Independent TD Mattie McGrath has questioned the underlying political intent behind the Governments scathing condemnation of Sinn Fein and the Republican Movement’s handling of alleged sexual abuse and subsequent cover ups. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Taoiseach led Government TD’s and Ministers in an historic outpouring of criticism personally aimed at sitting members of the Sinn Fein Party:
“I have no doubt that the Taoiseach at a personal level is as disgusted as all of us are by the vitriol and barrage of abuse that Maria Cahill has continued to receive since she first made her allegations of abuse public, allegations which I believe.
I also believe that it was right for him to call for greater transparency on this matter from the likes of Sinn Fein and any others who may have been involved.
But I have to say that I contrast the almost unprecedented provision of 5 hours Dáil speaking time on this matter to the Taoiseach’s near total silence on many other matters of similar gravity.
I had with me in the Dáil visitor’s gallery yesterday a mother, Lucia Farrell, whose only son was brutally mowed down by a driver who was wanted in both our jurisdiction and the north of Ireland’s and whose case has been subject to the highest level of interference and evasion. She has been left traumatised by the States response to her search for justice on behalf of her son.
I also had in mind the families of the Omagh bomb victims who have been trying for over two years to gain a single meeting with either the Taoiseach or the Minister for Justice to discuss the concerns they have outlined in a detailed report. I have lost count of the times the Taoiseach has avoided this matter with me or given me non committed replies.
There are still serious concerns around the adequacy or otherwise of the Garda and RUC/British response to that bomb threat which eventually killed 29 people including two unborn children.
I also spoke with journalist Gemma O’Doherty who has been campaigning to have the case of Fr Niall Molloy’s murder re-examined by the State given the clear evidence of Garda mismanagement that occurred there.
All of these matters are known to the Taoiseach and yet he consistently avoids giving them the attention they deserve and so the question has to be asked why?
The view is certainly out there that the Taoiseach and indeed other Dáil parties are using this issue, one which should be totally outside the arena of political manipulation, for clear electoral gain. I have no sympathy with the evasive and churlish Sinn Fein response to this matter but neither can I applaud what is a clear determination by Fine Gael and Labour to claw back public support on the back of the suffering of innocent victims, most especially when other victims have been met with deafening silence,” concluded Deputy McGrath.