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21 January 2010 Edition

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Timeframe and facts in relation to recent allegations against a Sinn Féin public representative

In March 2009 the National Party Chair was made aware of speculation concerning allegations of abuse against a Sinn Féin member in Belfast.
Party officers in Belfast were made aware that allegations of abuse were being made about a Sinn Féin public representative.
The Party officers arranged to meet with the member. At that meeting the member confirmed that an interview with the PSNI in relation to allegations of abuse had taken place.
The Party officials immediately informed the National Party Chair of the situation. The Party Chair instructed that the member be suspended, without prejudice, from all Party work, with immediate effect, pending the outcome of any investigation into the allegations. Provision was made to handle any constituency issues that arose during the suspension.
On 21 May 2009 Social Services were informed in writing by the National Party Chair that a named Sinn Féin member was the subject of allegations of sexual and physical abuse. They were informed that the member had been suspended without prejudice from all Party work.
Social Services were invited to share any opinions or advice on the course of action outlined.
On 14 September 2009 the member concerned wrote to the National Party Chair requesting a review of the suspension without prejudice.
The Party Chair informed the member concerned in writing on 25 September 2009 that the “suspension, without prejudice, from all Party work” remained in place.
There has been no contact from either the PSNI or the Social Services to Sinn Féin, to date, in relation to the allegations or the status of the member.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1