Adams: No internal investigation by Sinn Féin into Maíria Cahill allegations

Here’s Gerry Adams’ interview on RTE’s This Week in which he denies his party has held an inquiry into its handling of the Mairia Cahill affair. It’s sparked a lot of conversation already on Slugger’s Facebook page, which it well worth reading in conjunction with the recording.

Two striking aspects: 1, it’s notable RTE gave so much time on a matter many of thought was ‘over’, indicating they believe Mr Adams has not sufficiently addressed the matter; and 2, is the sheer intensity of Mr Adams’ responses.

It’s messy, because they seem to be talking about something that either hasn’t happened (despite Mr A’s engagement with the victim over several years) or may have happened but not in a form specified by the interviewer.

One particularly muddied aspect is Adams’ mixing of general good practice in the handling of victims of sexual abuse (go through the authorities) with how any private body might investigate allegations of how they’d handled such victim.

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  • Tacapall

    I just dont get it, here we have a forum that seems to be obsessed by the actions of a politician not from this jurisdiction but yet totally ignores the actions of politicians from within this jurisdiction who were actively involved in the rape and abuse of hundreds of children.

    Is [text removed] Andrew Windsor somehow above the laws of debate?

    Should the public and bloggers not be bombarded with bloggs pointing out the alarming connections between the royal family, Westminster politicians and people who have been accused and charged with all sorts of peadophillia.

  • chrisjones2

    Sorry but why was my post removed? I dont understand how it breached the rules

  • mickfealty

    Go check the rules of the site? You took a hell of a lot a licence in some of those statements. One more crack like that and it’s a red card for you.

  • mac tire

    Mick, yet another attempt to give all this some legs?
    In the week where we have learned more about the ex-Health Minister’s wasting of money re: blood donations,
    where we were told that soldiers were told they would not face prosecution before Seamus Bradley was shot in Derry,
    where Eamon O Cuiv stated the murder of David Black was directly linked with tensions in Maghaberry,
    where more details about the Roseanne Mallon murder and it’s aftermath surfaced,
    where the Director of Public Prosecutions has asked for the investigation into RUC destruction of evidence and potential cover up in the ‘Armagh hayshed case’…etc, etc.
    I could go on, and I am sure others could add in a few stories which could well have been covered.
    Of course, you can cover what you want. It really is coming across as a bit of an obsession. Surely this has been done to death.

  • Shauna Cochrane

    The accused was a member of her own family circle, what has this got to do with SF?

  • SDLP supporter

    “…a forum that seems to be obsessed by the actions of a politician not from this jurisdiction but yet totally ignores the actions of politicians from within this jurisdiction who were actively involved in the rape and abuse of hundreds of children.”
    Tacapall, for a ‘republican’ you are being surprisingly partitionist. Gerry Adams is from this jurisdiction, he just currently operates in another one, though he continues to grace us with his presence and the benefit of his wisdom from time to time, as in the Stormont House talks.
    As for Prince Andrew, I agree with the tone of your remarks. The guy is an arrogant parasite but the difference is no-one elected him, buiochas le Dia.

  • Tacapall

    SDLP supporter I couldn’t give two f…s about Gerry Adams or his presence at some talks to rubber stamp British policy engineered by foreign politicians who at this minute are being accused of covering up evidence that senior politicians at Westminister raped, abused and were involved in the murder of young children. The same politicians your party MPs play fotsie with at Westminister and im racking my brain trying to remember any SDLP politician ask even a question about their political colleagues lack of moral values.

    Im simply pointing out the hypocricy of continuously pouring over the embers of one scandal while ignoring the inferno going on eleswhere.

  • Robin Keogh

    Its a bit confusing to be honest. How would SF seriously go about conducting an internal investigation. If it started tomorrow lets say, how would it operate? Realistically if a few shinners came forward and said – ya i heard rumours that some current SF members were involved in child abuse whilst tangled up with the IRA and i know of a couple who were moved along etc – the next step obviously would be to inform the authorities, no? Or should they pocket that info until the investigating panel gathered more proof? Could you imagine the outcry. An investigation by definition has to have a start, middle and end. It must reach a conclusion of sorts. If SF tried to launch an investigation internally, how long before they would be accused of kangaroo court antics, and at what point could they go to the authorities with the info? And what about the victims, would they form part of the investigation also? And what if they didnt want to go to the gaurds? Its all smoke in a hole. GA is absolutely correct in saying SF have no business taking on the job of the police. An investigation has to be victim focused, it has to be independent and carried out by those who are responsible for securing justice for citizens. Accusations need to be handled delicately and by professionals, as far as i know there exists no political party anywhere that have the personnell with these skills. The only way to deal with this is for victims to find the strength and courage to come forward and be heard.

  • aber1991

    This is new information.

  • aber1991

    I thought that rape was a criminal offense. I also thought that investigating an allegation of a crime was the responsibility of the police.

    If this Maria Cahill believes that she was raped by a person known to her, I suggest that she report the incident and the culprit to the police. I just cannot imagine why she asked Sinn Fein to investigate her allegation? If a Sinn Fein investigation had indicated that her allegations against the individual were justified, what does she think Sinn Fein should have done? Did she want Sinn Fein to pray that the culprit would see the light and mend his ways?

  • Zeno

    “Mick, yet another attempt to give all this some legs?”
    It hasn’t gone away you know.

    ” How would SF seriously go about conducting an internal investigation”
    They could draw on the experience of their EX IRA Members.

    “The accused was a member of her own family circle, what has this got to do with SF?”
    The accused was an IRA Man. SF were their political wing. Almost all children who are abused suffer at the hands of someone from their “family circle”.

    “I just dont get it, here we have a forum that seems to be obsessed by the actions of a politician not from this jurisdiction”

    He is from this jurisdiction and leads SF who are in government right here, right now. If it was the leader of any other party they would be also hounded and quite rightly.

  • Cue Bono

    I think that she may have been slightly concerned that some of the people er, associated with SF might have murdered her if she had gone to the police. That sort of thing was known to happen.

  • Cue Bono

    Doesn’t SF have some sort of a policy on child abuse?

  • Cue Bono

    You forgot to mention the lack of water in Dungiven. This story has legs simply because no other political leader in the civilised world would expect to remain in office with this sort of stuff swirling around him. A normal political party would have ditched him shortly after the court transcript detailing his ‘mistruths’ in the Aine case were published.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/08_10_2013_cross_exam_gerry_adams.pdf

  • Tacapall

    Her rapist was married to her aunt.

  • Tacapall

    “If it was the leader of any other party they would be also hounded and quite rightly”

    So why is David Cameron and Threasa May still in office and why has the media conviently ignored this case, why are these people not being hounded out of office –

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Houses_of_Parliament_UK_Stop_Child_Abuse_1/?pv=9

  • Cue Bono

    Because neither of them kept a known paedophile in their house and then lied that they had disowned him perhaps?

  • Tacapall

    So what your saying is you can cover up peadophile activities by your own colleagues as long as they dont stay in your house and you lie about disowning them ?

  • mickfealty

    I blogged this mostly because I was surprised to see so much time given to it in the interview. If you all look back on my timeline, you will notice that I’ve not been banging on about it for quite some time now.

    It should be stated pretty clearly here that any internal inquiry would have/should have no direct implications for the victim (which is the only thing that would give the logic behind the argument Adams uses here any reasonable merit).

    If done properly and to reasonable standards it would only have implications for specific actors within the party. My own first thought was (before listening to the recording), that Gerry is effectively admitting that he believes that Ms Cahill is giving a definitive account of how he and the party treated her.

    In listening to the interview it’s clear he’s trying to divide attention between two things: one, that all victims should be believed, but that the press picking up on her account focused on certain things she alleged he said which he found very upsetting.

    Now, I’m sure we all have our favorites in this story, but I think it is pretty objectively clear that Ms Cahill was a victim traumatised three times: once by the alleged actions, once by the IRA actions, and once by the handling of her case by Sinn Fein.

    And there’s no inquiry…? That is very queer, in the old fashioned sense of the word.

  • mickfealty

    I’ve hardly been flogging it Mac, have I?

    The story here is not the rape, nor yet the uncivilised way in which the IRA treated this particular school girl victim of rape, but the fact the party has not even looked at the issue in any detail, or so their leader says (if you believe anything he says on these matters).

    Blog what you know, learn more, blog more. It’s a simple rule which we have followed here on Slugger for years. You may read it as simple repetition, but in fact it’s just recapitulation in order to integrate new information.

    It’s a general characteristic of perpetrators to reflexively shove the victim out of the picture and claim status of victim himself. It’s been a distinguishing feature of all ex paramilitaries here, both loyalist and republican.

    No big thing you might say. Except that in accepting it as normal,we are sidelining an awful lot more people than just Ms Cahill.

  • aber1991

    Why is she not concerned that SF might murder her for going to the media? After all, with elections pending in both parts of Ireland, her going to the media might have posed a much bigger threat to Sinn Fein than going to the police?

  • aber1991

    Why should ALL alleged victims be believed? Have you and Gerry Adams forgotten about Nora Wall?

  • Cue Bono

    Because the SF guns are now rotting in concrete somewhere, and murdering her would sink their electoral prospects in the south faster than you can say Bejaysus.

  • Cue Bono

    Nope. Covering up paedophile activities is a criminal offence and any politician involved in such activities should be hounded out of office and prosecuted. Yeah?

  • $136050377
  • mickfealty

    Did I say that aber?

  • Cue Bono

    I’m absolutely sure. If Harperson has covered up for paedophilia she should be hounded out of office and prosecuted. Has she done that?

  • aber1991

    How do you know?

    I still do not know what Maria Cahill expected Sinn Fein to do? Has she said what she expected?

  • $136050377

    That ain’t the point though.
    The point is there is something rotten at Westminster and Slugger hasn’t touched it.

  • Cue Bono

    I know because the Provo murder campaign has stopped. As far as I know she expected the Sinners to believe her and kick the rapist out of their organisation.

  • Cue Bono

    You think there is smething rotten in Westminster. That doesn’t mean that it is actually true. The Adams court transcript on the other hand cannot be denied.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2013/10/10/this-is-how-gerry-adams-reported-his-brothers-abuse-to-social-services-its-quite-something/

  • Robin Keogh

    I dunno, do they?

  • Cue Bono

    Apparently they do have a very robust policy. It just doesn’t apply to the Dear Leader.

  • Robin Keogh

    Grand so

  • Cue Bono

    This is why they call Sinners drones.

  • Robin Keogh

    I cant comment on that as i have not recieved the appropriate orders

  • Cue Bono

    I took that as a given.

  • Robin Keogh

    You’re so bright…wow !

  • Cue Bono

    I understand Shin.

  • mickfealty

    Cue, can you not just ask a decent question? Robin’s decent enough to put his voice out there, the least he deserves is an honest engagement…

  • John Collins

    The hypocrisy of politicians in dealing with this matter has been amazing. We had Enda Kenny down south receiving Maria Cahill in a haze of sympathy, yet in his own jurisdiction, Louise O’Keeffe, a victim of an abusive school teacher had to fight his Government all the way to the European Court to get justice

  • mickfealty

    Yes, but given what allegedly happened on Gerry’s watch, NO inquiry? How utterly weird is that?

  • Robin Keogh

    Me too, it runs from me knee to me foot

  • Kevin Breslin

    Maybe Maíria Cahill’s case justifies Sinn Féin opting NOT to administer internal justice.

    McGuinness says that Cahill was probably raped, unfortunately those who defend the IRA’s activities with regards to Maíria including those acusing Cahill of self-publicity and those in the party like Martin who are sympathetic and want justice will only be brought to a kangaroo court without credibility anyway.

    Sinn Féin should just apologise on behalf of the IRA, at least the former members … That’s unfortunately the best Maíria can probably get from this.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Cahill won’t be able to get justice, not even from the European Courts.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The other jurisdiction thing is irrelevant. Gerry Adams in Louth is still more accountable to the people of Northern Ireland than Peter Hain or Tony Blair are. Hain and Blair are not going to have debates with Willy Frazier over the treatment of IRA victims, Hain and Blair are not going to spend one second under PSNI questioning. Adams can be badgered down in his constituency office in Louth, Hain and Blair will have round the clock security over in Britian keeping any number of disgruntled souls away from them.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sixty million British people have other things to care about.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Both she and the accused were members of Sinn Féin when the incident occurred.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The party did look at the issue, several members of Sinn Féin had the chance to investigate the allegations years ago and they made a reported hash of things. Does anyone really believe in the passage of time that new evidence or confessions are going to emerge due to some sort of internal inquiry in the party?

    Gerry Adams if he had any dignity should reprimand those in his party making false accusations of Maíria being a self-promoter, if for nothing else the fact these party members paint the party as arrogant unsympathetic (to paraphrase Adams here) bastards.

  • mickfealty

    Tac,

    No one here makes editorial decisions here the manner you are suggesting. Prince Andrew has been mentioned in court papers in the U.S. One to watch certainly.

    But why all the whataboutery on what is a relatively conservative analysis of Adams continued (and reflexive) traducing of Ms Cahill?

  • mickfealty

    You would do well to search for Cahill in the timeline to see when and how we have reported it (particularly with regard to court actions). The critical thing is to let due process have at, and then report the outcomes when we can see them!!

  • Morpheus

    Four. How she was used by the media to fill column inches

    Five. How she was used by politicians for profile enhancing photo opportunities

  • babyface finlayson

    As far as I know the actors directly involved in the meetings with Mairia Cahill have given no detailed account of their version, either to the authorities or the media or anyone else. All they have done is instruct their lawyers to issue blanket denials.
    Full detailed statements from Wilson Finucane Wright and McCrory would have been helpful in clarifying matters, bur amazingly they have not been forthcoming.
    Any party in a case like this would surely conduct an internal investigation, if not for the good of the victim, then for the good of the party, to ascertain how they could have handled it better and to minimise further damage.
    It is hard to believe that such an investigation has not happened.

  • John Collins

    Why not? She seems to have the support of different politicians from Enda Kenny to Jim Allister. The EU Court should also be very interested indeed to ascertain why the authorities in the North took four years to follow up the case.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Firstly, I feel that because Cahill had withdrawn her testimony, the accused is protected by double jeopardy and only civic proceedings can occur. Secondly any new case criminal or civic will need more evidence other than her testimony, I am highly skeptical we can get some by this stage. Rape is hard to prosecute at the best of times, add that to historic legacies and the statistical probability is not in her favour. I hope she can have her Saville as I do the rest of the victims in the Troubles, but most will suffer without justice.

    (Finally I should note though it makes no difference as Ireland and the UK are still in it, ECHR is a Council of Europe court not an EU one, taking in all but 3 European nation states,)

  • mickfealty

    Aye, the old perp as victim routine. Do you think Morph, that there was no inquiry because the party was afraid someone in the media might then ask them a reasonable question about their findings?

  • Morpheus

    “Aye, the old perp as victim routine.”

    I am not saying anything even remotely close to that Mick….not even a little bit close. How dare you. Consider yourself carded.

    I have said several times in the past that this poor lady has been through hell and back, she needed help and support so her case could be built and put before the courts so those who did this to her would face the full force of the law. She did not need the media and politicians using her plight to their own end. Where are they now eh? They used her for their own purposes and cast her aside when the subject was milked dry and I find it despicable.

    Personally i don’t give a crap if the Shinners hold an inquiry or not. What’s important is that this lady gets the help and support she needs to come out the other end.

  • Robin Keogh

    Thanks mick but i have learned to differentiate between the meek and the magnificant.

  • aber1991

    Was that all? I would have thought that a rapist would deserve a lot more than being expelled from Sinn Fein.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Kevin for a clear and honest setting out of the real issues here. All too many people are simply attempting to score political points and forget that someone has actually suffered an injustice they may never see any legal redress over.

    “Rape is hard to prosecute at the best of times” and where those in the public eye are involved, the possibility of crippling counter claims of defamation by the accused has silenced the efforts of many people I’ve known to sustain their quest for justice.

  • mickfealty

    See para 2 here: http://goo.gl/E1gRJe. Now, my question, again. Why do you think an organisation which has on the face of it badly mishandled this case would not want an inquiry?

  • mickfealty

    Just reminding people generally that we prefer rules based engagement. I’m always after the maximum possible diversity on these pages.

    It’s one of the few things that really sets Slugger out from other net watering holes… and it’s precious

  • Neil

    Why do you think an organisation which has on the face of it badly mishandled this case would not want an inquiry?

    Which organisation Mick? SF?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-29786451

    First mention of SF here is in January 2010. Presumably there’s not much need for an inquiry into the events of 2010.

    Why would the IRA not have an inquiry? Because they don’t exist, and the chances of the same mistakes being repeated are literally non existent.

  • Cue Bono

    Mick,

    My apologies for the clumsy appearance of my question, but it was actually a decent one. I asked if SF had a policy on child abuse and Robin said he didn’t know. Actually he does know very well indeed as his contribution to this earlier thread shows.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2014/11/04/sinn-fein-continues-to-flout-its-own-guidelines-over-disclosure-of-abuse/

  • Tacapall

    “You think there is smething rotten in Westminster. That doesn’t mean that it is actually true”

    Cue Bono theres plenty of evidence –

    http://ffkfightingforkids.weebly.com/political-perverts–sex-offenders.html

  • Tacapall

    Mick no-one is above the law especially those paid for from the public purse and those employed to uphold the law I dont like the whataboutery any more than you but what other way is there to highlight hypocricy. Its frustrating and depressing to watch a compliant media constantly divert attention in order to protect people in high places.

  • Cue Bono

    I would agree, but they didn’t even give her that.

  • Cue Bono

    Were any of them protected and shifted about the country into jobs working with children?

  • Gingray

    Mick on the one hand, I think you are genuine in actually caring about what happened to this woman and others. I would love to see this case open the door in Northern Ireland for a proper examination of the systematic abuse that was tolerated or had a blind eye turned, with some form of resolution for the victim, I think you would to, you know the area better than I, what are the options?

    However on the other hand I can see why many people think you are picking and choosing your abuse cases due to your hatred of SF. At best it could mean your voice is ineffective in this conversation, at worst it leads to the perception that you only are interested because of the abusers politics, and are using the victim to further your own agenda.

    For the record, people firing on about the prince Andy story to offset SF cause are in danger of doing the exact same! Tho you have left the door open by being a cheerleader for examining certain claims of abuse while apparently ignoring others

  • NardoC

    Your point being Kevin? Why isn’t this family issue and alleged incident being treated as it is by the media as what it is….a family concern that belongs in the courts?

  • Kevin Breslin

    If there is a suspected paedophile within Sinn Féin surely there is an imperative on Sinn Féin as it would be with any party to ensure other children are not put at risk of going through what Mairia has said she has gone through. Maíria’s case being a domestic matter has no impact on this.

  • mickfealty

    Neil, Adams?

  • mickfealty

    I’ll take the risk. It’s far better that these things are raised and talked about, otherwise we might all just quietly go mad.

    It’s about now I like to reference something I heard the Polish artist, Krzysztof Wodiczko, share at a round table at the Ulster University a few years back (http://goo.gl/wxgDqb ):

    I left Poland in search of democracy and found it was more like a phantom always shifting and constantly lingering on the horizon. Once it is given to someone, it changes. In fact, it needs to be remade every day. It requires the consistent disruption of silences and the [utterance] of things that people do not want to hear.

    It’s important not to let these things to just pass on the nod. And it’s not question of liking or hating, it’s more a matter of raising questions of proper decent human concern. We are not machines after all, or not yet anyway.

    I do think there are serious policy issues provoked by these debates, but we are a very long way from formulating any kind of functional response that reaches out to victims in general, never mind Ms Cahill.

    By casting himself rather than Ms Cahill as the victim Mr Adams is trying to close the same door he tried to close on the Spad bill, by casting the one person to lose his job as a result as the only victim of the piece.

    Interestingly that was far from the great vote puller we were promised, which suggests that this ‘perpetrator as victim’ trope is actually well out of step with the wider nationalist electorate.

    Ditto Mr Adams’ apparently falling ratings as leader in the Republic in the wake of Cahill. It’s neither clever nor electorally attractive people.

    To close, as Margaret Wheatley has said…

    We need to replace the question ‘what’s wrong?’ and ‘how can we fix it?’ with two better ones – ‘What’s possible here?’ and ‘who cares?’

    In this case, regarding victims, perhaps we ought not to focus so much on what’s wrong, but to start figuring what is possible and work with those who care (many won’t) to get something (almost anything) done about it.

    There are surely greater issues than which witness you find more sympathy with: Adams or Cahill? Like what are we going to offer the vast numbers of people have been traumatised by an unconscionably long war.

    Or do we just rely on the tranquilizers and the high number of suicides in the paramilitaries’ old stamping grounds to take care of matters on our behalf?

    The problem, as with all narratives, is that it has the capacity to constantly regenerate the same themes over, and condemns us to keep on repeating the same old miserable cycle…

  • submariner

    Mick you do realise that Cue Bono is the banned poster Covenanter

  • mickfealty

    I didn’t. When did we ban him? (And how do you know?)

  • Dixie Elliott

    They protected him and tried to cover it up by moving him.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Adams was already exposed as a liar who protected his rapist brother and buried his paedophile father as a Republican. When yet another women accuses him of covering up her rape and abuse she has to face a full on onslaught of abuse by his fanatical party members and followers.

    All those whinging about yet another attack on the cult leader simply can’t accept that only the so called peace process saves Adams from the fate that would befall other politicians with far less dirt on their hands.

  • mickfealty

    Fair point, but I don’t think that’s the more important point here, which is that you either care about victims of violent sexual crime, or you don’t.

    If Ms Cahill is not to be offered fair treatment (but merely told, ‘we have a policy you know’) then nor is anyone else likely to.

    And there are many more “anyone else’s” than there are Ms Cahills. In that respect, exceptionally articulate though she is, she’s an Irish Everywoman…

  • Gingray

    Oh I agree with many of your points without the need to use semi relevant quotes. Institutional abuse happened and was ignored, and many of those in the know are still in positions of power.

    And I admit to being clueless as to how to resolve it to the satisfaction of the victims, particularly from organisations which have a record of wanting everyone else to disclose their dirty laundry without sharing their own.

    That doesn’t take away from the fact that to many your multiple threads on this look like political opportunism. Will it achieve anything or is it another anti SF echo chamber? I think you have posted 18 blogs on this topic, am unsure if you have others about non SF abuse tho?