What is to be Done Sinn Fein?

Sinn Fein is calling on people to come forward to the PSNI and Garda Siochana in cases where they have been sexually abused by anyone including members of the party and the Provisional IRA. Mary Lou McDonald was at pains to depict Sinn Fein’s position as crystal clear in a number of radio interviews today. She waxed sympathetic to those who find it difficult to come forward, but nevertheless stressed the “absolute necessity” of doing so.

But what is it that they are being urged to come forward about? It seems that they will have Sinn Fein approval to reveal to the PSNI and Garda the identities of the people they claim have abused them. What however seems as clear as mud is the party’s position in respect of people who might wish to reveal more than just their abuse; who may want - because they feel short changed, even cheated - to share with police the identities of those IRA volunteers who may have investigated and processed their cases within the IRA’s own rudimentary justice system.

On the face of it, for Sinn Fein this should be a straightforward criminal justice matter in respect of cases that were handled by the IRA post-1998. Party leader Gerry Adams has suggested that any law-breaking since the year that the Good Friday Agreement was born is a criminal act and presumably he will be reminded by political opponents that as a law maker, as he now describes himself, he is obligated to ensure that crime as he defines it is fully investigated without fear or favour and that no impediment will be placed in the way of any police investigation. 

Such investigation, by necessity -- unless who is policed is to become a matter of political discretion -- would apply to post-GFA IRA courts. For cases before that date the matter is more complicated. Law breaking by IRA volunteers in the pre-GFA era was not considered criminal by Mr Adams and he has not yet indicated that he would approve information being revealed to police about IRA activities in that period. His party labels as informers people who have talked to universities about those activities. That leaves abuse victims who in one form or another were involved in IRA investigations prior to 1998 possibly reticent about what to reveal in case they incur the disapproval of Sinn Fein. 

Beneath the face of it, the post 1998 era is more problematic than the demarcation line Mr Adams has drawn between legitimate and illegitimate IRA actions. Despite having a poor hand Sinn Fein has played its cards so close to its chest that potential witnesses are left wondering if it still holds the Ace of Spades. People raped by IRA members are left in the dark about just how much they can reveal. Sinn Fein leaders in stating forthrightly that they believe people like Mairia Cahill and Paudie McGahon when they claim that they were raped but in the same breath expressing reservations in respect of claims by the same people to have undergone IRA internal court procedures, have very much left the matter hanging. 

It is tempting to see in this reticence a subliminal message that this is an area where abuse victims are advised not to go. Abuse victims have already witnessed how Sinn Fein responds to the arrest of its members for alleged involvement in post 1998 IRA investigations: with vociferous anger and public protests. Would a rape victim want to risk becoming the victim of the ire expressed at such protests? 

Sinn Fein claims to believe only half of what they hear from rape victims. That invites the suspicion that the party is determined to head off at the pass any scrutiny of how the IRA handled abuse allegations. That may be because concealed behind that pass are the command and control figures who devised and oversaw the functioning of the IRA’s justice system. And like much else about the problematic past there is no reason to think that the Sinn Fein will want the author of the statement "The fact is that the IRA should not have been near any of these cases whatsoever -- that was inappropriate" identified as the person in whose hands sat the scales of a very rough justice.


  1. 'Surely anyone with the slightest modicum of decency must now ask of themselves can they afford any further allegiance to this corrupt movement.

    Shouldn't any healthily cautious and thinking human give it a wide berth? Mustn't it pose questions for any sentient being as to what sort of individuals are attracted to such cults in the first place? What motivates them; in what ways have they been damaged or traumatised, for what reason have they not succeeded in developing their capacity for getting their needs met in a more wholesome way?

    These questions ought be addressed before offering support to such parties'.

    Please forgive the reposting of an abridged version of a previous post on your earlier article on this same theme. I believe though it has some relevance to any further discussion.

    Most observers will loosely agree that the formation of the next 26 county government is going to be hard to call ... in all likelihood a mould breaking and messy affair encompassing new allegiances.

    Yeats may have been right in the run up to 1916, that the centre wouldn't hold. 2016 will be the reverse, the centre will drop all their inhibitions in their efforts to hold. These sexual abuse scandals that Sinn Féin are entering into, following on to the crisis that befell the Catholic Church will in all probability consolidate the centre.

    The centre will solidify in every way possible, including strategic transferring, to neutralise the momentum of the outward gravitational pull of the perceived extremist left. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the remnants of the Labour Party and whoever else can be wooed will be forced into an unthinkable coalition.

    Anecdotal though it may be, I've already been drawn into conversations by people previously reluctant to engage in such discourse and I can assure you they are contemplating such ideas as a coalition between FF & FG rather than have Adams in government.

    Naturally, I truthfully assure them that if I seen him coming down the street I'd promptly cross to the other side!

    Of course such an outcome will precipitate at long last a more mature development in the South with the emergence of a classical left of centre/right of centre political systems.

    And as Larry might say, that's some of the shit sorted ... the North on the other hand, that's just more of the same tribal bullshit. Another hundred years at least to mature out of that.

  2. larry hughes has left a new comment on your post "What is to be Done Sinn Fein?":

    FF talking about an enquiry into the SF handling of abuse cases. Comparisons were made on Mary Lou's differing stances and demands regarding the Catholic church and SF's own handling of these issues. Mary Lou also seems confident she has the authority to designate or withdraw the term Irish republican from any individual. I bet when she broke cover after the war to snuggle up to Gerry and claim the party as her own inheritance she never saw this nightmare on the horizon. What's that they say about things that look too good to be true?

    The SF problem is the more the party tries to look respectable, the more Mary Lou and Pearse Doherty have to tip their fore-locks to the old Provo gargoyles who will take the party down the toilet weekly rather than do the honourable thing and find a cosy care-home with all their ill gotten gains.

  3. Perhaps has SF removed Gerry before all the filth about Liam and the rest of the Adams family broke and the subsequent tsunami of abuse revelations which followed, McGuinness and the rest of the party may have fared an awful lot better than they are set to do now. The handling of all of this is tarnishing the entire party beyond recovery in the longer term and the electioneering wolf packs haven't even emerged from their dens yet south of the border. Had Gerry been put out to pasture in advance the party may have actually had gained considerable credibility in comparison with the RC church, Westminster and Kincora etc. Now they are just rampant abuse facilitators and hypocrites of the highest order.

  4. SF had better start and take a leaf out of the FG and FF parties book. Both,after years of being led by the church cut it loose when their behaviour threatened their big well paid jobs. Since the free state was concocted the paedofiles ran everything,only recently they were exposed. Not too many of them would have been classed as republicans. It would appear that some who get a bit of power think they can do whatever they like. Any scumbag who abuses a child,weither he be a Provo,a Brit or a king deserves the rope. As for loobie loo you could find her horse tied to a different fence tomorrow. No wonder a lot of people,my self included refuse to vote for any of them. The system is rotten to the core.

  5. Quisling $inn £einds have been fucking the people since the 80,s and the brits have been fucking quisling $inn £eind since the start its now no longer abuse its the peace process