Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy: Spotlight sex abuse tweet was ‘misinterpreted’

A screenshot of Francie Molloy's tweet, which has since been deleted
A screenshot of Francie Molloy's tweet, which has since been deleted

Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy insists a tweet he made about a BBC Spotlight programme on alleged sex abuse carried out by an IRA man was “misinterpreted”.

In the online posting, which has since been removed, Mr Molloy wrote: “Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight. Joint Indo bluesh...production”.

The tweet, which was slammed as “disgusting” by Mairia Cahill, whose sex abuse claims against a leading republican were broadcast in a previous Spotlight programme.

This morning, Wednesday, Ms Cahill said a public apology to the alleged victim in the latest programme, Paudie McGahon from Co Louth, was needed “immediately”.

Speaking to the TIMES this morning, Francie Molloy said the tweet was “no reflection on anyone in the programme or on anyone who has been the victim of abuse”.

The high profile Sinn Fein MP described the Spotlight programme as “theatrical” and insisted the tweet was made in relation to its creators and the “dramatics” surrounding its broadcast.

“If a person is making their case about suffering abuse, I support their right to do that”, Mr Molloy continued.

“But the programme makers also need to report the facts. We need to clarify that a court decision found that Padraic Wilson was innocent.”

Asked whether he could understand that victims of sexual abuse may be upset at his tweet, Mr Molloy added: “On reflection, I do accept that it could have been misinterpreted. However, that was never my intention.”