting in the face of vile personal abuse from SF supporters (and apparently even non-supporters such as yourself).

    “Sinn Fein can answer for themselves,”

    You would think so wouldn’t you?

  • paul kielty

    Moderators,

    I can understand why you felt the need to delete the comments of Eileen Calder.

    I just hope that it is not an attempt at stifling any investigation into her motives or political aspirations that she may have. That indeed would be right wing censorship personified!

  • West Sider

    EC,

    I didn’t say you were anti-republican. I’m anti-republican and proud of it. I accused you of being unprofessional – in your statement backing a journalist against the rights of a victim to anonymity.

    That’s where I’m coming from. You are a champion in what you’ve withstood and exposed over the years – but I fear, in this case, you’ve been played.

    And I believe that commenting on here, and releasing that press statement in support of the ST, was a mistake and exposed a weakness in your case.

    That is all.

    WS

  • paul kielty

    Eileen Calder,

    I think that the best thing for you, to try and regain credibility for the RCC, is to try and remain quiet for a period. Your un-timely intervention has, wether intended or not, done serious damage to the organisation which you represent. Your loyalty belongs to the victims of abuse, not journalists, whom are partisan, and care nothing for the destruction they leave in their wakes. All in the course of a lifetime commitment to damage a political movement.
    I sincerely feel for you in the position you now find yourself. You did however bring it totally apon your own head.

  • Moderators

    Some comments may have been removed that shouldn’t have been. But there are serious legal issues in play here and we yet again request caution before you hit that ‘submit’ button.

    Thank you.

  • Eileen Calder

    My loyalty lies totally with Mrs tyrell and Ms Cahill – however will take your advice about making any further comment tonight – I have no regrets regarding statements and comments. We are not however the organisation which has lost credibility.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “I think that the best thing for you, to try and regain credibility for the RCC, is to try and remain quiet for a period. ”

    Funny you should say that…

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “I have no regrets regarding statements and comments.”

    Nor should you. The motives of your critics could not be clearer.

  • West Sider

    Not good enough Moderators. This blog is seriously losing the run of itself in terms of editorial control.

    For the record, I don’t believe the site owner has the requisite experience or knowledge of media law or processes, and has little to offer in the way of insight into ‘Northern Ireland Politics and Culture’ and that may be as a result of him not living here.

    Furthermore, I’ve always strived to keep my contributions squeaky clean in terms of libel and personalised attacks.

    Sadly, the moderators on here, who are even more arbitrary – and, I might add, biased and with that zealous – have removed posts that should have stayed.

    I think it’s high time Slugger had a competitor who has that editorial knowledge and experience – and who knows a bit about proper website design and user journeys – watch this space.

  • West Sider

    “I have no regrets regarding statements and comments.”

    Nor should you. The motives of your critics could not be clearer.

    And what would those motives be? You don’t seem to be inclined or able to post anything other than single line sarcastic comments. Are you that intellectually bereft? Do you revel in being smug and shallow?

    I’d like to hear it. Tell us, what are the motives of those who firmly believe that being party to a report which reveals the the identity of a sex abuse survivor via a jigsaw technique is somehow wrong.

    And when you answer, try to avoid smarmy one line answers.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    WS,

    Off you go then. Send us the link when you’re up. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Or something.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    WS,

    You seem to be under the impression that Ms. Calder wrote the article.

  • paul kielty

    Eileen I suggest caution. I feel you are going down an extremely defensive road, judging by your last sentence. There are I think three cases that are, or should be, being pursued by the PSNI. Let the judicial path take its course, and then have your say big time. In the meantime, please do not let yourself, or more importantly, the RCC, be cast as a partisan political organisation. I’m sure that is the last thing that you or alleged victims want.

    Jimmy_Sands,

    We are discussing the alleged abuse of children.
    Stop your petty point scoring!

  • Dixie Elliott

    Eileen Calder you have just joined the growing list of ‘dissidents’…Which includes journalists etc, those who dare expose the lies of the ‘Leader’.

    Look at what happened to Suzanne Breen when the Deputy ranted about ‘dissident’ journalists. Then again we remember he blamed ‘dissident’ journalists for blackening the name of one Freddie Scappaticci and we know the outcome of that don’t we?

  • West Sider

    Notes that JS offered one line answer and failed to answer any of the substantive points.

    I’ll leave others to pass their judgement on his ability to engage in proper intellectual debate.

  • West Sider

    JS,

    not under that impression at all, if you’ve read my post, I said that she wrote the press release.

    Do keep up.

    Try and break out of the one line smarm, and maybe you’ll get into the game.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Paul,

    The only one here trying to suggesting the RCC is partisan is you. I don’t find this issue in the least petty.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    WS,

    The press release contained no identifying details.

    From what I’ve seen of you “game” I think I’ll pass.

  • Mark McGregor

    WS,

    I understand your need for a SF sensitive site. Try irishrepublican.net – they are well established and only once exposed as a data capture exercise on members. Good luck with anyone trusting a SF endorsed blog/site ever again.

  • West Sider

    WS,

    I understand your need for a SF sensitive site. Try irishrepublican.net – they are well established and only once exposed as a data capture exercise on members. Good luck with anyone trusting a SF endorsed blog/site ever again.

    Not a member of Sinn Fein, never have been, unlike you, never will be, probably unlike you.

    Sorry for your scary skittishness thinking I’d set up a rival site, it was simply a suggestion, dear heart, and oh how you responded.

    Still, how can anyone trust you, with your adoration of the Duffy, and your sneaking regard, and just downright muddled thinking.

    I find you an incredibly unstable person in terms of your political outlook: on the one hand, you detest and despise what you see as those who’d allegedly cover up child abuse, on the other hand, you seem to have a lot of time for those who’ve murdered and maimed children in the course of pursuing your favoured political/military ideology.

    You’re not too smart, areyou?

  • West Sider

    Once again, smarmy, intellectually shallow JS is a protected species on here.

    Oh what a tangled wen we weave….

  • West Sider

    Note to readers: I’ve had two post removed. Neither were libellous or ad hominen.

    One was in response to JS, and the other was in response to Dixie Elliot.

    Make of that what you will.

  • wee buns

    Eileen: pay the boys no heed. They would not know what Republicanism is, if it bit them in the arse.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree completely with Jimmy Sands. I don’t see that the RCC has lost any credibility at all. The organization is free to oppose or support any journalist as it sees fit.

    If people are supposed to avoid getting too close to journalists, well, I suspect we need to start talking more about the Belfast Media Group.

  • wee buns

    The unwritten rule: outfits like the RCC must toe the party line, meaning they must not make waves/speak out/ie be politicized (engaged) in any way. If they do not obey, then their funding will be cut & their integrity will be dragged through the muck.
    Sorry to disappoint, but some (read alot) of us have our eyes wide open.

  • paul kielty

    wee buns,

    Spot on! That is of course the british/Irish establishment party line, you speak off?

  • Danny O’Connor

    This thread is about,lies,deceit and subterfuge,not about the RCC,who,merely helped a victim have her story heard,after over 20 years of inaction by the public representative in whom she put her trust,a trust that has since been shown to have been misplaced – through no fault of her own.If the alleged abuser had not been so close to the republican leadership would he have been treated differently.It is my view that the Sunday Tribune or the RCC are not the ones with serious questions to answer.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The admin should’ve let old west-thing-a-may’s reply to me stand, I’m not worried about anonymous posters and what they have to say.

    It might be the poster formerly known as H7/H3 for all I know.

  • paul kielty

    Danny O’connor,

    I admire your honesty. I’m in no doubt you support a Ryan style investigation into the wholesale abuses carried out by the catholic church and religious orders, stretching back 50 years or more. That these widespread abuses were suppressed by the catholic hierarchy and their political representitives in the SDLP.Why the silence from the SDLP, surrounding clerical abuse?
    The party which for years painted itself as the party for decent catholics, has been extremely quiet on the rape of children by priests.
    Is the SDLP the poliical wing of the catholic church?

  • Danny O’Connor

    Paul Kielty,Iwould welcome any investigation that would bring to justice anyone who abused their positions to abuse or cover up abuse ,The SDLP is not the political wing of the Catholic Church.I put myself before the people at elections and I seek all their votes.
    In relation to your point about the SDLP being quiet about clerical abuse- that is a lie, and you know it,either that or you dont watch tv,listen to the radio or read the papers.SDLP reps have been on tv including the leader ,calling for an investigation in the north, questions have been asked in the assembly about it.You are clealy talking through your backside ,possibly because you are so fixated with an anti SDLP bias that you didn’t listen to what Mark Durkan and Carmel Hanna were saying. You say that the SDLP painted itself as the party for decent Catholics,never once have I even used the word in any campaign I have ever been a part of.
    It is my view that SF have questions to answer.It is also my view that you by alleging that The SDLP “suppressed”anything are being not only dishonest but downright hypocritical by defending SF in supressing this.You obviously didn’t read the statement from Ms Cahill on Slugger.
    You perhaps should join Perversional Sin – Fine

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “If people are supposed to avoid getting too close to journalists, well, I suspect we need to start talking more about the Belfast Media Group. ”

    Why? Have they been linked to journalists?

  • West Sider

    Dixie Elliott, it wasn’t ad hominen or libellous at all. I respect your opinion and being honest enough to put your real name to your posts.

    I will not repeat what I said, but rest assured it wasn’t in any way a personal slight.