DUP MLA calls for Molloy resignation after contentious tweet

The tweet which came from Francie Molloy's Twitter account on Tuesday night
The tweet which came from Francie Molloy's Twitter account on Tuesday night

DUP MLA Ian McCrea has called for Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy to step down following Tuesday’s Spotlight programme which he said “gave the public a glimpse of his character”.

The Mid-Ulster MLA spoke out after Francie Molloy posted on Twitter on Tuesday: “Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight.

Joint Indo bluesh..production” after the BBC programme featured a second person claiming to have been raped by a member of the IRA in the 1990s.

Paudie McGahon, 40, said he went public to accuse republicans of trying to “cover up” his allegations.

Five months ago fellow IRA abuse victim Mairia Cahill also challenged Sinn Fein over how it handled her rape claims.

In a statement released today Mr McCrea said “if an MP anywhere else in the United Kingdom described such a programme as ‘a load of rubbish’ they would be considering their position”.

He added: “Molloy’s comment was outrageously offensive to victims of sexual abuse. This programme was not about some trivial matter but rather about how republicans held kangaroo courts to deal with sexual predators.

“A young man was courageous enough to sit in front of a camera and tell his story about how he was abused and then brought back to face the monster who abused him in the place where the abuse took place.

“Paudie McGahon relived his catalogue of horrors to expose what some people in republican communities suffered. That took bravery.

“To describe the programme’s narrative as “a load of rubbish” was vulgar and demeaning.”

Mr McCrea said Sinn Fein “should not only cooperate with the authorities regarding how abusers were moved from one jurisdiction to another but they should also deal with their Mid Ulster MP by asking him to step down”.

On Wednesday, hours after the tweet was posted, a Sinn Fein statement said Mr Molloy “apologised for any offence my post caused to Paudie McGahon or any victim of abuse”.

“I hope that justice is served and the appropriate support delivered to Mr McGahon,” it added.

“Sinn Fein’s priority is to support victims of abuse, whether that abuse is historical or contemporary and we will support victims in their efforts to get truth and justice.

“There is currently a Garda investigation into these allegations.

“These matters are best dealt with in the justice system rather than trial by television and it is my hope that justice will be done.”