“If a member of any branch of Fine Gael around the country was exiled, I would find him or her in 10 minutes.”

Okay, on the basis that most of the outputs around the Paudie McGahan story are repetitive and, frankly, depressing, let’s turn to Miriam Lord (€)…

Why is Sinn Féin being singled out here? It’s most unfair.

You can’t expect a political party/republican movement the size of Sinn Fein to know about every senior IRA operative who’s been accused of sex abuse. And you certainly can’t expect the party leader to know, particularly as he was never in the IRA.

The party’s Justice Spokesman, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn endeavoured to explain this on Newstalk yesterday morning. Upwards of 30,000 republicans were involved in the “conflict” in Northern Ireland, any of whom could have been abusers. (Law of averages and all that.)

So many people could have been at it. Impossible to know.

She continues:

…the Sinn Féin leader repeated for the second day that whoever raped teenager Paudie McGahon “did not act in my name, or the name of Sinn Féin” or in the name of those people who “suffered for the republican cause” over the years.

So the abuse was not done in the name of the IRA, but in whose name were the alleged cover-ups committed? And what does it matter?

And then this…

Former Louth TD Arthur Morgan pitched up on his local station, LMFM.

Around the same time his former leader was agreeing that he knew the name of the alleged rapist, Morgan said: “I don’t know the identity of the man . . . I don’t know if I know him or not.”

And he was the man supposedly keeping Gerry in the loop.

McGahon said it was Morgan who told him his abuser was back in the area. But the former TD said it happened the other way around.

So Paudie tells Arthur that this senior IRA man who raped him is back in Louth. But, strangely, the victim never said where the man was living.

“I’ve no idea where the guy is – I’d no idea then, I’ve still no idea where he was.”

But, said the interviewer, you knew a child rapist was living locally? Not at all, said the former TD. “Not locally, not locally . . . it wasn’t in our region.”

Most confusing.

And skipping to the end, here’s Enda…

Gerry Adams insisted there had been no cover-ups.

But he can’t say where senior republicans who allegedly abused children, exiled by kangaroo courts to other parts of Ireland, might be living.

As he said earlier on radio, it’s not his or his party’s job to carry out investigations.

Enda outlined what would normally happen.

“If a similar situation were to arise for the leader of Fianna Fáil, for myself or for the leader of the Labour Party, we would be expected not only to ask the relevant questions but to find out who ordered the kangaroo court, who attended it and where they are now. If a member of any branch of Fine Gael around the country was exiled, I would find him or her in 10 minutes.”

Which is true.

The very real political issue here is public protection. All public representatives, regardless of their party loyalties have a duty of care to anyone in their constituency who reports such matters and they (not the victim) are obliged hand it over to the police and judiciary.

The Republic’s Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has said she believes Sinn Féin and the IRA have conducted 100 investigations into child abuse: something Sinn Fein representatives deny flatly.

The alleged victim is de facto has to be accused of ‘lying’, because otherwise the position of people former Deputy Morgan is untenable.

As noted previously, Machiavelli (a man who paved the way for a more democratic form of politics) described well the position all these victims (alleged and otherwise) now find themselves in:

…it is before the magistrates, the people, or the courts of justice that men are impeached; but in the streets and market places that they are calumniated. Calumny, therefore, is most rife in that State wherein impeachment is least practised, and the laws least favour it.

Such calumnies as we have seen thus far may spring from an urge to defend the party, but they also likely to have the effect of frightening others back into silence.

Which is just about everything the alleged abusers who are still at large require.

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

  • chrisjones2

    The very real political issue here is public protection.

    ….and the rule of law and protection of the constitutional rights of victims and alleged perpetrators

  • Granni Trixie

    Miriam Lord (in general and this particular example) Demonstrates how like the Firemans cartoon, that wit can make a point as well if not better than many more words can.

    ( I’m expecting the usual suspects now to lecture us about how insensitive it is to use humour
    In such cases …however we now know from the Fireman that Mairia doesn’t mind and if it’s good enough for her…..).

  • Robin Keogh

    Again Mirium carrys on the ‘cover up’ theme launched by the Spotlight / INM co-production. Playing the game as required within the current media establishment, although in fairness to Mirium she is gives them all a ruff ride so I wouldn’t expect her to come out under any other guise. It is clear now that we will as usual have to wade through the various reports and try to read between the lines in the absence of any attempt by even one public media head to offer a balanced account of where the land really lies as opposed to where it does in the fantasy world of INM and similar hooligan commenators and journalists. If SF and the IRA have had a brass neck it really fades in comparison to the antics of our ‘responsible’ media establishment. One can only assume that the current issue maybe represents one last push on the part of Denis O Brien and his goons to destroy the left leaning opposition in Ireland. The more one looks at the production of Paudies story the clearer it becomes that the IRA were no match to INM et al. in their efforts to subvert political democracy on this Island. The absolute intentional and deliberate omission of Arthur Morgans advice to Paudie during the programme has to be one of the most naked displays of deliberate subversiveness in recent media in Ireland. Moreover, the absolute refusal on the part of the producers to allow any members of SF to contribute to the programme is just a further example of the sheer panic within the privileged classes of this country at the rise of Sinn Fein.

    “The very real political issue here is public protection. All public representatives, regardless of their party loyalties have a duty of care to anyone in their constituency who reports such matters and they (not the victim) are obliged hand it over to the police and judiciary.” … This comment alone is a classic example of how little most commentators understand about the horrific crises that results from abuse and rape assaults. To suggest that public representatives should totally disregard the needs and requests of victims in such a way, shows either extreme ignorance or is simply a made up assertion to suit the current issue. If such an attitude were to be adopted we could pretty much give up on any victims or witnesses coming forward to public reps for help in such circumstances.

    I pray that God will give me the strength over the next twelve months to ware my feet to the bone walking the roads night and day, working till i bleed sweat to get every possible Shinner elected in the next Dail elections. And I would appeal to all fellow Shinners out there, do not let the agencies of the state destroy this country, fight back, work harder, work smarter and dont be afraid of the lies, smears and deliberate attempts to break your spirits. If they are willing to use rape victims in their arsenal there is no telling how far they might go, they have the power the influence and the money. Bring it on.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Could you comment on how the dear leader dealt with the abuse of his niece, Aine Dahlstrom please? Oh and please be literate!

  • Robin Keogh

    I know very little about Chairman Mao…in fact I didnt even know he had a niece

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    That’s almost clever

  • Thomas Girvan

    Not to mention his father, who was a paedo abuser.
    He got a good send off, tricolour, black gloves and all that.

  • hugh mccloy

    You very nearly got a answer, if he can remember not to contradict himself maybe he can come to help canvass in the north as well.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, there are serious issues here for how far any person who takes abuse seriously may permit themselves to trust SF’s policy on abuse. It is utterly insufficent to say as you have on other exchanges with me over Áine that it is a private matter for GA. He IS the leader of the party, and if SF took these issues seriously and did not want political capitol to be made of them by opponents, then they should have removed the possibility and limited damage by demanding that he stood down, as would have already occurred pretty much anywhere else where media scrutiny exists.

    This is never a cause for levity. The issue of sexual abuse is a deadly serious thing, something that most people who have beem abused carry with them every moment of their lives, waking and sleeping, something that cripples lives, and certainly cripples their sexualities. For such people, that SF should offer this sentence, “a safety and sanctions policy to deal with violence against women” in their policy “Women in an Ireland of Equals”, and that such policy should have been fronted by GA himself, horribly taunts their suffering.

    GA and his party, SF, are far from standing alone in what is coming to be shown to have been (and still to be) a very common abuse of power by people at all levels of society. I note that Kincora has been pushed behind the scenes again “in the interests of national security” and possibly in the interests of a number of public reputations liviing and dead. But this scandalious behaviour is particular to SFs own past and cannot be hidden under an “everyone was doing it” blanket. That is what senior management and fellow politicians whom I knew personally to be well aware of the abuse activities of Saville and Cyril Smith told me when challenged back in the 1980s by myself and others. It did not work then, it does not work now, for anyone anywhere.

  • Zeno

    “I pray that God will give me the strength over the next twelve months to ware my feet to the bone walking the roads night and day, working till i bleed sweat to get every possible Shinner elected in the next Dail elections.”

    That is hilarious…………. lol

  • Robin Keogh

    I dont find any of this funny sean, i just dont engage with amadans like Ben. We disagree on the issues surrounding Aines case but that does not mean i dont take these matters seriously.