Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dail Statement on allegations regarding sexual abuse by members of the Republican Movement

"Let me tell you what it is like to be scared. I remember the first time fingers laid on me and what it felt like. My childhood wiped out in a split second. I remember the fright. The confusion. Being too afraid to open my eyes as the IRA man got a kick out of using me like a rag doll." - Thats a chilling description by Mairia Chaill of her abuse

There are 166 members of this house so by all accounts at least 25% of members have suffered at the hands of sexual abuse in some shape or form.  Those who have, know that the physical scars heal over time but because of the insidious nature of rape, of sexual abuse, the psychological effects last for decades afterwards. It shapes, informs, infiltrates the entire rest of your life.

There have been lots of talk recently about the well intended people in the IRA, in Sinn Fein.

In my experience, Well intended people help, they support, they listen. There are thousands of families the length and breadth of this country dealing well intended and quietly with their loved ones who have been sexually abused, they listen, they cherish, they support, they counsel, they care. They care about the victim and want to help the victim.

Well Intended People do NOT interrogate victims in "Courts of Enquiry" for months on end
Well Intended People do NOT threaten victims into silence
They do NOT enlist the victim into deciding the 'options' for punishment for their abuser
They do NOT put a victim in a room with their abuser to 'read their body language to see who is telly the truth'
They do NOT threaten a victim's family from going to the police
They do NOT threaten to sue victims for slander
They do NOT publicly raise an abusers profile in their own republican propaganda newspaper

They do NOT facilitate abusers to move from one jurisdiction to another, they do NOT give abusers money and cars to help them on their way, they do NOT put other children at risk of abuse by the very abusers they are facilitating.....These are NOT the actions of Well Intended People

Deputy Adams wrote recently on a blog about the IRA - 'Despite the high standards and decency of the vast majority of IRA volunteers, IRA personnel were singularly ill-equipped to deal with these matters. This included very sensitive areas such as responding to demands to take action against rapists and child abusers. The IRA on occasion shot alleged sex offenders or expelled them.'

Arising from that statement let me specifically ask Deputy Adams

Was alleged abuser Martin Morris facilitated by the ill-equipped Sinn Fein/IRA out of Northern Ireland in July 2000? Why was he given cash and a car to help him on his way?

Why did ill-equipped Briege Wright, who by her own admission has years of experience working with female sexual abuse victims in the Falls Centre, who has completed Child Protection Training, why did she see fit to re traumatise a vulnerable young rape victim by allowing her to be put in a room with her abuser so that they could 'read her body language to see if she was telling the truth'  ??

Was Bobby Storey ill-equipped when he issued a memo recently stating that if party members were making comments about Mairia Cahill that they "should only be made if they are measured and rigorously accurate" was that well intended?

Are Sinn Fein members ill-equipped when they abused, vilified and re-traumatised Mairia Cahill over recent weeks through social media and directly towards her?

Gerry Adams first denied that the IRA carried out any investigations and said Maria Cahill's allegations were slurs aganinst Sinn Fein. The he accepted that there were IRA investigations, but not in Mairia Cahill's case. Now he doesn't know whether there was and IRA investigation into Mairia case or whether she was brought face to face with her abuser. I'm dizzy with the amount of changes to that story and all that from a man who brought his own niece face to face with her abuser - Deputy Adams brother Liam Adams. Why did you bring your own niece face to face with her abuser, obviously you are ill-equipped too.

Deputy Adams says that there is no corporate way of verifying matters. These are weasel words to justify inaction. Sinn Fein has plenty of people with knowledge not least of all Gerry Adams.

Deputy Adams had no problem,thirty years on from the gun attack on Brian Stack, putting his sons in a blacked-out van and driving them to undisclosed location where a former Provo chief admitted responsibility for their fathers murder.
Funny how there was a corporate way of verifying that heinous murder.

Deputy Adams, why did you lie about your knowledge of your brothers abuse of your niece, another young vulnerable woman who came to you for help,

you turned on her mother and tried to point the finger of abuse/neglect on Aine's mother when you made a complaint to social services about her mother, did it slip your mind to make the complaint of sexual abuse about your own brother?

Have you Deputy Adams ever sat with any other victims and their abusers in the same room to 'sort' things out?

What knowledge have you Deputy Adams of a Senior Norther Ireland Politicans brother who had allegations of sexual abuse made against him in the 1990's, he was taken to a flat in Anderstown where he was facilitated a move to Dublin? what corporate memory do you have of that?

I have knowledge of 8 other men, abusers who were facilitated by Sinn Fein out of Northern Ireland, relocated to the republic but to be honest I am afraid to name them today so I exercised my duty today by making an appointment with An Garda Siochanna to report these men. Now its Sinn Fein time to exercise their duty.
Deputy Adams, can you tell this house about an Internal Investigation led by you, and other senior Sinn Fein politicians where you identified in excess of 100 victims of sexual and physical abuse.  Can you tell us about that investigation, what did it uncover? When did you report it to the Gardai? Did you report any of the 100 or so cases you investigated to the Gardai?
Can you tell me why a senior press director was briefed on a damage limitation exercise and was instructed to prepare a media strategy?

Can I say at this point that i genuinely hold no hope of any truth or cooperation from Deputy Gerry Adams because God knows we wouldn't believe the Lord's Prayer from his mouth at this stage, sure he doesn't even believe himself at this stage he contradicts himself so much, but he wont be around forever which is why I looked to SF future leaders for real leadership on this issue, those who were not tainted by the actions of a few in the name of "the cause". Those who are not tainted by the horific murders at Orangehall, at Kingsmill, at Teebane, at Warrington, at Enniskillin and on and on and on.

Well let me say this to you Deputy McDonald, you who likes a bit of Maya Angelou - her most famous quote is "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel"

Well Deputy McDonald -  how we feel today is disgusted by your response to Mairia Cahill and all other victims of Sinn Fein/IRA Sexual Abusers, we are disappointment beyond belief that you would so cheaply sell your integrity for political positioning, that naked political ambition would cause you to fail the children of our nation, to fail families, to fail victims, all in the name of a power grab.

No longer are you credible when your rekindle your fake support for victims of symphisiotomy, for survivors of The Magdelaine Laundries, for victims for sexual abuse at the hands of institutions of this state when your failed to hold your own institution to account, to scrutinise Sinn Fein's or IRA activities and actions.

For all your rhetoric about women's rights you did not know how to respond appropriately to Mairia Cahills allegations because to respond, to react like a human being would have meant tell the truth and that would have meant criticising your leader ........Or maybe I'm being too harsh, maybe you too, are just afraid of the real Belfast Leadership.

Step outside the GroupThink Deputy McDonald -  stand up for victims in sincerity, not in a mealy-mouthed way as you have done so far by saying you believe Mairia Cahill, pretending to support her while undermining her at the same time.

Sinn Fein response to all the recent and still emerging victims stories is to call for an all Ireland response, calling for the creation of an all-island body to “deal with the issue of support for those who were victims of sexual abuse during the conflict”.

Sinn Fein versions of an ALL Ireland approach was to put children on this island at risk. They blatantly put the protection of its own movement ahead of the protection of our nations children - and crucially it continues to do so.

Let me finish by saying this to Sinn Fein and its supporters, many fine people the length and breath of this country, Facing up to this issue is not about undermining the peace process but strengthening it . Making Sinn Fein amenable to scrutiny will actually help you turn into a normal organisation and might actually garner you support! Not damage you further

The greatest benchmark against which to measure the success of the peace process is by how its protects its children. So far Sinn Fein have failed abysmally.

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