Four named in Maíria Cahill case claim ‘trial by media’

Adams challenges Taoiseach to meet four people allegedly involved in ‘kangaroo court’

Maíria Cahill speaks to Irish Times political correspondent Mary Minihan after her meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in October 2014.Video : Bryan O'Brien

 

After a day of high drama in the Dáil over the claims by Belfast woman Maíria Cahill, a solicitor representing four people allegedly involved in a “kangaroo court” into her allegations of rape by an IRA man have complained of “trial by media”.

Peter Madden of Belfast solicitors Madden and Finucane said the fallout from last week’s BBC Spotlight programme on Ms Cahill meant his clients’ acquittals “have been either ignored or devalued”.

Mr Madden represents former IRA prisoner Pádraic Wilson, Briege Wright, Maura McCrory and Séamus Finucane, brother of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. In May this year charges against them of arranging Provisional IRA meetings were dropped.

Ms Cahill has alleged they participated in the internal IRA investigation into her allegations of rape by Belfast IRA man Martin Morris.

Dáil exchanges

Earlier yesterday, in the Dáil, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny to meet the four people named by Ms Cahill.

Mr Kenny had earlier met Ms Cahill for 90 minutes at Government Buildings and listened to her allegations. “Will you now facilitate a meeting with those she accuses?” Mr Adams asked.

During bitter exchanges, he said Mr Kenny should bring them in and ask the questions he was asserting as fact. “I refute the allegations that have been made about me and about Sinn Féin members who assure me that all they did, in their engagements, conversations and their work with Maíria Cahill, was to help her,” he added.

After some further angry exchanges, Mr Kenny said he would meet the people referred to by Mr Adams. “I won’t stand in judgment of them; I will ask them the questions that you won’t answer,” he added.

Mr Kenny had challenged Mr Adams to confirm if he knew whether Ms Cahill was required to attend in a room with three men and her abuser, all members of the IRA, and that a second meeting took place some months later.

He also asked Mr Adams if he was aware of people being moved to the Republic, having been involved in sexual abuse in the North.