Micheal Martin claims Sinn Fein’s cover up of sexual abuse goes beyond the Adams case

And on the day Liam Adams was sentenced to 16 years for the child rape of his daughter, and Gerry Adams odd insouciance on the matter of what he actually did in response to finding out over 20 years ago, this from Sinn Fein…

Ms McDonald is furious (apparently) with Micheal Martin for claiming that:

From information we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have been a broader trend in the republican movement. Just like the (Catholic) church, that the republican movement saw the institution of the republican movement as more important than individual victims.

In the cases we have become aware of, he (Gerry Adams) would have been aware of as well… and an attempt was made to deal with those internally

Ms McDonald rounded on the FF leader saying,

The question needs to be asked of deputy Martin as to when he received this information and has he passed it on to gardaí?” she said.
That is the only appropriate course of action for any responsible citizen.

Well, quite Mary Lou. If that’s the new standard, so how come there is no record of your own leader talking to An Garda Siochana when he ‘allegedly’ took his brother’s confession in Dundalk on that rainy day in 2001?

In fact there is a marked reluctance from anyone in any part of Sinn Fein to ask any hard questions about his own personal conduct in this serious case…

Here’s a typical response about Liam Adams’ Sinn Féin activity in Andersonstown from Gerry Kelly on The Politics Show in Jan 2010

“Let’s be logical about this. If Gerry Adams went in Louth and spoke to his brother and told him to leave [the party], why would he not do it in Andersonstown?”

And from that same post, the first appearance of the ‘very busy’ defence of Gerry Adams’ ignorance of his brother’s involvement in Sinn Féin in Andersonstown – “From 2000 and for a number of years”, according to Sinn Fein’s own account.

The BBC’s Gareth Gordon asked: “How could you not have known? You’re the MP for West Belfast, that’s your power base?

Mr Adams replied: “Well, I can only tell you I don’t know every member of the party in west Belfast. I’m also a very busy activist. A lot of this happened at a time of intense, hyper activity.

“But I didn’t know. That’s it. People will make up their own mind on that and decide on their own position.”

But, as Gerry Kelly recently admitted,

You know, I [still] don’t know enough about the detail of this…

And, as someone advised just the other day

[Gerry Adams on the BBC/RTÉ programme The Disappeared] “I learnt a long time ago, if you don’t ask, you can’t tell.”

As lately as Tuesday Alex Maskey claimed he still hasn’t read the transcript of Gerry’s court evidence:

In the meantime the party is putting out policy positions on domestic violence  and sexual abuse it seems spectacularly unwilling to enforce when it comes to its own backyard…

A spokesman for Fianna Fáil has said authorities in Northern Ireland were aware of the two cases Mr Martin mentioned.

[Some of the passages from above were compiled by Pete in an earlier Slugger thread…]

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  • Dixie Elliott
  • megatron

    Does anyone want to have an honest conversation about how such cases should have been handled in west belfast, south armagh or other areas?

    Didnt think so.

    Carry on reinforcing your existing opinions.

  • Mick Fealty

    Quite meg. The operative word being ‘honest’.

  • megatron

    OK so I’ll bite Mick.

    The cold hard reality is that most people wanted the movement (for want of a better word) to sort it out.

    I dont think its ideal but people couldnt trust the police either. Martin (and others) want to portray the thing as go to the police = good and dont go to the police = bad. Most people will buy that line.

    I am certain similarish issues plagued the ANC in SA and other “movements” (maybe even our own war of independence). It all looks horrible now through our lens but that is not how it might look to people in the moment.

    None of the above is a blank cheque and I dont know if everyone acted perfectly (an impossible standard) but Martin hasnt offered anything concrete.

  • megatron

    A little off topic but the central problem is that people a desperately trying to paint Adams as evil (SF people are doing the opposite).

    I dont personally believe in good or evil people. I beleive in flawed people who any number of good, bad or evil things – many of these things are driven by the context they find themselves in.

    Without an honest discussion of the context how can we infer their character from their actions?

  • Mick Fealty

    I think we know that it is concrete enough Meg. Here’s Mary Lou:

    “In my view, at this stage, Gerry has answered time and time and time again all of the questions put to him and more importantly Gerry has testified in a court of law [against his brother].”

    Now to the transcript for just one of those answers from Gerry:

    Q…before that you have been speaking about the meeting in Buncrana and you then say to the journalist: “Now some time after that Liam left where he was living and went out of the country”. I just want you to pause there. I suggest to you that it is a lie to say that your brother went out of the country at that time or at any time thereafter apart from the odd two week holiday to Spain.
    A: Well I take exception to you saying it’s a lie.
    Q: Well I am suggesting to you just so that it is plain Mr Adams, that it is a lie and he never went out of the country?
    A: Well he did go out of the country. Q: And where did he go?
    A: He went to Canada.
    Q: To Canada?
    A: yes.
    Q: Mr Adams, your brother went to America for about six or eight months and also to Canada, but that was in 1983 long before the meeting in Buncrana?

    I do understand this is a legacy problem for Mr A meg. And one for the party, as I did warn at the time that Ms McDonald and the rest of the party were condoning the very behaviour in their president they are trying to tell the rest of us we must not do.

    It is not a question of ‘taking a position’ on whether Mr A is good or evil. But in any language or book of conduct it is an appalling state of affairs.

  • megatron

    I should have clarified that I am talking about new cases raised by MM. I am on record on (many) previous threads as saying he should go from action in Liam Adams case.

  • Mick Fealty

    I know you are meg.

    Ms McDonald’s zero effort to her own leader to account for his own behaviour in this area is crucial in arriving at an understanding of what is going on here.

    The man Adams protected for all those years got sixteen years for the offence the leader protected him from. I’ve no doubt Mary Lou is personally very sincere on this issue, but there’s no doubt this was a calculated ‘f you’ from the party to anyone who has suffered or is continuing to suffer from SF’s mishandling of similar cases out there.

  • cynic2

    Wasn’t there another victim in west Belfast who reported she had been raped by a well known pira terrorist. I seem to recall her claim that someone senior told her that in his experience “it was best just to forget these things and get on with your life’

    Meanwhile she was threatened and vilified while he was smuggled out to Donegal beyond the clutches of the hated RUC and the possibility of any impertinent questions

    Then there was the case of Briege Meehan ………….. and how many others?

  • Mc Slaggart


    “a well known pira terrorist”

    I am left to wonder did the IRA have any members who was low profile?

  • Son of Strongbow

    “Wondering” about this, “wondering” about that. For some it seems any references challenging the IRA are wonderfully inappropriate.

  • son of sam

    Son of Strongbow
    Indeed!If you look at the Jude Collins blogs,Micks interventions don’t seem to go down all that well.It seems to be all “themmuns” against poor Gerry!

  • Mick Fealty

    “Unfounded and untrue” says Pearse Doherty: http://www.thejournal.ie/pearse-doherty-micheal-martin-claims-1197052-Nov2013/

    SF have been remarkably lucky with a weakened northern media on the story concerned.

    I suspect when the case breaks cover and we get to do the timelines on who knew what and when they knew Pearse will now have some difficult explanations to make.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s called burning your future to save your past

  • megatron

    Mick – obviously you know a lot more than you are letting on (“when the story breaks”) which is fair enough.

    Not much point in you having a discussion with a blind man on how ugly the scenery is.

    One thing I would agree on is that it is foolish in the extreme for Pearse and Mary Lou to express faith in a negative which they cannot know for sure.

  • “SINN FÉIN FINANCE spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that claims from the Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin that there were alleged cases of abuse in the Republican movement that were dealt with internally are “unfounded and untrue”.” Pearse Doherty

    Unfortunately in Ms XX case the IRA took it upon themselves to force her to take part in an investigation, this re-traumatised her and ended not in Court Martial as they suggested it would but she believes in the facilitated “escape from house arrest” with a cheque in his pocket and a long stay in a nice, comfortable Letterkenny Hotel. .. Eileen Calder – S O’T 31 January 2010

  • Mc Slaggart

    Son of Strongbow

    In business speak the active IRA had a flat management structure. The less dealing you had with management the better.

    I had no great love of the “IRA” they did have a habit of bowing up buildings and people who I cared for. The scary thing that the people who turned out to be in the organisation was normal. Turning them all into leading figures and power full people is such a distortion of the truth.

  • Mick Fealty

    Meg, better for us all to reserve detailed comment until after proceedings are completed, I think.

  • Dixie Elliott

    In a Derry Journal article back in late October under the heading….


    Eamonn McCann said….

    “….It would seem from their petulant responses that some party members haven’t yet realised what’s coming down the road – including roads leading to Derry.

    Most of them – whether we agree with their politics or not – are decent people who would abhor any cover-up of sexual abuse.

    They should ask around…”


    One of these cases was already exposed a few years back in the Sunday World which carried a badly pixelated photo of the culprit with the article and another case is no secret either not by a long shot.

  • Politico68

    I have to hand it to you Mick; you certainly don’t give up when it comes to thrashing Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein. This latest thread would definitely earn you a lucrative career within the ranks of the scummiest tabloid press. While Michael Martin simply shows himself to be no different to the pond scum that we thought we had seen the back of in Fianna Fail.

    I am not sure how many people would be able to shop their own brother to the police without some hessitation, especially if they pleaded their innocence and begged for the mercy of brotherly love. Never mind the considerations of the impact of the wider family. Unless of course you believe that Gerry Adams takes some sort of delight in the notion of children being abused? I don’t think even your capacity to swim in the mud of political point scoring and sensationalist trash would be enough to convince the majority of intellectually healthy individuals that this is the case.

    As for Martin, he knows as well as anybody else that the Republican ‘Institution’ did not deal with or countenance any sort of interaction with the police for decades because they were essentially at war. Not only does Martin know this but his words are a disgusting attempt to drag the horror of abuse that engulfed the Country onto the playing field to serve no purpose accept help himself politically. Could you imagine a Jewish person during the second world war going to a Nazi officer and saying ‘excuse me I know that we don’t really get on very well, but I think my brother (also Jewish) might be interfering with children, could u investigate please? It’s getting beyond a joke, and the desperation amongst some sections of the media and political elite to ‘get’ Adams at any cost is becoming almost theatrically hysterical.

    The farce that passes as ‘investigation’ into Adams, be it in relation to child abuse or his connections with the IRA only serves to show us Mick that You and people like You, really don’t give a jot about truth or the genuine needs of victims. It’s ONLY about destroying Adams, and only a disingenuous person with state otherwise.

  • Mc Slaggart

    ” Mick Fealty (profile) 28 November 2013 at 9:16 pm
    Meg, better for us all to reserve detailed comment until after proceedings are completed, I think.”

    Honestly Mick i don’t think you have any more information on this matter than myself.

    You claim “a weakened northern media” but that means you think the southern media is not weak and thus is a source you can quote????

    As the old saying goes put up of shut up.

  • Politico68, why would you even think of linking republican or any other paramilitaries with Jewish civilians? Just think of Fr Reid’s reaction to the deaths of Tom Cochrane and Joe Donegan back in 1982.

  • Alias

    “As for Martin, he knows as well as anybody else that the Republican ‘Institution’ did not deal with or countenance any sort of interaction with the police for decades because they were essentially at war.”

    That line of ‘argument’ is bogus apologetics. He reported Aine’s mother to Social Services (making allegations of poor hygiene) the day after she told him about the abuse so he clearly had no objection to voluntary interaction with state authorities. Why then didn’t he report the other allegations to Social Services since the reason for his sustained paedophile protection activities clearly had nothing to do with the bogus reason?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Politico68 another apologist who tries to paint Adams’ vindictive treatment of his abused niece as a family tragedy.

    Conveniently he overlooks the fact that Adams could have ensured he was removed from SF yet even allowed him to canvass and be in contact with other children.

    He ignores the fact that the very day after Adams and his niece went to confront Liam in Buncrana that he reported the family for bad hygiene and being infected with nits.

    That was nothing less than petty revenge in anyone eyes, but sure he did it out of ‘brotherly love’ Politico68 didn’t he?

    And we’ll all ignore the fact that out of all his brothers and sisters he chose the one he knew to be a paedophile for special mention in his book.

    I’d accuse anyone who ignores the above never mind anything else of being a fanatic.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Also he could have told the Gardai what Liam admitted to him in 2000 given that they had accepted the State since 1986.

  • Alias

    And, of course, his report to state authorities was in 2007 – long past the sell-by state for those apologetics.

  • Alias

    Snap, Dixie.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ll come to your question in a minute McS, but this oped video really does deserve a hearing. If you want to know just how weak our media is, then you really should listen to Katie Varvos aka Unemployed Graduate:

  • Mick Fealty


    There is a case in the judicial system relating to this allegation. As noted above, we await to see its outcome before we can test Mr Doherty’s level of knowledge here. But I imagine he may prove to be, as his colleagues quoted above were, only partially briefed.

    There was earlier occasion when an intervention from SF prevented (for reasons that remain unclear) the BBC from naming either Wilson or Finucane in a Newsline interview with GA.

    As Alan Murray wrote back in 2010:

    “Behind the mud thrown at Gerry Adams, and so far there has been very little compared with that thrown at the Robinsons, is the unravelling of the televised account given by the MP for West Belfast of his contacts and relationship with his fugitive brother.

    Consider this in all of the obfuscation and evasion, Mr Adams recognised the PSNI by 2007. But by his own admission in court this April this evidence was incomplete. Indeed, even the evidence he gave in 2009 when he knew the UTV programme was coming, was less complete than that written statement he finally gave the court.

    That review of an earlier decision not to prosecute Adams is worth keeping an eye on. I know some good people in northern journalism who thought it was merely an open and shut case. Indeed I thought that too at the time on the grounds that the public interest would have been served in getting the final prosecution.

    But the AG is still considering the matter, and is likely examining the grounds for a prosecution for withholding evidence.

    Adams repeated attempts during the trial to dob in his former counsel (now the DPP) by waiving privilege suggest that he understood only too well that this might be a problem.

  • Coll Ciotach

    This will teach SF that pulling a move like the one they pulled on Sean Gallagher will not be forgotten, I expect the series of tit for tat revelations between FF and SF will continue. And both will suffer.

    At the end of the day there was no or little chance of the police being informed of this, even aine said that when she involved them they were more interested in info on certain people.

    She was only ever going to be a pawn for the police involved in the bigger game of nailing Adams and Adams was not going to volunteer his neck.

    I am amazed that no one has even mentioned the RUC’s role in this which was shocking to say the least.

  • Alias

    “She was only ever going to be a pawn for the police involved in the bigger game of nailing Adams and Adams was not going to volunteer his neck.”

    She was never close to her uncle and neither was her mother so it wasn’t likely she’d be in a position to hear or see anything that would incriminate him. Besides, agents were all around him (his driver, Roy McShane, was a British agent) and Mr Adams ensured they were never detected by appointing more British agents to run PIRA’s Internal Security Unit so the State had no interest in removing Mr Asams from his leadership role – only an interest in keeping him in that role.

    It is more likely to be the case that the RUC were protecting Liam Adams by discouraging Aine and her mother from proceeding with her complaint. Sexual indiscretions are a tried and trusted means of recruiting informers.

    It served the interests of the security services for the Shinners to implement a policy of discouraging victims of sexual abusers from complaining to the police as that allowed the Shinners security department to pass on the names of compromised PIRA members to their handlers and for those vulnerable points to be used to control those members.

    That level of control would not have been possible if the victim dealt with the complaint through proper procedures and were not deterred by agent recruiters seeking to deter them.

    It’s a very easy choice for a PIRA sexual abuser to make: 15 years in jail and a public outing as a kiddie-fiddler or state protection and a cash income for just reporting back to a handler every now and then.

  • Politico68

    Nevin, I was not trying to link Jews and Republican, I was trying to create an analogy on the absurd notion that a person who is a member of a community that is in direct conflict with the security apparatus of the state would be likely to report incidents of any nature to any member of that very security apparatus. Simple if u want to understand.
    Alias, brining the family to the attention of social service authorities is entirely different to approaching the RUC regarding his brother. Adams was correct here as we now know that the RUC (like urself) was not interested in aines predicament accept where it might have offered and op for them to get info on the Republican movement.

    ‘bogus apologetics’ don’t come into it, that’s merely a nonsense propaganda phrase which is as vacuous as it is worthless. Of no value to anyone.

    Dixie, ur hatred of Adams lets u refuse to believe that sibling affection and family anxiety can play a huge part in affecting the coping skills of anybody in such a situation. If u genuinely believe that abuse within a clann is not a family tragedy considering the pain and guilt it ignites the you naivity is only surpassed by ur blind hatred of Adams.
    Mick, citizens are not required to put themselves up for trial via trashy journalism, the courts are the correct arena for dealing with these issues and it seems that the end result has led to Liam Adams incarceration which hopefully will lead to some finding some peace and maybe coming to terms from the past.

    I have many things in common with aine unfortunately and I am no apologist for abusers or their keepers. Survivors need to get some justice through the truth and not be forced to face confusion and sensationalism created by those whos primary concern is not with the victim, and only see the victim as a vehicle by which they can attack their enemies. Interestingly, it is this claim which NONE of u deny to be true that is ignored in ur comments telling me exactly what I need to know about ur true intentions.

  • Alias

    “Alias, brining the family to the attention of social service authorities is entirely different to approaching the RUC regarding his brother”

    So why didn’t he report it to Social Services? Most suspicions of sexual abuse are reported to them in the first instance, not to the police. Certainly his brother’s alleged ‘confession’ (and his brother denies he ever made one) was evidence that should have been reported to the police – and, more saliently, could have been reported to the police since the Shinners had long since dropped their policy of not recognising the police. Lastly, there is the matter of why he failed to report the abuse to various employers who had unwittingly employed a paedophile to work with vulnerable young people. Those employers are neither Social Services or police officers.

  • Politico68

    Alias, what Adams said and where and when he said it is only really relevent if the authorities didn’t know about the allegations. But they did, twenty odd yrs ago ! And nothing was done about it, so if u really need to smash someone up over this I suggest u start there. Adams, as far as I am aware has admitted that he should have dealt with things differently; and I agree with him, he should have in hindsight. But that is perfect clarity after the fact which is a mile away from intentional and deliberate cover up. This is my last word, if the spouses of abusers who knew or had an inkling of the abuse going on under their noses were to be trashed the way Adams is right now, there wouldn’t be enuff ink in tabloids printing presses for it all. Families try to cope as best they can in these situations, and its carnage, fear, guilt, hate, despair, regret … I could go on and on. Just because people might hate Adams and other repubs, does not mean that they are immune to the above just because they are repubs. The only person who deserves to fried here is the man now who is currently in the hot fat – Liam Adams. As for the rest of the family they will have to live with the scars forever. Let them heal.

  • GEF

    “That review of an earlier decision not to prosecute Adams is worth keeping an eye on.”

    Prosecuting the President of SF (Re his brother’s wrongdoings) would be seen as double standards by the Attorney General’s office when Cardinal Brady was not prosecuted recently over a similar matter (Re Fr Brendan Smyth’s wrongdoings) Indeed we the joe public don’t know if
    Gerry Adams has already had a resignation offer rejected by the SF hierarchy, not unlike Cardinal Brady’s offer to the Vatican.


  • Mick Fealty

    The problem with 1987 is that there is so little actual information that people are tempted to project their own lurid fantasies upon it, whether contra RUC or contra Adams.

    That’s why it is safer to look at 2007, after the conflict is over and after Adams is no longer in conflict with the state.

    The AG will look at Mr A’s evidence from April and decide whether there was a breach of law in the near term. What may be in his favour is the sheer uselessness of the evidence he gave, allegedly, against his brother.

  • Coll Ciotach

    GEF – load of nonsense – Brady followed the proper path and did everything expected.

  • “Nevin, I was not trying to link Jews and Republican”

    Politico, you positioned the perpetrators of terror behind the victims of terror. Now that’s not a clever nor an apt analogy; it’s a pathetic use of camouflage.

  • GEF

    “GEF – load of nonsense – Brady followed the proper path and did everything expected.”

    Most republicans believe Adams has also “followed the proper path and did everything expected.”

  • Politico68

    Nevin, I didnt, it was, it is and its not. The abuse of Nats/repubs by the state security forces (long before the PIRA got back in the game in the late sixties) as been compared to the Nazis treatment of Jews by far wiser men than u or I.

  • Politico68, you wrote: “Could you imagine a Jewish person during the second world war going to a Nazi officer”. These Jews did not behave like those who broke every bone in Paul Quinn’s body; those who acted as judge, jury and executioners of their neighbours and fellow citizens and in a most barbaric manner.

  • Alias

    “As for the rest of the family they will have to live with the scars forever. Let them heal.”

    Ah yes… the real victim here is Gerry. We need to give him time to make amends with his niece so that they might one day enjoy family get-togethers at Christmas again.

    Look, he never had a family relationship with his niece or her mother. We know this from Aine. After she told him of the abuse he ignored her for years later, not so much as sending her a Christmas card. Indeed, the only ‘gift’ he gave her was a visit from Social Services the day after she told him about the abuse to remind them that he could set the authorities onto her and her mother if she give didn’t keep her mouth shut about such things.

    As her MP, never mind as her uncle, he could easily have arranged therapy for her (as all child sexual abuse victims receive) but he didn’t bother his backside about it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Can we get back to substance lads. If this is going to turn into mutual abuse, I’m going to close the thread!

  • “Just like the (Catholic) church, that the republican movement saw the institution of the republican movement as more important than individual victims.” .. MM

    Is the former FF Minister for Health and Children [2000-2004] not on rather dodgy ground when pointing the finger at others?

    The report states that senior clerical figures covered up the abuse over nearly 30 years and that the structures and rules of the church facilitated that cover-up. It says that state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the church to be beyond the reach of the law.

    The Murphy Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children in Dublin identified 320 people who complained of child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004. .. source

  • westprog

    If Gerry Adams were to explain himself by saying “At that time, reporting a fellow republican to the police was impossible. We had to deal with those things internally, in a necessarily imperfect way. I may also have been influenced by my personal affection for my brother” – well, he would not be beyond criticism, but at least it would be an honest response. As it is, he leaves it to SF non-spokesmen to issue those responses.

    The parallels with the way that the Catholic Church dealt with the same issues are becoming more and more obvious. Denial, obfuscation, and furious attacks on anyone raising the issue for their supposed motivation.

  • westprog

    The parallels with the way that the Catholic Church dealt with the same issues are becoming more and more obvious. Denial, obfuscation, and furious attacks on anyone raising the issue for their supposed motivation.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick Fealty

    “There is a case in the judicial system ”


    As I stated you do not have any more facts on the case than I do. If you do not have any new facts to put forward then stop this. At the heart of the story is the rape of children.

    If your not prepared to

  • Charles_Gould

    I don’t see any reason to see why he can’t “brazen this out”.

    “Brazening out” is what Gerry Adams has done in the past. It means just keeping a lot profile until the media storm has passed.

    He did it in 2005 with the Northern Bank Robbery, and the Robert McCartney murder.

    He did it with the Jean McConville story many times.

    The whole issue of his membership of the IRA he brazens out.

    At some point the media storm recedes and things get back to normal.

  • Charles_Gould

    SF do stand to gain from Adams departure, because MLM is waiting in the wings. But it will be up to Adams when he leaves, and I recon he does not leave for at least another 10 years.

  • Politico68

    Alias, it would appear that you are deliberately being glib in your comments on such a serious topic so I am gonna bow out here and leave you to your obtuse meanderings.

  • cynic2

    Most republicans believe Adams has also “followed the proper path and did everything expected.”

    Poots believes the earth was made 8000 years ago by his friend in the sky, Doesn’t make it true

  • cynic2

    “I don’t see any reason to see why he can’t “brazen this out”.

    Of course he can and will brazen it out. That doesn’t change what he did.

    Do you want to vote for a man who did that?

  • cynic2

    ” he could easily have arranged therapy for her (as all child sexual abuse victims receive) but he didn’t bother his backside about it.”

    Wasn’t another victim who was raped by a prominent west Belfast IRA man ordered not to even have therapy in case she might disclose information? This is core to he culture of the IRA and SF. Women are seen as second class. Chattels to be used