#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 1°C Sunday 24 January 2021
Advertisement

Adams 'refutes' claims Sinn Féin is holding back information on McGahon case

Meanwhile, a former Sinn Féin TD has denied Paudie McGahon was frisked when he visited his constituency office in 2008.

Updated at 6.10pm

A FORMER SINN Féin TD has denied Paudie McGahon was frisked when he visited his constituency office in 2008.

During Tuesday night’s BBC Spotlight programme on alleged IRA sex abuse, McGahon said he was patted down by a man who was checking for a recording device.

It comes amid continuing controversy over Sinn Féin’s handling of the abuse allegations.

In a new statement this evening, Gerry Adams has said he rejects any claims the party is holding back information on the issue.

Source: Derek Mooney/YouTube

Arthur Morgan, a former TD for Louth, denied the frisking claim in an interview with his local radio station.

He told LMFM that McGahon may be confusing two separate occasions, due to his “traumatised state”.

He said that he was frisked … The guy, as I’ve said, was traumatised. Perhaps he was frisked somewhere else, perhaps not, but it certainly didn’t happen at my constituency office, but it would be grossly unfair for me to describe Padraig as a liar.

In a statement released yesterday, Morgan said he advised McGahon “to go directly to the gardaí and offered to arrange a meeting there and then”.

When Mr McGahon disclosed the alleged abuse he was an adult and would have needed to bring forward a complaint to the Garda to start an inquiry. At all times Mr McGahon was treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity.

“I recognise that this can be very daunting to a victim and offered to accompany him. Mr McGahon declined that offer at that time.”

McGahon first went to Morgan’s office in late 2008, and returned in April 2009.

Second Nice Referendums 2002 Fine Gael Campaigns Arthur Morgan Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Morgan said he gave McGahon the same advise on both occasions.

“I again advised Mr McGahon that this was a matter for An Garda Siochana, and that he should make a formal complaint to them. I offered this advice in person and in writing.

I offered in writing that I, or a party colleague, Councillor Pearse McGeough could accompany him to meet with the gardaí.

“I am aware that there is an ongoing Garda inquiry into this matter and I hope that justice is served and support offered to Mr McGahon,” he said.

Morgan became a TD in 2001. Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams successfully contested his seat when he retired four years ago.

Pressure

Sinn Féin came under sustained pressure from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Labour minister Jan O’Sullivan during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil earlier today.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Martin called for a Commission of Inquiry to be established to investigate all aspects of abuse in the republican movement.

O’Sullivan, the education minister, said that the idea had merit – but said the immediate onus was on people with information, including those in Sinn Féin, to come forward as soon as possible.

In a statement this afternoon, Gerry Adams said he ‘refuted’ any claims that Sinn Féin was holding back information on the case – and said had had been given the name of Paudie McGahon’s alleged abuser last year.

“Last November I asked anyone with information regarding abuse to bring that forward and I offered to pass that information on to the relevant authorities. I received a number of names anonymously.

“While I was unaware of the name of Paudie McGahon’s alleged abuser it now turns out his name was on that list.

“The only way for victims to get justice is through the criminal justice system and other statutory agencies. Victims need to be supported and perpetrators need to be brought before the courts.

“Sinn Féin’s priority is to support victims of abuse whether that abuse is historical or contemporary.”

‘Gerry Adams needs to get real’: Enda and Joan pile pressure on Sinn Féin president

Micheál Martin: I know Gerry Adams was a former chief of staff of the IRA

About the author:

Órla Ryan

Read next:

COMMENTS