Martin claims Adams aware of other abuse cases

Fianna Fáil leader says republicans attempted to deal with these cases internally

Micheál Martin made the allegation as he revealed two victims contacted him with concerns over investigations into their cases. Photograph: The Irish Times

Micheál Martin made the allegation as he revealed two victims contacted him with concerns over investigations into their cases. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was allegedly aware of at least two other cases of sexual abuse dealt with internally by republicans, the Fianna Fáil leader has claimed.

Micheál Martin made the allegation as he revealed two victims contacted him with concerns over investigations into their cases.

Sinn Féin said the claims were disgraceful and totally untrue.

A spokesman for Fianna Fáil said Mr Martin had written to authorities in Northern Ireland over the allegations and ongoing investigations.

Mr Martin claimed the two cases were dealt with internally by the republican movement and not reported to the police, and that Mr Adams was aware of them.

They have since been investigated by police.

“From information we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have been a broader trend in the republican movement,” Mr Martin said.

“Just like the (Catholic) church, that the republican movement saw the institution of the republican movement as more important than individual victims.”

Mr Martin added: “In the cases we have become aware of, he (Gerry Adams) would have been aware of as well... and an attempt was made to deal with those internally.”

It is understood the two people contacted the party leader individually and claimed there may have been a wider network of people in the republican movement involved in abuse.

Mr Martin declined to elaborate on the two cases of abuse but they are not thought to be child abuse.

It is understood they are being dealt with in the courts.

Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said remarks made by the Fianna Fáil leader in the wake of the sentencing of Liam Adams were disgraceful and totally untrue.

She defended her party president over his handling of allegations against his brother and hit out at claims of a wider cover-up.

“The question needs to be asked of deputy Martin as to when he received this information and has he passed it on to gardaí?” she said.

“That is the only appropriate course of action for any responsible citizen.

“Or is the reality that deputy Martin will seek to use any issue, no matter how difficult for those directly involved, to try and score cheap political points?”

A spokesman for Fianna Fáil said authorities in Northern Ireland were aware of the two cases.

PA