Louth man claims he was raped by IRA member

Claim IRA subjected him to ‘kangaroo court’ and offered to kill alleged abuser

Paudie McGahon (40) from Co Louth pictured during the BBC Spotlight programme to be broadcast tonight. Photograph: BBC screengrab

Paudie McGahon (40) from Co Louth pictured during the BBC Spotlight programme to be broadcast tonight. Photograph: BBC screengrab


A second alleged IRA sex abuse victim has now come forward to claim he was raped by a senior Belfast member of the paramilitary organisation.

Paudie McGahon (40) from Co Louth has also claimed that the IRA offered to kill his alleged abuser but that instead he was “exiled” by the organisation. The alleged abuse would have happened around 1992.

The latest allegations follow Belfast woman Maíria Cahill going public to claim that she was raped by an IRA man when she was 16.

Mr McGahon makes his allegations in a BBC Spotlight programme which is being broadcast on Tuesday night.

Mr McGahon said he was from a strong republican family in Co Louth and that IRA members would often meet in his family home.

He said that when he was 17 an IRA man from a well-known republican family in Belfast abused him and warned him to remain silent.

“He says ‘listen to me, if you ever open your mouth about this to anybody you’ll be found on the Border roads’,” Mr McGahon told Spotlight.

“Many’s a person asks me ‘why didn’t you go to a doctor? Why didn’t you go to this?’

This isn’t stuff that you walk into a doctor and say, ‘your man raped me last night’,” he added.

He also felt he could not contact the Garda. “How can you report it to the guards, when you have been threatened keep your mouth shut? So I hid it all, I hid it all,” he said.

Mr McGahon said that in 2002 he decided to break his silence and that a local Sinn Féin representative was informed of his claims. He said he then was subjected to an IRA “kangaroo court” in his home.

Mr MGahon said that at a second meeting with the IRA he was told that his alleged abuser had admitted abusing him and others as well. He was told he had been detained by republicans.

Mr McGahon said one of the IRA men told him: “We have him in custody. We have other comrades standing over him at the minute. He is in custody and he is not going anywhere until we have dealt with him. But by the way, he has admitted to doing what he did, plus other people.”

Mr McGahon claimed “options” were put to him about what would happen the alleged abuser. “The first one was for them to deal with it - put a bullet in the back of his head,” said Mr McGahon. “It was said with such ease you knew that it wouldn’t be a problem.”

It was eventually agreed that the man would be expelled to England, he added.

Earlier this morning, Sinn Féin education Minister John O’Dowd told BBC Radio Ulster he would not comment on the case ahead of the broadcast tonight. He said however that he understood that a live Garda investigation into the case was continuing.

“Anyone with information in relation to that matter should bring it to the guards, and if the guards have enough information, they should bring guilty parties before the courts,” said Mr O’Dowd.

The allegations are similar to the claims by Ms Cahill that she was raped by a suspected IRA man as a teenager, that she was made face her abuser at a kangaroo court, and that the IRA later helped to cover up the alleged abuse.

The Spotlight programme will be broadcast at 10.45 pm tonight.