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Mairia backs cross-border sex abuse probe

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Mairia Cahill

Mairia Cahill

Mairia Cahill

A WOMAN abused by an IRA member warned that more needs to be done on both sides of the border to bring sex offenders to justice.

Mairia Cahill's warning came as she confirmed she had now supplied around 30 names to police in relation to suspected abuse incidents.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald confirmed that a cross-border inquiry into sex abuse allegations against paramilitaries is now under consideration, but warned it could prove "very challenging".

Ms Cahill welcomed the proposed investigation but urged people on both sides of the border to contact police over suspected abuse incidents to ensure children are protected.

PRIORTY

Ms Fitzgerald stressed that her priority now is ensuring that those against whom allegations have been levelled do not continue to pose any type of threat to children either in the Republic or Northern Ireland.

The minister confirmed that such a cross-border probe will be discussed at a North-South Ministerial Council meeting on December 5.

"It would be challenging but it is certainly under consideration," she told the Herald.

"The most important point is that if anybody has information about people who have abused children or who have travelled from one part of the country to another and are currently putting children at risk, we need to have those names.

"The gardai need to be informed. I would appeal to people if they have information to give it to the gardai."

"They are the people who should have this information if we are to protect children."

Ms Fitzgerald refused to comment on reports that the IRA has now passed six names to the Sinn Fein child protection officer and that these have, in turn, been passed to the gardai.

Victims, concerned citizens and campaign groups have passed over 30 other names to gardai and PSNI officials.

information

"I wouldn't comment on the details of people who have given information. I appreciate there are varying reports today but the point I would make again is that if people have information they ought to give it to the gardai," Ms Fitzgerald said.

She refused to discuss any sources for the supply of the names of suspected abusers beyond those publicly confirmed.

"It is clear from Regina Doherty and Mairia Cahill...they have both publicly stated that they have given information."

Ms Cahill said she was the victim of an IRA abuser while Ms Doherty, a Meath TD, said she has information about eight IRA members who faced abuse allegations and were then facilitated by Sinn Fein in moving to the Republic from the North.

hnews@herald.ie


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