Sinn Féin urges sex abuse initiative after allegation

Paudie McGahon says he was raped by IRA member

At the Sinn Féin ardfheis in Derry last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

At the Sinn Féin ardfheis in Derry last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have called for an all-Ireland “sex abuse initiative” in the wake of a second alleged victim coming forward to claim sexual abuse by an IRA member .

They made their call after Paudie McGahon (40) from Co Louth said he was raped by an IRA man from a well-known republican family in the early 1990s when he was aged 17.

He spoke about the alleged abuse on last night’s BBC Spotlight programme, saying he was inspired to go public by the similar testimony Maíria Cahill gave about her alleged rape when she was 16.

The allegations have prompted responses from the Sinn Féin president in the Dáil and the Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister, who is with First Minister Peter Robinson in New York to meet business investors.

Welfare Bill

Northern Assembly

The British and Irish governments, with the five main Northern parties, are trying to find a resolution to this crisis. Mr McGuinness said an additional £200 million over the next six years could ensure that benefit recipients are protected from British government welfare cuts.

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers, however, insisted that no more funding would be made available from the British government, while the DUP accused Sinn Féin of reneging on the Christmas Stormont House Agreement.

Crisis

The Irish Times

In the Dáil, Mr Adams said the alleged treatment of Mr McGahon was a “matter of very, very deep regret” to him.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he had responded to requests from Mr McGuinness and was prepared to meet him to discuss an all-island initiative to deal with sex abuse.