IRA child sex abuse survivors Mairia Cahill and Paudie McGahon have called on a Sinn Fein MEP to retract comments he made yesterday claiming concerns over the party’s handling of such allegations are “just media generated issues”.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland news programme, MEP Matt Carthy was asked about the party’s lacklustre performance in recent elections.
The interviewer suggested that among the reasons Sinn Fein’s vote had faltered were the allegations of bullying in the party, the handling of child and sex abuse allegations, and its withdrawal from Stormont.
Mr Carthy replied: “Well I think the first two are just media generated issues, by and large, and, they may have issues, but in previous elections we’ve had constant negativity from some elements of the media…”
Ms Cahill (pictured above), a former Irish Labour Senator, said: “The last five years, since I waived anonymity, were hard enough without being compounded by Sinn Fein’s wholly inadequate response and failure to admit responsibility.
“For Carthy to minimise the very real suffering of IRA sex abuse victims as ‘just media generated’ is appalling, deeply hurtful and indicative that the Sinn Fein party has learned nothing when it comes to their response to these cases.
“These cases were in the media because victims felt they had no other option, given the failure of Sinn Fein to properly admit their own failings.”
Mr McGahon – one of two teenage boys raped at a republican ‘safe house’ two decades ago – said the MEP’s comments were “shameful” and should be retracted immediately.
“Carthy’s comments show they have learned nothing and are not taking the issue seriously,” he said.
Responding, a Sinn Fein spokesman said: “The only people who can investigate or deal with allegations of sexual abuse is the police and the relevant statutory bodies.
“Sinn Fein has called on people with any information on child sexual abuse to bring it forward to police.”
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story