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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  • NMS

    So Peadar is now contradicting the leader & Conor Murphy? Is Gerry going home to play with his teddies, permanently?

    Maybe after the publication on Sunday of the Red C poll Gerry will get the metaphorical midnight knock on the door

  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    The IRA was a secret Organisation so it’s not surprising all Republicans did not know all that was going on or what was not going on-plus it makes those who like to make up stories spin their yarns-

    It’s true that Martin McGuinness asked Cardinal Sean Brady to consider his position and it’s true that the Cardinal shuffled away-

  • tmitch57

    So a leading Sinn Fein official believes that saying that someone belonged to the IRA is a slur. Curious.

  • Glenn Clare

    Read what the dear leader said about international women’s day 2014

    Gerry Adams said:

    “International Women’s Day is an important
    opportunity to celebrate women who are active in society; in their
    communities, trade unions, voluntary organisations and the political
    institutions of Ireland.

    “However, in many ways women continue to
    be second class citizens. Despite the progress that has been made in
    recent decades there is still serious inequality between women and men
    in the workplace; in employment rights; and in access to education and

    “Women have been failed by the political system where they
    are continually underrepresented in both the Dáil and the Seanad.
    Politics remains an unfriendly environment for families and women, a
    reality that benefits no one.

    “In this context I would urge the
    government to consider the six recommendations published earlier this
    week in a report that was conducted as part of National Women’s Council
    of Ireland’s ‘Women in Politics and Decision-Making’ project.

    “Sexual harassment, abuse and domestic violence continue to be a serious problem.

    Fundamental Rights (FRA) study on violence against women across the
    European Union, published on Wednesday, found that one third of the
    women surveyed were victims of sexual of physical violence. A shocking
    and harrowing fact.

    “The research also found that austerity
    measures have a devastating effect on female victims of violence with
    cuts to vital refuge services being made by austerity touting
    governments, including our own.

    “In this state there has been a
    reduction of 16.5% in the funding for frontline rape crisis’ services
    and more cuts are to come. This is unacceptable, dangerous and

    “Women have been disproportionality impacted by
    government imposed austerity measures with cuts to maternity benefits,
    children’s allowance and an increase in the cost of living.

    study carried out by trade union Unite has revealed that since the start
    of the state’s sustained economic woes, the pay gap between men and
    women has increased with more than one-fifth of women workers in low
    paid jobs. 600,000 women are living in deprivation or at risk of poverty
    across the country.

    “Internationally girls and women continue to
    face additional issues like female genital mutilation and arranged
    marriages. Practices that must end immediately.

    “Women on the
    island of Ireland and all over the world have won many battles for
    equality over the past century, but there are further battles ahead. The
    struggle for equality must continue.

    “Sinn Féin is committed to creating a society which offers real equality; political, social, economic and cultural, for women.”

  • Glenn Clare

    I have said this before and I will say it again. No republican, nationalist or roman catholic will ever get justice from sinn fein/ira.

    If this is how they treat one of their own does the average republican, nationalist or roman catholic think they are going to get better treatment.

  • Jag

    There’s a developing spat this evening between Mary Lou McDonald and Labour TD (who will probably lose her seat in GE2016) Ciara Conway.

    Ciara said this

    “We know Mary Lou can talk the talk. It is now time for her to walk the walk.” She’s referred to the report in the Irish News that six people accused of abuse were exiled from NI to Republic, and is calling on MLM to report same to Gardai. “In addition to that she needs to provide to the Gardai, the names of these suspected rapists, details of the alleged attacks, and information as to where they are now, and to what extent they are putting children at risk.”

    MLM hit back

    “I totally reject the slanderous allegations and scurrilous remarks made by Ciara Conway in her statement. They are totally unfounded and totally untrue.”

  • mickfealty

    ‘Reject’! At last, a fitting verb to replace ‘refute’.

  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    No where in her statement does the labour TD prove that Mary Lou has any evidence- tut tut- could be this Labour member could join the good few others in court to get their bank balances lightened by the weight of evidence of slanderous allegations- that labour member could lose her seat and be out of pocket as well- she will be in good company-

  • Jag

    GA to deliver speech in Belfast this morning on the Mairia Cahill issue (no resignation, an attempt to set out a coherent position, support for the decent Republicans who are the targets of slings and arrows and slurs)

    That hole just keeps getting dug….

    Meanwhile, after GA confirmed abusers were expelled, after Irish News reported at least six were exiled in Republic, after Highland Radio reported that many were clustered in Donegal and after this analysis of a concentration of child abuse cases in Donegal

    There’s an emerging question – was an IRA paedophile ring operating in Donegal?

  • Arthur Renfrew

    Talk about putting 2 + 2 together and getting 73. That is a selection of random pedophile activity in Co Donegal over the last 40 years, the majority of which have been dealt with by the courts , and have absolutely no connection to the IRA, other than your wishful thinking. It’s only an emerging question in your sick head.

  • Guest

    as a Sinn Fein member i read the title of this article hoping a senior party member was finally sticking up to Adams so that we can move him on and let this party move forward. I read constantly on here how his past is holding us back both in the south and the occupied 6 and also hear it on the door. I think its starting to appear that one man is bigger than the party (GA). we have so much young talent coming through the ranks both sides of the border with none of the baggage. Yeah people may say the polls show he is the most poular party leader in the south but whos to say Pearse Doherty wouldnt be just as poular in the polls if not even more popular? the man is probably the most passionate TD in the Dail that I have seen.

  • Jag

    “Youth Community leader Liam Adams says there is a strong local involvement in what he described as a “very well-organised arrangement” which may also have links in Donegal. “We have names of well-known business people who we are 100pc sure are involved.”

    But he says that the authorities should be doing more to investigate the situation based on the evidence which has emerged so far.

    Registration numbers gathered by social workers who have conducted their own surveillence on activities based around Dundalk during the last two years have been handed over to the gardai for further investigation.

    The allegations of an organised ring extending from Belfast to Wexford first came to light last week at a social study conference in Donegal.”

  • Arthur Renfrew

    The articles you link to remind me of this. 3 years later than the Indo article but just as fresh today in relation to the narrative you’re trying to peddle. Extrapolating to the nth degree. More than one pedophile in a particular area does not make a pedophile ring, it only makes a headline for the grubbiest tabloid. I’d be more concerned with the attempt to portray Donegal as some sort of paedo hotspot , when it’s clear, from your own links, that it’s a countrywide issue, and permeates, unfortunately, every layer and grouping in society.

  • Jag

    Way to go with the faux reductio ad absurdem

    Given that abusers were expelled according to no less a figure than GA, and IRA members were already adept at secrecy, operating a cell structure, non-cooperation with state agencies, countersurveillance and not leaving evidence, is it really so absurd to, at least ask the question –

    was/is an IRA paedophile ring operating in Donegal?

  • Tacapall

    The same can be said of any republican, nationalist, catholic expecting any justice from a British or unionist political party.

  • Glenn Clare

    Really thanks to British justice several Sinn Fein/IRA personnel have walked free from a British courts thanks to due process, not to mention Sean Downey and the rest of the on the runs.

    However how many members of Sinn Fein/IRA have come to face justice over the murder of Paul Quinn, Robert McCartney, when the bar was full of Sinn Fein/IRA personnel and supporters, and of course none of the disappeared have got justice. Just a cold isolated unmarked grave.

    I would say republican do all right with British justice more than can be said for republicans, nationalists and Roman Catholics and Sinn Fein/IRA justice.

  • Tacapall

    Glenn your getting confused with all this, not all republicans, Catholics and nationalists are members or supporters of Sinn Fein and regardless of your observations of political backscratching between the British government and individuals within Sinn Fein, that you call a positive demonstration of British justice, unfortunately the majority of republican, Catholic and nationalist victims of state terrorism will receive no such justice or sympathy from the British government or unionist political parties for the murder of their loved ones. Peter Robinsons interest in Mairia Cahill will last as long as he get political mileage out of it.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Or from a British or ROI court. Everyone else, on all theother threads, Tacapall, are talking as if there is some objective standard of justice that will be applied if people simply go to court. The system is still a British legal system here and a system inherited from the British in the ROI, framed by five centuries of British governance. It relies on a sort of gladiatorial conflict originating in Saxon dark age practice, as against the modern developments of Code Napoléon legal systems used throughout most of Europe where the judge makes a careful inquisition into all the evidence before anything comes to court and has no power to create law through establishing precedent. While no system is perfect, this attempts to get away from the sometimes capricious and entirely conflictual model in use in the the UK.

    And the decision of any court is simply the decision of that court, not God inspired final truth free of any political bias.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I entirely agree! The tendency to lump anyone criticising unionism and its offshoots with SF misses the simple fact that some of us are not actually inclined to follow parties and leaders blindly.

  • Niall Chapman

    Agree completely, the baggage is getting heavy and the mud is starting to stick, Pearse Doherty and Mary Lou MacDonald need to take the reigns in the south and McGuinness should retain leadership in the North, at least in spite of his past he still has something of statesman about him

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “we have so much young talent coming through the ranks both sides of the border with none of the baggage.”

    I cannot agree more. GAs presentation of the SF policy on women was greeted with total disbelief by those of my Irish/American friends in the US who knew of his behaviour to Áine. He must realise what a liability he has become, and if he has any vestige of decency in him he should step down and allow the only all Ireland party to free itself of a crippling burden.