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2 November 2014 Edition

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EDITORIAL: Maíria Cahill

Editorial | Eagarfhocal

THE CASE of Maíria Cahill created significant media and political discussion. Sinn Féin rightly refutes any allegations of a cover-up but it must be remembered, in the midst of the shrill anti-republican voices in the media and political parties, there is a victim of abuse. 

In the past, the primary focus of policing and the legal system in the North, was to prosecute a war against republicans. It was to safeguard the state and not the people.

Into this, the community looked to the IRA to fill the policing vacuum. This included dealing with criminality and on occasion abusers. 

The IRA, while well-intentioned, was ill-equipped to deal with this complex and sensitive issue. They had only recourse to expedient methods of punishment. 

Gerry Adams has acknowledged that the approach of the past failed victims. 

The conflict is over and there are now fully accountable civic policing and legal processes in the North. 

There is a need to ensure support for victims of abuse and safeguard the community. That is why it is necessary for anyone with any information on abuse to come forward to the relevant authorities. This includes members of the community and those making allegations of a republican cover-up. 

Despite the politicisation of this issue by elements in the media, An Taoiseach and the Fianna Fáil and Labour Party leaders, we must recognise the failings of the past and not be distracted from the pressing need to support victims of abuse in the here and now.

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