Victim of alleged IRA rape offered opportunity for revenge
Paudie McGahon: Letter of advice from former SF TD Arthur Morgan a ‘diversion’
Paudie McGahon: Said the prospect of having a murder on his conscience led him to opt for “option three”, the expulsion of his alleged abuser. Photograph: BBC
The alleged rape victim of an IRA member said those behind a kangaroo court investigation offered him and others claiming to have been victims “whatever implements youse want” to exact revenge in a room.
Paudie McGahon (40), who originally aired his claims on the BBC Spotlight programme on Tuesday, also said a letter from former Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan advising him to go to the gardaí, was a “red herring”.
Mr McGahon’s description of the early 1990s assault follows similar allegations made by Maíria Cahill last year.
Detailing the “three-choice” remedy offered by an unidentified republican in 2002, he said the prospect of having a murder on his conscience led him to opt for “option three”, the expulsion of his alleged abuser.
In this meeting with the IRA, he said a man asked him: “Do you want us to put a bullet in the back of his head? Do you want us to put you into a room with him and give youse [sic] whatever implements that you want to deal with the situation yourself or do you want us to expel him?”
Asked to clarify the nature of the second option, he continued: “Number two meant that myself and other victims that they knew of would be allowed go into whatever room we wanted and they’d give us whatever we wanted to deal with this guy.
“I don’t know, he could have been tied up, he could have been loose. But basically we were told go in: if you kill him you kill him, if you don’t you don’t.
“Having to live with what happened was bad enough but having to live with a murder would be wrong on so many counts it’s unbelievable. So that’s why I went for the man to be put out of the country.”
Mr McGahon, who was speaking in a follow-up interview on RTE’s Liveline on Wednesday, also dismissed a letter written by Arthur Morgan, the former Louth TD, urging him to go to gardaí.
“It’s a red herring, a diversion,” he said.
“I remember the letter because I sat down on many’s an occasion with psychiatrists to get help for the pain I was feeling for the fact that I couldn’t talk about this.
“Sinn Féin knew of the other victims and said: ‘Yes maybe we will go to the Garda station with you, but what about the others? What will happen to them? There’s another fella there, you might upset him.’ And that is the reason I didn’t go to the gardaí.”
He said on one occasion a garda told him that without others coming forward he would be wasting his time.
In a statement, Mr Morgan said they had two meetings, one in 2008 and another in 2009, and that he was offered accompaniment to report the allegations.
“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,” he said.
McGahon, who cited the example of Maíria Cahill for prompting his own revelations, has appealed to Sinn Féin for honesty on the subject of republican abuse and in-house justice.
“I want Sinn Féin to tell the truth. Come out and tell the truth. [Say] we know of the other victims. Just come forward, admit that youse [sic] knew back then all those years ago, admit that youse [sic] knew about it but you never once encouraged the victims to go to the gardaí.”
Mr McGahon, who has described himself as a “staunch republican” whose family ran an IRA safe house when he was a young man, explained they had many “volunteers” coming and going.
His abuser was one and he had come to know him. In one instance the man, who is just two years his senior, had even helped him deal with local bullies.
The alleged abuse began when he talked his way into sleeping in the same room as Mr McGahon, where, he says, he was eventually raped.
“And a lot of people would ask the question why did you not tell him to leave your room? At the end of the day the gravity of the situation is this was a volunteer in the IRA,” he said.