Ex-SF TD says McGahon told him of IRA inquiry on rape claim
Arthur Morgan met McGahon who said alleged rapist was back living in jurisdiction
Arthur Morgan, a Dáil deputy for Louth until 2011, met Paudie McGahon in late 2008 and 2009 when he had complained that the IRA man who had allegedly raped him was no longer in exile but was back living in the jurisdiction. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times
A former Sinn Féin TD has disclosed he was aware Paudie McGahon had appeared before a republican inquiry investigating his allegations of being raped by an IRA man.
Arthur Morgan, a Dáil deputy for Louth until 2011, met Mr McGahon in late 2008 and 2009 when he had complained that the IRA man who had allegedly raped him was no longer in exile but was back living in the jurisdiction.
Mr McGahon (40), told BBC Spotlight he was raped at the age of 17 by an IRA man who was using his family home in Co Louth as a safe house.
He told the programme the IRA had convened a three-man court martial after he and another man made a complaint to local Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough in 2002 about the alleged perpetrator.
He said the inquiry had been chaired by leading Belfast republican Padraig Wilson, and he had allegedly offered the two victims three choices: the IRA shooting the perpetrator dead; the victims allowed to carry out their own physical punishment; or exile. Mr Wilson, through his solicitor, has categorically denied all the allegations made by Mr McGahon.
Yesterday, Mr Morgan told The Irish Times that Mr McGahon had told him there had been a republican inquiry in the early 2000s at which the allegations were dealt with.
He said he did not know the exact term used but was adamant it was not “kangaroo court” or “court martial” or any “quasi-military term”.
He said Mr McGahon had told him in 2008 he had seen the alleged rapist at a football stadium in Dublin (presumably Croke Park) and was concerned that he was back living in Ireland.
Mr Morgan also said Mr McGahon had not been frisked before entering his office, as he had told the BBC. He said his office in Dundalk had an open environment.
“He has gone through understandable trauma,” he said, “and he may have been frisked in other places. But I can assure you he was not frisked at my office. It is a small error.”
Mr Morgan said he first met Mr McGahon in late 2008 after Mr McGahon came to his office.
“At the time I advised him to go directly to the gardaí and offered to arrange a meeting there and then,” Mr Morgan said.
“When Mr McGahon disclosed the alleged abuse, he was an adult and would have needed to bring forward a complaint to the Garda to start an inquiry. At all times Mr McGahon was treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity.”
Mr Morgan said he offered to accompany him to the gardaí, recognising “that this can be very daunting to a victim, but Mr McGahon “declined that offer at that time”.
The former TD, who represented Louth until 2011, said in his statement released on Wednesday that Mr McGahon made an appointment to see him again in April 2009.
“I again advised Mr McGahon that this was a matter for An Garda Síochána, and that he should make a formal complaint to them. I offered this advice in person and in writing,” Mr Morgan said.
“I offered in writing that I, or a party colleague, Cllr Pearse McGeough, could accompany him to meet with the gardaí.”
Meanwhile, Mr McGeough also released a statement on Wednesday in which he said when Mr McGahon and another person disclosed to him they had been abused, “they were both adults”.
Mr McGeough said he advised them to go to gardaí and offered to accompany them.
Mr McGahon alleged that Mr McGeough helped arrange the IRA inquiry or court martial, an allegation denied by the Sinn Féin councillor.
Mr Morgan also said he informed the party headquarters about Mr McGahon’s allegations within days of them being made to him, and spoke to party leader Gerry Adams about the matter shortly afterwards.