Shinners Must Give Up Abusers

John Coulter with his Irish Daily Star column. It earlier featured in Newshound.

I Reveal Abusers – that's the only way Sinn Féin can use the term 'IRA' to prevent the sexual abuse allegations scandal from derailing its Leinster House roller coaster.

Shinners may choke on this, but claims that the Provos either hid or moved alleged rapists and child abusers in their ranks have rocked the republican movement in the same way clerical abuse allegations wrecked the once-dominant Irish Catholic Church.

Adams and McGuinness can issue all the cleverly-worded 'blame the Brits' speeches they want. Because of their IRA past, their apologies and appeals will not be taken seriously.

What is needed is a squeaky clean top Shinner who can produce one heck of a magic rabbit from the political hat if they are to avoid being branded 'Sin Féin' by Southern voters.

In my opinion, the best TD to host such a 'tell all' Press conference is the well-spoken and politically respected Donegal Shinner Padraig Mac Lochlainn, the party's Dáil justice spokesman.

Polished Padraig is just the tonic Southern Shinners need.

I view him as a courageous and eloquent speaker. He's just the man to name and shame alleged IRA sex abusers, and list any republicans who allegedly had sex with underage girls and made them pregnant.

Voters have propelled Sinn Féin from an insignificant fringe in the Dail, to potentially becoming a minority coalition government partner after the Republic's next General Election.

But as more alleged sex abuse victims come forward, there is the real possibility Sinn Féin could suffer an electoral meltdown.

The political fallout from this latest sex scandal to hit the republican movement is even more damaging than the battering the party took as a result of the Disappeared – people who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA.

The Provos managed to wriggle their way out of that debacle by slowly, but surely, giving up the bodies one by one.

Now the bitter medicine which the republican movement must swallow is that sacrificial lambs will be required to calm the sexual allegations hurricane.

Well-scripted apologies will not fool Southern voters, and middle class Catholics could desert Sinn Féin in their thousands.

This could also have catastrophic effects on Northern Sinn Féin at Stormont, paving the way for a Stoop revival or a new nationalist movement.

Sinn Féin must persuade its Provo partner in the movement to reveal the names and locations of existing and former IRA members accused of sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, the British and Irish Governments – as well as the Unionist parties – need to be careful that in jumping all over the Shinners because of these allegations they do not boost the cause of dissidents.

Polished Padraig must be given the green light to name former and existing Provos as well as those who have defected to the dissidents who have been accused of sex abuse.

If not, modern republicanism will face the fate of the Catholic Church, with a new brand of moderate Irish nationalism taking centre stage.


  1. Why should "alleged" abusers be named when they have not made a plea in court or been tried by competent people?
    Trial by media is sickening at best.
    Maybe a few journalists need to be lynched to get the point of ethics home to poison pen villains!
    I write as a retired journalist taught such ethics.

  2. I can't buy into your argument or line of thought Anthony..

    Sometimes the only way for the truth to come out is by journalist's printing the truth.

    Time and time again in the o6c's (and elsewhere on this rock) the courts have suppressed the truth.