McGahon case: “This stuff keeps resurrecting and it’s not going away.”

As John O’Dowd pretty much took a hammering from everyone on BBC’s The View last night, it was not a great deal better on RTE’s Prime Time. Here’s some extract Fran McNulty’s film at the beginning of the programme:

Denis Bradley:

Just hold up their hands and say this happened it shouldn’t have happened this was the context, it shouldn’t have happened. And therefore we accept responsibility for that.

Most of these actions just can’t be defended. And Sinn Fein would be the first to blame the Catholic Church or to blame a school or to blame other organisations, or to blame the British Government. But if you are going to blame people like that, if you’re going to put this in a context then you are going to have accept your own responsibility.

Harry McGee:

They say they believe they believe the allegations in their totality, but once it comes to after the fact to the actual process that was engaged in by the IRA to find out the truth or otherwise of the allegations Sinn Fein are casting doubt on those who are making the allegations for the second time in a row after the Mairia Cahill case and now after the Paudie McGahon case we are seeing those denials coming out, and there is a credibility question which emerges from that.

Denis Bradley:

They fall in love with their own narrative and therefore what they do is protect their own organisation, they protect their own authority, they protect their own history. This stuff keeps resurrecting and it’s not going away. And Sinn Fein know that as well as anybody else, that you cannot just walk away from the past. I think for a time they thought they could, but they have no realised that they can’t, so they are much more responsive to it, but they are dragged to this one, particularly around sexual issues as if you it was you know, bad apples rather than bad decisions taken by the organisation itself.

People don’t trust them to tell the truth, and if you are not trusted to tell the truth and if you are not trusted to tell the truth then you are damaged to some great degree. And it’s not just about this one, it’s about his whole involvement with the IRA, so they actually to make decisions around this. Do they just face it down, or be responsible and perhaps take the leadership on this.

But the whole thing is worth watching, not least for the Collins on Collins contact re the question of the politics of the whole thing (on which, more later)…

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  • barnshee

    “And Sinn Fein know that as well as anybody else, that you cannot just walk away from the past”

    They have denied the past never mind walk away from it -and are supported by 10`s of thousands

    “Exposures” won`t make the sligest difference

  • Granni Trixie

    I wonder when Republicans will take responsibility also for exiling and punishment beating in the system of rough justice for dealing with crime generally:this is an ‘imagined community’ which still has not found its voice but which I feel will,through time.
    Likely they will justify their actions as only dong what ‘the community’ needed, this from people complaining about civil rights and a corrupt justice system.

  • Mirrorballman

    “I wonder when Republicans will take responsibility also for exiling and punishment beating in the system of rough justice for dealing with crime generally”

    Are you only calling on republicans to do this? Why not Loyalists too? Considering they are still up to their necks in criminality.

  • barnshee

    As far as I am aware there are not too many “Loyalists” in the ROI

  • Mirrorballman

    So punishment beatings and paramilitary rapes/criminality are issues only for the ROI? Maybe we should get our own house in order too…

  • chrisjones2

    I am the Leader

    I was never in the IRA

    I have a trampolining dog

  • barnshee

    Can`t –sorry– would “damage the peace process”
    (shorthand for put too many people in jail — who should be there)

  • Spike

    it comes back to the the choice that was made at the GFA – you either accept them as a political party and accept what went on during the troubles
    or
    you say they are part of a terrorist organisation, have no place in democratic Government and ban them as an organisation.
    the majority voted the former.
    Its too easy to nitpick through events from post 1969 to the GFA to suit an agenda as all this does is entrench views further. The other side can do the same and then we all start nitpicking through history to substatiate our viewpoints.

  • mickfealty

    Interesting political pitch there Spike. So accepting child sex abuse (and the hiding of perpetrators) is part of the GFA? That’s worth an argument or two?

  • Granni Trixie

    Absolutely across the board paramilitaries across the board have to take respnsibility to acknowledge they administered Kangaroo courts etc . In this post I was responding however to Dennis Bradley’s comments which concerned how Republicans dealt with child sexual abuse.

  • chrisjones2

    Spike

    But SF and the DUP have nitpicked every agreement (sometimes to death) so if we followed your precept it would then be do as I say not as I do.

    And what Agenda do you think is ‘suited’.

    Lets be clear my agenda is that I want peace and democracy and open honest effective government. That all sides have rights and a view and frankly I don’t care what it is.

    What I don’t want is a Government or political system involving corruption, graft, i cronyism, fraud, the abuse and rape of women and children and covering that up, smuggling, fuel laundering,discrimination, fraud, and sheer incompetence wrapped up in whatever flag one chooses.

    That’s my sole agenda. I thought when I voted for the GFA and the rule of law that that is what we might get. History seems to be showing otherwise.

    What is your agenda?

  • Spike

    actually i was responding to the previous posts and not directly to your discussion headline. Of course child abuse perpetrators should be highlighted and subjected to the full force of the law. No one said these republican ‘courts’ were either sensible or correct but whether we like it or not they were a product of the time and we cant change the past no matter how much we would like to. The trouble is i feel that a lot of people seem to be bypassing the abuser and going straight for SF. The authorities must conduct a search for him and bring him to justice now as you would with any abuser

  • Spike

    I have to say my agenda follows very closely to your own agenda although I deliberately try not to drag up pre GFA issues as they are tainted (on both sides) of what went before and in the name of nationalism/unionism. When i voted for the GFA i had to swallow some hard facts and accept, rightly or wrongly, some things were done in the belief of a cause. Abuse and rape, whether Paudie or Kincora, was not done in the name of the Union or Ireland and we need to catch the perpetrators of both heinous events and issue them legal justice.

  • barnshee

    “It comes back to the the choice that was made at the GFA – you either accept them as a political party and accept what went on during the troubles
    or
    you say they are part of a terrorist organisation, have no place in democratic Government and ban them as an organisation.
    the majority voted the former.”

    Nope- SF where elected have every right to participate

    What I want is for EVERBODY who committed criminal acts (Prod/ Mick/RUC /Garda/ etc) to see the inside of a cell for an extended period

  • Tacapall

    “Just hold up their hands and say this happened it shouldn’t have
    happened this was the context, it shouldn’t have happened. And therefore
    we accept responsibility for that”

    Theres even more embarrassing cases ready to be exposed if the victims decide to make public, cases Im sure that Sinn Fein, the British government and Mairia Cahill are fully aware of that would be highly embarrassing for the first two concerned parties. The above words from Denis Bradley should be heeded by both sides, this drip feeding is not being used in the interest of victims but rather for political advantage and collective labeling of an entire movement, ie republicanism, just like Grannie below is attempting, like since when has Sinn Fein owned the exclusive rights to speak on behalf and promote the ideals of all republicans on this island. Her party the Alliance party who are strangely silent about the plight of victims from the community that demands justice from a minister in the Stormont executive from her party who administers British laws and who is a party to covering up and refusing to intervene when the state uses delaying tactics and public immunity certificates including interests of national security to hide its murky past in the murder of innocent civilians.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Not necessarily so interesting or fresh or new. It had always been a subject for consideration that any such party, whether Sinn Fein or PUP or others, would and will have in their history and their present, criminality that could not be described as politically motivated nor explained away as politically justifiable. West Belfast wasn’t known as the Wild West for no good reason. Non-political criminality was controlled in different ways in West Belfast, whether knee-capping (when not sanctioned or when the RUC might have to be brought in), recruitment into the force or deployment of the tearaway/s in question.It was a system of tight control that ensured that some areas became semi independent mini-fiefdoms with their own system of justice.

    For volunteers non-political criminality resulted in a bullet in the brain or exile or whatever (particularly if the victim was someone who could embarass the movement). During and after after the event all of this was visible. What we are dealing with here is not just the legacy of that but also the question of how do we incorporate such political entities not only into responsible government but also into accepting the rule of law as paramount. Sinn Fein alreasdy knew this. It appears the rest of us have been caught napping again.

  • mickfealty

    Maybe so, but I think you’ve crystallised the nub of a political argument that’s better had out in the open. It’s certainly a class of logic that appears to be implicit in the differentiation the party and its supporters make between its own case and that of the Church for instance.

    I remember Brian Keenan voicing reservation about even having these conversations because they raise the way criminal networks dispense rough justice to a level they don’t deserve and that there is a danger that the institutions of the state will become corroded as a result.

    It’s something I would have liked him to have been able to expand upon, since I think he’s very close to the actual problem here. In the eyes of the state those courts of enquiry and remain in the eyes of the law are part of a criminal enterprise, whereas the Church had a legitimate status.

    The problem here, as I see it, is that the party’s public representatives are placing all their loyalty with the party, its history, and its wider members rather than with its obligations to uphold public safety. We know this because we can be pretty certain that the party as whole has been lying to cover up not simply the methods of the IRA, but those perpetrators it has processed as a movement.

    It’s a very nasty edge to wedge that says we must ask all institutions except SF to accept the social and legal obligations of the state. Accepting that SF has a political right to lie about its past actions, is frankly very bad news for everyone.

  • Reader

    Spike: and accept what went on during the troubles
    I voted for the GFA – that wasn’t part of it.

  • mickfealty

    Yep. At its core do we as a wider society accept SF standards on sex abuse which is pretty cynical: ie everyone else but SF must hold to the highest standards.

    So the axiomatic assumption behind the IRA court of enquiry still holds for them: it’s the victim’s responsibility to run the gauntlet of threats spoken and unspoken.

    That’s a very low standard to be pitching the Irish people.

  • Guest

    Of course one must not forget the source – the Independent Media group has publicly declared their anti-SF agenda, one they have pursued for years. They have publicly requested support from politicians, other media outlets in print & tv to join them in their agenda of defeating Sinn Fein.

    Calling out the personal vendettas and political agendas at play here does not conflict with supporting the victims in their pursuit of justice and solace. Regardless of how much the usual suspects will scream otherwise.

  • chrisjones2

    Spike

    Amen brother.

    And maybe…just maybe…through things like that on both sides the majority of non violent non scumbags might realise they have so much common ground

  • Glenn Clare
  • Robin Keogh

    …. dont forget teddy !

  • chrisjones2

    Facts are facts. EVidence is evidence and it is clear

  • chrisjones2

    How could i ever forget Teddy …..or wet dreams about Cadbury’s Creme Eggs

    {shudder}

  • Robin Keogh

    Clearly his point is this… republicans pretty much policed themselves during the troubles and after, at least up until the acceptance of the new policing arrangements and decommisioning. Essentially all parties to the GFA were fully aware of this in both the Republican and Loyalist communities and so there is no surprise that issues around sexual assault etc were also part of that civic self reliance. Think of crimes such as theft, drugs and anti-social behaviour. All of these were dealt with ‘in house’. The problem here is in the efforts to find a direct link between Paudies case and Gerry Adams….. there is none. Ultimately the media are trying to do what the police cannot. So much for accepting the primacy of the law and its ligitimate enforcers.

  • aber1991

    An on and on the smear tactics continue. None of the smear campaigns directed at Sinn Fein have changed the fundamental political fact – Sinn Fein is the party which the enemies of Northern Ireland Catholics hate most.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, they abrogated that right to themselves, and even by Adams’ own admission, they made a complete heims of it. They also generated an awful lot of political capital by it too.

    But does that mean everyone has to agree that some victims past, present and future must continue to suffer unpoliced child sex abuse?

    The glaring point you are missing here Robin is that if we were to turn some kind of blind eye to this, where does that leave the victims of Kincora?

  • Robin Keogh

    Republicans and loyalists didnt sign up to function under ligitimate civil and legal structures. Thats the point you seem to be missing. They rejected the normal rules and regulations governing society and operated on their own plane. Kincora etc. Was part of ‘normal’ society, they werent acting under duress in a conflict state or in rejection of the state. I dont believe in tuning a blind eye, but now that it has been shown the spotlight and INM withheld info and told downright lies, it would appear that getting a resolution will be next to impossile.

  • Mirrorballman

    “Sinn Fein is the party which the enemies of Northern Ireland Catholics hate most.”

    Are you a member of SF?

  • mickfealty

    I’m not forgetting it. I’m pointing out that if we accept politically that if Republicans (and Loyalists) have a self declared right to hid sex abusers then, well, what flows from that?

  • aber1991

    No. Sinn Fein wants a United Ireland. I do not.