Councillor Brendan Curran accuses Sinn Fein of abuse cover-up
A former Sinn Fein councillor has launched a scathing attack on the party in a dramatic resignation speech.
Brendan Curran, who later became an independent councillor, alleged Sinn Fein once forced him to "drop the issue" of an alleged paedophile priest because it was "negative campaigning".
He also accused the party of being operated in parts by a "small, domineering clique who try to remove opposition by gang mentality".
Mr Curran left Sinn Fein in November, 2013. He served on Newry and Mourne District council for 30 years and made the allegations during his resignation speech at a council meeting.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Curran said the sexual abuse allegations he had raised a number of years ago were of a historical nature.
"The priest is now dead," he said. "He worked in Co Down and internationally."
Mr Curran claimed at last Monday's council meeting he had no choice but to remove himself from Sinn Fein connections to a "small, domineering clique".
He added: "On the subject of sex abuse victims, I raised the issue a number of years ago of a paedophile priest who abused hundreds of children in our local schools and was directed to drop the issue because it was 'negative campaigning'."
Responding to the allegation of historical sexual abuse, a Sinn Fein spokesman said: "If Brendan Curran or anyone else has any information regarding sexual abuse, past or present, they have a responsibility to bring this either to the PSNI or An Garda Siochana."