The apology by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald to Máiría Cahill over the party’s failure to have proper procedures in place for child abuse allegations is totally inadequate, Fine Gael Minister Regina Doherty has said.
The Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister said Sinn Féin are still trying to wriggle their way away from the sexual abuse allegations made by Ms Cahill which the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has since found were not properly investigated by both the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
“As far as the thinking of decent honourable people goes, the IRA initially tried to investigate the claims internally and then tried to cover it up,” Minister Doherty, a Meath East TD, said.
“Máiría Cahill has been treated disgracefully by Mary Lou McDonald’s party who has steadfastly followed the example set by her predecessor, Gerry Adams.
“The apology by Ms McDonald is contemptible and totally inadequate. What about the way she and other party members condescendingly and publically dismissed Ms Cahill’s long quest for the truth and justice?
“It seems the road to reconciliation is only a one way street when it comes to Sinn Féin as sexual abuse victims are met with only road blocks and obfuscation from Sinn Féin’s members.
“Sinn Féin have yet to admit that the person Ms Cahill alleged abused her was a party member and IRA man and that the IRA investigated it but police were never alerted to the issue by Sinn Féin.
“It seems we are only now becoming aware of the full picture of police shortcomings in the north in relation to Ms Cahill’s case. However for Sinn Féin, a token apology from Mary Lou McDonald is not an apology at all,” Minister Doherty said.