Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín: “I have no doubt that in the IRA modus operandi of the time that people were moved…”

With the out-going MP for Newry and Armagh, Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy, declaring his ignorance of alleged abusers in the republican movement being moved out of Northern Ireland – BBC report

“I’ve never heard that in all my life as a republican,” [Conor Murphy] said.

…it’s worth extracting from the Fireman’s post some quotes from the interview on Newstalk Breakfast with Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín – who, according to the SF website, is a “current member of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle.”  Here’s the full clip (10 min) from the morning of the 23 Oct.

And the quotes.  At 1min 45 secs, Peadar Tóibín, TD, states that, after speaking to Gerry Adams about Maíria Cahill’s allegations,

Gerry understands that the likelihood is that there was an IRA investigation into her circumstances.

At 4min 45 secs, he makes an interesting comparison whilst trying to move the issue along

The information that is coming out is very, very clearly saying that let’s make sure that issues of abuse don’t happen like they did in the past, where they were dealt with internally in organisations, whether it be the Church or whether it be in the IRA.

And in apparent contrast with his northern counterpart, Conor Murphy, MP, Peadar Tóibín has heard about the IRA’s modus operandi… [7min 30secs in]

I have no doubt that in the IRA modus operandi of the time that people were moved.  And even in the situation you told us of, the family in County Louth who suffered abuse, it was clear that that’s exactly what happened with the abuser.

Interestingly, the Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, TD, had released a short statement after the Dail session on Wednesday 22 Oct – when he failed to address the question directly,

Gerry Adams said: “I want once again to reject in the strongest possible terms, entirely malicious and spurious allegations by the Taoiseach and the Fianna Fáil  Leader that I have any information regarding abusers being moved from the North, across border to this jurisdiction or anywhere else.”

And the final quote from the Newstalk Breakfast interview is when Peadar Tóibín was asked

[8min 19secs]: Do you think that Gerry Adams has more knowledge about this than he has publicly stated?  About other cases? About other abusers that were perhaps moved?

[Peadar Tóibín]: I don’t believe that Gerry Adams has further knowledge than he has publicly stated.

But, as we noted in a different case last year

…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.”

In the Irish Catholic, Michael Kelly picks up on the obvious parallels

Mr Adams’ party colleagues have strongly backed him and refused to criticise his role on the cover-up of abuse. It’s in stark contrast to the attitude they took to Cardinal Sean Brady when he stood accused of failing victims of abuse. At the time, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness called on the cardinal to quit. Mr McGuinness has refused to apply the same rigour to Mr Adams, further adding to speculation about a widespread cover-up of sexual abuse by high-ranking members of Sinn Féin and the IRA. Let’s be clear: lest I be accused of ‘whataboutery’, any role Sinn Féin played in covering up abuse does not excuse or minimise Church failings, but it does expose a staggering level of hypocrisy and double standard.

Under pressure, Gerry Adams now admits that his IRA comrades “failed” victims of sexual abuse by not dealing with their allegations properly.

He admitted that IRA members were “singularly ill-equipped” to deal with such matters. It begs the obvious question: why on earth did Sinn Féin and the IRA take it upon themselves to try to ‘handle’ and ‘manage’ allegation of sexual abuse? Mr Adams argues that the IRA effectively acted as a police force within the nationalist community because many people distrusted the notorious Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). It’s absolutely true that the RUC was hated by large sections of the community. But, in an act of stunning revisionism, Mr Adams fails to point out in his apologia that Catholics were murdered by the IRA for co-operation with the RUC. It was the IRA who murdered civilians who assisted the RUC.

The controversy around Mr Adams and Sinn Fein failings to deal appropriately with abuse has surfaced again after Maíria Cahill alleged that the republican movement held a “kangaroo court” to deal with her allegations of sexual abuse by an IRA member.

Mr Adams insists that the role of the IRA in failing to act appropriately to deal with abuse reflects “an attitude within Ireland which did not then understand or know as we now do, how deeply embedded abuse is in our society”. Bishops and other Catholic Church leaders have been ridiculed for making similar statements. Is Mr Adams claiming that he and Sinn Féin are on a ‘learning curve’ about sexual abuse? If he is, it’s hardly credible: Ms Cahill’s allegations refer to 1997, not the 1950s.

There is one other point to note.  After calling for Cardinal Brady to “consider his position” in March 2010, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, perhaps realising he was in a glass house, responded to a question from Eamonn Maillie in May 2010 – on whether Cardinal Brady should have resigned at the time,

Cardinal Brady has made his decision. That is the end of it. It’s really a matter for Sean Brady and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

As Tuesday’s editorial in the Irish Times said,

Adams’s claim that there was “absolutely no cover up by Sinn Féin at any level”, is worthy of the most cynical bishop.

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