A CHILD sex abuse scandal continues to haunt Sinn Fein, the Sunday World can reveal. Three weeks ago, we named IRA icon J.B. O’Hagan, as being at the centre of a Provo peadophile cover-up. Our sources now say that at least three senior IRA veterans are at the heart of this latest child sex scandal.
Details of the O’Hagan investigation first appeared in this newspaper. But we have since learned that the latest Sinn Fein sex abuse suspect – a man who served many years in jail for the IRA murder of an RUC man – was secretly spirited around houses of known republican ffigures, while the IRA investigated the allegations. And we have also been told that a small coterie of leading figures in Sinn Fein and the IRA knew all about the alleged ‘cover-up’ operation. A source with inside knowledge of the close knit republican community at the time told us : “The Catholic Church in Ireland had shown how it dealt with sex abuse allegations – move the alleged abuser to another area, only tell those who need to know and stop all talk, gossip and rumour.” IRA men tasked with implementing the ‘cover-up’ scheme were given a two-pronged order aimed at firstly, protecting Sinn Fein’s standing as a credible political party in nationalist areas, and secondly, saving J.B O’Hagan’s reputation ‘at all costs’.
Celebrated IRA leader Joseph B. O’Hagan (now deceased), almost singlehandedly carried the torch of the Irish Republican Movement in north Armagh for decades. Joining the IRA in 1940, O’Hagan was fully involved in three separate IRA campaigns. He helped found the Provisional IRA when it broke away from the mainstream organisation at the outset of the Troubles. And he also served on the Provos ‘ first ever Army Council. The Lurgan man later wrote his name into Irish republican mythology, when on October 31, 1973, he and two other IRA leaders escaped from Dublin’s Mountjoy Jail in a helicopter. The incident made headline news all over the world. And when a quickly-penned ballad recalling the farcical scenario was released on record, it remained in the Irish pop charts for four weeks. However, if full details of this latest sex abuse scandal to hit Sign Fein emerge, then O’Hagan’s grainite-tough reputation, may end up in tatters. Now it is alleged that leading members of Sinn Fein and the IRA in Belfast colluded with top Provo J.B.O’Hagan to cover-up a sex abuse scandal. There is no suggestion that J.B.O’Hagan was personally involved in child sex abuse in any way. But there are claims that the issue was swept under the carpet to protect O’Hagan’s reputation and the growing support for Sinn Fein in West Belfast, where party President Gerry Adams was MP.
3 more Proves hushed-up abuse
J.B. O’Hagan died in April 2001, aged 79. His commitment to the IRA was praised by leading Shinners, Caoimhghin O Caolain and Gerry Adams. Addressing mourners in St.Coleman’s Church cemetery in Lurgan, Gerry Adams said : “Whether as a soldier, prisoner, politicial activist, husband, father or friend, J.B. give his fullest.” However, standing just a few feet from the spot where Mr.Adams was speaking, was a man who a few years before had been accused of sexually molesting children. On his release from prison after serving a lengthy sentence for murder, that man, originally from Lurgan, settled in Belfast, where he struck up a relationship with the mother of two young children.
It is understood the sex abuse issue became common knowlodge amoung republicans in Belfast when a number of women caught the man in bed with a young child. “The leadership of the Movement was terrified that one of the woman would report the matter to the police, although it is a definite fact that Social Services were called in. There must be a file relating to this,” said a west Belfast source. As part of the cover-up, the suspect was banished south of the border following an IRA investigation into the matter. And we this week learned that in the immediate aftermath of the allegations, the Sinn Fein activist was held under IRA guard at the home of a former republican prisoner and Sinn Fein election worker, who later quit the movement to throw his support behind the Republican Network for Unity.The suspect was moved around a number of other houses because the IRA and Sinn Fein leaderships were afraid the matter might have been reported to the RUC, with the possibitly he may have turned tout – and ‘grassed’ on his former terrorists to the police – as well as nailing those allegedly involved in peadophile activities known about, but covered up, by IRA boss J.B. O’Hagan. A west Belfast source told the Sunday World this week : “This man was extremely close to J.B.O’Hagan. J.B. was told about it and it was agreed that the man would be moved down south. It was a total cover-up to protect J.B.’s reputation and also distance the whole child sex abuse scandal from Sinn Fein and the IRA.”
With many thanks to : Hugh Jordan, Sunday World
email : email@example.com