RTE Morning Ireland, 28th November 2013 Rachel English interviews Mary Lou McDonald regarding remarks made by Micheal Martin after he’d had a private briefing with Ms Cahill…
Rachel English: If I can give you a quote from what he [Micheal Martin] said yesterday “I have to say from information we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have been a broader trend within the Republican movement. If he has those concerns is his not right to raise them?
Mary Lou McDonald: Well Rachel, if he has those concerns and he has any information in respect of any child in danger or anything pertaining to the abuse, maltreatment or neglect of a child then the correct place for Micheal Martin to go to is the social services or to An Garda Siochana. And let’s not be naive about that, I don’t for a second, and let me stress this, underestimate the seriousness of this particular case or any case where a child is in danger or a child is abused. I absolutely understand that and grasp that. So as your listeners will know Sinn Fein has extremely robust procedures in place to ensure that our party and our system is alert and aware to that and responsive to that and in accordance with the law.
Rachel English: Just to be clear on this then, are you aware of any other case where a republican may have questions to answer about how they treated abuse allegations?
Mary Lou McDonald: Well, I’m not Rachel. But that is not to say that there might not be a case like that.
Rachel English: You are not aware of any other case where concerns have been raised?
Mary Lou McDonald: No. I have seen speculation in the media. I have seen other people raise these issues. But let me say this Rachel, I don’t care who the people are concerned. If there are issues to be raised and there are questions marks or concerns around any individual, I don’t care where they come from or whether they are politically affiliated or not, there is an appropriate way for those matters to be dealt with. And the appropriate and responsible and respectful of victims way to deal with these matters is to interface with the statutory authorities to deal with the PSNI in the north or An Garda Siochana here in the south and to process it in a standard way.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty