TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has said revelations that rapists and paedophiles were exiled from Northern Ireland to the Republic are "of the greatest concern and fear for people".
Mr Kenny challenged Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to answer questions on the actions on the IRA and to reveal whether he or his party know the whereabouts of these sex abusers.
The challenge was made as it emerged that the gardai are to launch an investigation into a complaint made by Mairia Cahill over a barrage of online abuse she has received.
The complaint, brought to the attention of gardai yesterday, centres upon a blog which claimed that Ms Cahill was involved in a consensual relationship with the man she claims raped her.
It emerged on Thursday that the blog post was shared on Facebook by Seamus Finucane, a leading member of the IRA at the time of the forced inquiry into Ms Cahill's ordeal.
A senior Garda source yesterday said any online comments deemed to be defamatory or akin to harassment of Ms Cahill would be investigated.
Meanwhile, in hard-hitting remarks made in Brussels, the Taoiseach said the Irish public will feel deeply uneasy about the prospect that abusers who were expelled from Northern Ireland by the IRA are now living in communities across the border.
Mr Kenny was responding to reports in the Northern Ireland media yesterday of six sex abusers being deported by the IRA to the Republic.
"I'd be very concerned about this. One of the central questions that arose when I had the opportunity to meet with Mairia Cahill following her request to me was that Sinn Fein should answer the questions about paedophiles or the movement of those who were involved in sexual abuse from Northern Ireland to the 26 counties," Mr Kenny said.
Earlier this week, Mr Adams admitted that the IRA sometimes "shot sex offenders or expelled them".
But the Louth TD has so far rejected claims he knows of any individual sex offender who was exiled to the Republic.