An Open Appeal to All Republicans

Today The Pensive Quill carries an article by guest writer Ms Cahill

An Open Appeal to All Republicans
Ms Cahill

Over the last number of weeks, there have been several allegations circulating – alleged to have been perpetrated by members of the Republican Movement.

There has been mixed reaction to this within the Republican Community, but particularly those within the Provisional republican movement, and those within Sinn Fein Circles. This reaction ranges from outright disgust, horror, condemnation, to the very damaging “turn a blind eye and say nothing” approach. There are obviously people understandably angry as a result – not least the victims. There is a lot of hurt within this community also, hurt which has been compounded by recent contradictions, mistruths, outright denials and certain media spin, which has the potential to deflect away from the real issue – the alleged cover up of paedophilia within certain quarters. Whatever that hurt, there are also families hurting too, people who are trying to come to terms with their lives right across this island, and trying to deal with the fact that members of these families were abused.

There are also parents, rightly angry and worried about their children. People are now backtracking through the years, wondering if their children have come into contact with perpetrators - and they are also rightly questioning if they trust the people they know now. This is a massive issue, and it is a disgrace that alleged child abusers have had free reign to have access to other children. Collectively, we now know more about the issue of sex offenders and reoffending rates. It is likely that perpetrators do not rehabilitate by just simply moving on somewhere else. We know as republicans of a number of cases being discussed at present – is this just the tip of the iceberg? How many more children have been put at risk as a result of mishandling, and in some cases planned facilitation of moving people around the country?

I also want to make it clear, paedophilia is not restricted to members of the Republican Movement. Unfortunately, paedophiles ingratiate themselves in all walks of life. In some instances they are our relatives, friends, priests, professionals, community and youth workers, lawyers, teachers, doctors – the list is endless. No one is blaming the republican movement for members of that movement who inflicted sexual abuse on others.

The blame, however is rightly centred around how the republican movement dealt with the issue, in several cases. It is clear from these cases that not once did the people involved either in so called investigating or in listening, directly report to any of the authorities. They also retraumatised victims of sexual abuse by either their chosen action, or inaction. It is also abundantly clear, for anyone who wishes to take the blinkers off, that paedophiles have been able to move around the country and further afield. In some cases they continued to masquerade as republicans, which in turn afforded them protection, or at the very least a degree of trust, which then also in turn made it easier for them to do what they did, unchecked. That is disgraceful, and brings a deep sense of shame on anyone who continues to support the republican ideology. The fault for this lies squarely with those in positions of power who espoused themselves as the epitome of republicanism, individuals who were looked up to by some, and who now feel tarnished by that association.

There are people out there now who have knowledge in different parts of Ireland on similar allegations of sexual abuse. Are you one of them? There are also people who have heard things on the grapevine about similar alleged cover-ups. Again, does this apply to you?

By not speaking out, you allow yourself to become complicit in the same alleged collective cover-up. I am appealing directly to all republicans from all persuasions to tell what you know. No perpetrator should be allowed to continue to abuse. No movement should give them succour by shielding them. And no republican should sit on the fence on this issue, waiting on other victims to come forward in the hope that the full story should start to emerge.

Be proactive. Do not continue with the legacy of silence. Out all the cases of child and adult sexual abuse. Highlight any suspicion, or knowledge of cover ups. Do this through whatever channel is comfortable for you. An email has been set up, by myself to deal with this issue. If this is an avenue you feel comfortable with using, use it.

I also want to directly appeal to those still within Sinn Fein. I am aware that some of you refuse to believe that this happened at all. People will make up their own minds on the issue. However, as a human, there has to be a shadow of doubt in your mind. Ask the hard questions, and demand an answer. If you are not happy, demand again. No one can afford to put politics over the safety of children. As a human being, you cannot afford to stay silent on this issue. Do the right thing.


Is mise le meas

Ms Cahill


  1. This is a powerful appeal. I would like to voice my support for it. I think what you have done is very brave and courageous, and unprecedented in republican circles. I am a former republican prisoner, although that shouldn't mean anything in particular in this debate. I am opposed to the PSNI politically as a republican, but I think that there are a number of avenues that must be travelled in these cases. One is a trustworthy avenue that you have created in your email. Another is social services. And ultimately, the only people in a position to deliver 'justice', if justice can be 'delivered' is the current police force and judicial system. As republicans, we do not have the wherewithall to deal with this, and that is just the reality.

    I have no time for the platitudes that some Sinn Féin people have uttered in this regard, and I also must say that I have very little time for some of the anti-Sinn Féin vitriol that I have seen displayed.

    This issue for me is bigger than both those politically motivated approaches. Your article, Ms Cahill, is the humanitarian middle that we all need to seek, as well as the honesty of anything that has happened.

  2. Thank you for putting the children first.

  3. pippakin is spot on kids first all the time, the problem with Sean Mors post for me is Sean would have us believe that the psni would deliver justice in these cases,I would refer him to Gerry Adams himself, who said that the psni and social services did nothing in regard to his brother, Sean, James Connolly said "The man who sees both sides of the coin sees nothing" I,m afraid over the last 30 odd years that song of Bob Dylans is hartbreakingly true the kids have been "a pawn in their game"and no matter where how and by whom these evil bastards are exposed will be good enough for me

  4. That's fair enough Marty. I'm not a political supporter of the PSNI and oppose the Sinn Féin position. I see no contradiction between that, and recognising that they are the only body in the Six Counties who actually have the power to imprison perpetrators of sexual crime, and there are currently plenty of sex offenders in prison here as a result. In the number of cases where the PSNI/RUC may have used information for political purposes, then these need to be exposed. All victims who may be a political asset to the PSNI should have support with them for their own protection.

    However, if victims decide that they do not want to engage with the PSNI, then I accept and understand that.

    It is my view that where people have committed sexual crimes then two things are required for the victims: support and justice. It is clear in some of the cases that have come to light that the victims have felt they received neither. I'm not sure if 'exposing the bastards' on its own will suffice. I must declare my opposition as well to any Talibanesque form of street justice in these cases.

    I think the importance of Ms Cahill's public call is that it allows people who may have stories to tell, and who need support, to make contact with someone who has experienced the same, and who understands them. It is also independent from any party or organisation, so it may give people the confidence to come forward.

  5. Thanks for this, In the main I have tried to stay out of the debate on this subject on e-lists like Slugger, as I feel they have at times descended into a pointless bash SF tirade. I am not suggesting all who posted acted in that way but a majority did. Nor am I saying there is not much one can take issue with the Adams leadership over.

    However, Pedophiles ingratiate themselves in all walks of life, they inhabit [in tiny numbers] every race, class, profession and political party as sadly they are part of the tapestry of life.

    Ireland for a host of differing historical reasons is almost unique in western Europe as it is only lately the country has started a process of understanding how these wretched people practice their perversion and pray on children.

    We all owe a debt of gratitude to Ms Cahill and the other women who have come forward to demand their abusers are brought to justice. It must have taken enormous courage to step into the public eye, when you add in they way they have conducted themselves whilst at the core of a media storm, their behavior has been remarkable, admirable and an example to all.

    The reason pedophiles have had free reign in Ireland is because of the great secrecy institutions like the Roman Catholic Church and many of the nations political party's have gone about their business.

    When Ms Cahill and the other gallant women first revealed they had been abused by people within the Republican movement, the leadership of SF acted almost exactly as the Catholic church did when they faced allegations of tolerating sexual abuse amongst the clergy.

    The similarities are striking between the way Gerry Adams attempted to deal with his brother Liam's daughter Áine Tyrell's allegations that her father sexually abused her from the age of four; and how the Catholic bishops advised their clergy to deal with similar claims of sexual abuse.

    If you add in the pertinent fact Liam Adams was given a post as a youth worker which was housed and run by the Catholic Church, Mr Adams should not have attempted to divert this issue by crying media foul.

    He needs to call off his hounds and tell us who he went to ask for advice on matters of sexual abuse. I am told the catholic church believes in salvation and it looks very much Liam Adams was given the post of youth worker with this in mind.

    If so it was a foolish and dangerous decision, for as Ms Cahill points out in her article, no perpetrator of sexual abuse should be placed in a position which would allow them to continue to abuse. Sexual offenders do not rehabilitate by just simply moving on somewhere else.

    Gerry Adams has real questions to answer as many parents must have fears about whether their child has come into contact with one of the pedophiles mentioned in this brouhaha. As important, the victims of the sexual abuse need justice if they are ever to find closure. Instead of worrying about his own and his party’s reputation, Mr Adams would do well to get into the same trench as the victims not that of the perpetrators, which rightly or wrongly is how many people have come to read his recent behavior.

  6. Fair enough Sean but when the subject of child abuse and support and justice comes up,I tend to think back to Kincora,and from what I can remember of that whole rotten episode,those kids did,nt get the support or justice they deserved, the disgraceful actions of those Catholic bishops and yes some of those in the repulican movement who would say "move on we wont dwell in the past" I would,nt put to much faith in the "establishment" to secure justice for those most innocent and vunerable of or society, I think we may need a Elliot Ness or a czar with a remit of hunting down the scum who prey on our kids,Im aware of the fantastic work that the police forces from across the planet are engaged in re, internet child abuse , and while this can only be welcomed,locally and in praticular the republican movement needs to take a hard and honest look at what action or inaction was taken re these abuse cases, as for revenge then there,s a lot to be said for some talibanesque street justice, a scumbag with no hands aint gonna be able to wipe his ass never mind rape a child

  7. Marty, witty as always with the Connolly quote. Thought it great.

    However, I think it is unfair on Sean Mor. Agree with him or not he tries to see the complexity of a situation and engage with all its shades rather than the simple easy to handle black or white.

    On the question of the PSNI, of all the options available to society reporting the matter to them is, as Churchill might have said, the worst except for all the rest.

    And the RUC should always have been used by everyone for this sort of thing. Not that they would have responded positively in every case or even most cases. But again republicans should never have stood in the way of people going to the RUC about this type of activity.

    In 1997 while still with the Provisional movement I was approached by a republican woman who told me her child had just been attacked by Santa who had jumped out of a car. She asked what she should do. I told her to go to the cops before Santa got to the next street on his travels and maybe kidnapped a child.

    Myself and the local O/C disagreed over that approach but very mildly. I was thought none the worse for having given out that advice.

    I dealt with a few cases of abuse while in the movement. People came to us rather than the cops. At no time was I ever instructed to tell them not to go to the RUC. I mean, seriously, if somebody told us they were going to the cops to report a rape would we have tried to dissuade them? I doubt it. No doubt some would have said no but most of the people I worked with would not have stood in the way.

    Had the allegation been made against a volunteer I think there would have been pressure to deal with it internally. I think we are seeing evidence of this coming to light today. But I never dealt with a case of that type.

    As for cutting hands off. Not the type of society I want to live in Marty.

  8. ok Anthony I take your point leave the hands and of with the head no brain no pain,I believe this issue is a black/white crime. and because those who have to endure this worst of all crimes suffer so much then the penalty should fit the bill,every one of these creeps play the pity me card wait till the Laim boy gets his story going. I to remember a few years back while a shinner we had complaints of someone lurking in bushes and flashing at kids,it turned out the creep was living localy his wife was all to do with the church and ace scheme and tennants assoc and just about everything else, so she didnt know that the fucker she was married to had converted the attic into a mini bedroom equiped with childrens toys,or that he had dug a tunnel from the house to his back garden shed nah she didnt know a thing poor girl even though he had been convicted of the crime of child abuse in England and all he got was a whack in the leg and his mrs remained a pillar of the community as Catherine Tate,s character would say "What a fuckin liberty"

  9. Marty it still does nothing to adress the issue of the type of society we live in. You refer to crime as the problem but no mention of the type of crime that punishment often itself is.

  10. thats exactly it Anthony,what type of society do we want/live in, one in which the states secret policemen trawl to catch and exploit all kinds of scum to do the states dirty work and where the rights of children and oaps are disregarded in the interest of political correctness,Utopia doesnt exist I wish it did but the harsh reality is mo cara that a lot of scum invest all sections of our society.most of the pervs in prison will offend again and the sentences handed down are no deterent ,we as a society seemed to have lost the respect never mind the friendship of each other, Halycon days are a walk in the dream world.I admit that crime and punishment are not a subject (if there is any) that I,m well versed in, but I do know we as a society are heading into a Mad Max type of world where its us or them ,I personaly find it insulting to call any waster who hurts an oap or a child human.the society in which I,d like my grandson to grow up in is one of honourable men and womem standing up for and by each other(does that make me sound like a dumb blonde)where as spoken about before in earlier posts ,robbing orchies is the major crime,not drug dealing thugs gunning down each other and innocent bystanders,and child molesters hanging about kids schools.society as we know it is failing, every one who can from the top down has their nose buried in the trough and greed and pursuit of wealth overrides all other concerns, we need to get back to basics and I,m afraid that may necessitate taking some very hard decisions,we all want justice,is how we achieve it that we may differ,is it a case that the likes of myself need to crawl back into our caves, or does new man need to remove the blinkers, so here ends todays lesson, go in pieces,

  11. Marty, people have human rights by virtue of being human. When the process of categorising people as less than human begins the ethical barriers to all manner of crime is dissolved. The rape victim becomes fair game because 'she asked for it' or she came from the wrong side of the tracks, or belonged to an Iraqi family subject to US occupation, or annoyed religious fanatics in Iran, or did something that put her outside the community of humans and can therefore be treated in a manner not befitting humans. Justice might frequently go against our natural instincts when others we don't approve of get justice. We wrestle with this all the time. Ian Brady is someone you might think should be hanged, drawn and quartered. For my part he is vile but I have great respect for the work of those campaigning journalists fighting against the prison system abusing his rights.

  12. Been reading the comments here, didnt want to interfere in something clearly republican when I am nationalist. BUT when it comes to the like of Ian Brady. Tried, found guilty, confessed! Just hand me the rope, and I will spare him further abuse and everyone else the expense!

  13. Pippakin, being a republican is not a criterion of posting on this site! I know the feeling; that is why I used the term wrestle. If he killed my child I would want him strung up; if he was my child I would want him spared. He is neither and my judgement can therefore be more balanced.

  14. AM
    Thanks, but I cannot agree re Brady, that evil little pervert tortured children for days. He taped the cries of the victim! and when he got bored he killed and found another.

    One poor boy has still not been found. Ordinarily I do not believe in hanging, but for him and his co killer Myra Hindley I would see them both dead without a blink.

  15. pipakin

    Do you really wish to live in a society in which the State has the legal power to take the lives of its citizens (perhaps you do?)

    When ever there is a dreadful crime of the type
    Brady committed, some people always call for the rope. If we were to use your justification for introducing it, we would be allowing a small minority of criminals to dictate how the judicial system works, it is unequal enough as it is without that.

    Are we really so dim witted a society we cannot come up with an alternative to capital punishment, I think not. Do not for a moment believe 'justice' is all seeing, one only has to look to the USA to understand it is not. Where we now know innocent
    People have been executed every year since the death penalty was reintroduced.

    Besides I feel in the long run a sentence of life, (I mean life in cases like Brady) is a far harsher penalty that death, Brady himself seems to believe this as at one time he demanded the right to starve himself to death or some such.

    Law is imperfect, it cannot but be as it reflects the class interests and prejudices of those who make it.
    If we look again at the USA it is hardly surprising then most of those on death row come from the economically poor.

    Let me ask you a question, who has caused the death's of more children, Brady or Tony Blair? Yet one is quite rightly banged up for life, whereas the other is allowed to pontificate on TV and is paid enormous sums in back handers by the multi national corporations whose interest he governed whilst in power.

    As a child I remember listening to the 8am news on the wireless. After the eight chimes of Big Ben, the newsreader would then announced that a Mr X had been hung in some wretched British prison. Only once can I remember this occurring at 9am, although I am sure that is just my memory playing tricks on me. But it was then the newsreader announced,

    "Ruth Ellis was hanged at Holloway Prison at 9am this morning." I can remember it as if it were yesterday, yet it was 55 years plus ago as my mother got up, turned the radio off and silently walked out of the room.

    It is ironic and just that Ruth Ellis death, a women who today would not even have been charged with murder, played a major part in bringing to and end in the UK the barbaric, medieval practice of state sponsored capital punishment.

    With respect only a fool supports capital punishment, not least because were it reintroduced, like many innocent people before them, they might well end up dangling on the end of a rope.

  16. Pippakin, I don't think I would blink a lot myself. Didn't blink at all when it happened to Chemical Ali. It is a more general position I am trying to defend. I am opposed to the use of capital punishment not that I like those spared the rope. But ethical systems cannot be built on likes and dislikes. And if I make an exception - as we are invariably tempted to - I am not then opposed to capital punishment; just cases where it should not be applied. However, there are events that do challenge our certainty. Some people opposed to capital punishment were forced to rethink their position over the Rwandan Genocide.

  17. its a fair point Anthony,but and the BUT is why do we have to wait untill these scum touch our kids before we act. now that and Im sure someone will correct me the story of the man watching the jews being carted away by the nazi,s and it had nothing to do with him as he was,nt a jew,and then all the other ethnic groups untill he was the last and now they were coming for him,is that the way we are heading, People like Ian Brady forfeited his right to humanity when he steped outside normal human actions, the torture and murder of innocent children was not for any normal human need i,e, food clothing etc,and therefore the same lack of humanity should be shown to him as he showed his victims,mind you without the torture,the point I am trying probably very badly to make is we need to be a human family once again where the strong take pride in looking after the weak,and were an attack on one is an attack on all,where the measure of pride in our communities is oap,s taking in (if possible) the sun while sitting at their front doors,(they need armed gaurds to do that at the mo and as the MAN said the laughter of our children

  18. Marty

    Brady was not a bank robber who panicked and fired. He was not an abused lover. He was a sadistic paedophile, and he confessed.

    I suspect I may be younger than you, though not by much! I remember the trial. I remember the tape was played in court. The papers of course were full of it.

    I could only read part of them. It was too much for me. I know a beautiful little girl cried for her mother and that bastard recorded it while Hindley told her to "shut up!"

    To this day I have not been able to read the transcript of the tape. All these years and that little girls pain is as clear as yesterday.

    As for Tony Bliar I think he should be up for war crimes at the Hague, but you cannot compare his dangerous thinking to deliberate sadistic child abuse.

    To get back to the very brave Ms Cahill. I hope any republicans reading this will take note of the strength of feeling about child abuse. We cannot cure it but we must stop it.

  19. It has taken a long time for republicans to be critical of the leadership of the movement, and this in turned gave us the disastrous leadership of Adams/McGuiness. Had any of us the courage way back when, perhaps we wouldn't be in the mess we are in; perhaps some of the Hunger strikers would still be alive and perhaps the Blankent men and women would not have had to endure any more torture. Now is the time for all republicans to start asking questions pertaining to child abuse. If we don't, we have failed as republicans to protect the very people we fought for. If we don't, we are as guilty as the perpetrators of these crime. We may not have known about the ghastly nightmare these children were going through at the time, but surely we now know. Gerry and all those involved must be brought to account. It's the right thing to do. The movement is bigger than any individual. Surely?

  20. Its hard to argue with Micks and Anthony,s points and I,m certainly not a member of the hang em high brigade, mind you in Tony BLIAIR,S case I,d be happy to allow him to join Saddam,but when peacefull people like pippakin clench the fist doesnt that say something where society is being dragged down to,we have been failed time and time again by those who whish to lead us remember world war one was the war to end all wars when young ladies like Ms Cahill issue a cry for the truth then I hope we wont be found wanting

  21. Anyway this is Supday.the day before Moanday so in a while I.m heading down to the local watering hole where before the strike of midnight myself and a few others will have put all the worlds wrongs to right killed Elizabeth Taylor and made love to Dinosaurs,reminds me once we were pulled by a wee scots brit who said "gis yer name" we replied "fuck off if we gave you our names youd have loads and we,d have none"the luk as we would say on his face was priceless,good luck to Ms Cahill and all those who seek the truth from the rep movement but I wont hold my breath for it

  22. "They came after the Jews and I was not a Jew, so I did not protest. They came after the Trade Unionists, and I was not a Trade Unionist, so I did not protest. They came after the Roman Catholics, and I was not a Roman Catholic, so I did not protest. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to protest."

  23. Sorry! its Sunday Im half asleep!

    My previous reply re Brady & Hindley should have been addressed to Mick Hall.


  24. Hi pippakin Anthony said any apology on his blog must be accompanied with a large brown envelope stuffed with either large denominations of euro or sterling notes,northern bank notes not accepted,slan.

  25. Marty,

    'why do we have to wait until these scum touch our kids before we act?'

    it is because people have rights, not just the people we like or approve. They are called human rights not rights for those we deem human. We could choose not to wait and intern them but we choose not to because we try to promote a rights driven politics.

    In a rights driven culture people have rights against us. That was one of the aspects of republicanism I was concerned about in prison - we seemed to think no one had rights against us. I think this is manifesting itself in the very debate that Ms Cahill has done much to promote. What happened to her was the result of an attitude that her rights amounted to nothing against the rights of the movement.

    Sayedna has helpfully provided the quote you referred to. The problem with you citing it is that it can be used each way. When we choose to move first someone will stand up and say 'first they dealt with those they accused of sex abuse and I said nothing; then they dealt with those they accused of not thinking like them, and I said nothing; then they dealt with me and there was nobody left to say anything.' That's the logic behind what Niemoeller said.

    The right to humanity is not something you or I grant people which they may forfeit if they behave in some certain way no mater how obnoxious. They have that right in spite of us.

    If we show the same lack of humanity to Brady that he showed then we are forfeiting our own right to humanity by virtue of your argument that showing inhumanity is what gets us expelled from humanity. There are few people I have detested more than those who did what they did to Baby Peter in London. I instinctively wanted to see them tortured slowly to death but wrestled with the instinct; still wrestle with it. It is not the way to go in a rights based culture.

  26. Anthony powerfully put (as usual)I,ll use the excuse ,true that I,m on my way out, but what I disagree with you is that your arguement is a human rights based point and that may be fair enough but it comes from the predators corneri.e, they have the right to inflict untold misery not only to their victims but also to any family and friends left behind, we accept all people have equal rights on a level playing field, but thats not the case in real life mo cara, if I thought that a paedo living nearby was contemplating harming my or any other child then I,d glady put the fucker down was it not Jesus who said "do unto others as they would do to you" I said"just do it first"now I,m really away to get rat arsed keep er lit yer blogs are the bees knees

  27. a p.s Anthony if for talk sake you were in Berlin pre 1939 and you knew in advance what Hitler was about to do and you had the power to stop whack him. would you,or would his human rights stop you

  28. Marty, I would be sorely tempted to behave as you with either Hitler or the paedophile you hypothesise about. I might even do it with you. But that would not make it the right course of action for how a society should function. It is like the ticking bomb excuse sometimes used to justify an argument for torture. If you recall that brutal thug-pervert in Belgium, Marx Dutroux, it is easy to make an argument that he should have been tortured until he revealed the location of the kidnapped children who later died of starvation because he did not disclose their whereabouts. But in my view torture is not something humans should do or suffer. It might in that circumstance have saved the children's lives but in the long run might have opened the floodgates to torture of many more and a weakening of society. I am not advocating the consequentialist position although it might sound that way. Merely flagging up a salient point. Enjoy your drink.

  29. Its takes some believing that a young girl from a republican background has had to take her extremely harrowing case onto websites and newspapers in the hope of getting justice. When we look at what is happening in Hillsborough and Stormont it’s beyond comprehension that they the great republicans are trying so hard to appease Unionism and this poor girl whose grandfather was a founder of the modern republicans can’t get justice from them. I am very curious to know if this poor girl was actually a member of the Provo’s , and do the same rules apply as was with the Taliban “men must be protected come what may “. It’s degusting that these morons can’t protect little children shame on them.

  30. II dont think my comments went through so I,ll try again.The two points I have to make is that Adams didnt cover up this on his own his trusted lieutenants are every bit as guilty for enforcing the no speak policy secondly witout doubt the British targeted these abusers and recruited them as agents and to my thinking they had to use their own agents within the Republican movement to help in the various cover ups so to me there are yet more questions to be asked of the republicans behind covering up these cases of horrific abuse.