Belfast Telegraph

David Ford wary of all-island probe into IRA sex abuse

By Niall O'Connor

The Justice Minister has raised doubts over holding a cross-border inquiry into the IRA sex abuse scandal.

David Ford has become the latest political figure to warn of the complexities of such a probe, which would involve both An Garda Siochana and the PSNI.

While stopping short of ruling out the prospect of a cross-border inquiry, Mr Ford said it is important to avoid any interference in ongoing investigations into abuse allegations.

"I have discussed the issue on a number of occasions, most recently in the last week of February, with my colleague Frances Fitzgerald, the Minister for Justice and Equality," he said.

"We have looked at the options for wider reviews, but setting up a cross-border review, as has been suggested by some people, would be a very complex issue."

Politicians in Northern Ireland and the Republic have consistently said they want an inquiry into claims of widespread sex abuse and the subsequent movement of alleged abusers into different jurisdictions.

Mr Ford said there are a number of options available but that both governments need to be mindful of ongoing investigations by the two police forces, the Police Ombudsman in Belfast and the Republic's DPP.

Calls for a cross-border inquiry came in the wake of Mairia Cahill's revelation that she was raped as a teenager before being subjected to a kangaroo-court style interrogation.

A second victim, Louth man Paudie McGahon, was also raped by an alleged IRA member.

He was then asked by the IRA whether he wanted his attacker shot, exiled or whether he himself wished to inflict a beating.

The revelations have led to renewed pressure on Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to present any information he has to gardai.

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