The offer by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to meet the four people who allegedly conducted the IRA investigation into the rape of Maíria Cahill remains open, according to a Government spokesman.
He was responding last night to the announcement that the four had declined to proceed with the meeting on the advice of their solicitor.
“Gerry Adams made a request on the floor of the Dáil that the meeting should take place and that request was acceded to,” said the spokesman. “Like much else in this story the position keeps changing but the offer remains.”
Peter Madden, the Belfast solicitor who represents the four people named in the BBC Spotlight programme as involved in investigating the rape of Ms Cahill, yesterday released a letter he has sent to the Taoiseach on their behalf.
In it Mr Madden said he had advised his clients Padraic Wilson, Seamus Finucane, Briege Wright and Maura McCrory against any meeting in the light of what he described as Mr Kenny’s “highly prejudicial statements” and the ongoing legal processes.
“I note that you, or a spokesperson for your office, contacted the media on Wednesday, October 29th, with regard to a proposed meeting. Both the comments attributed to you and media reporting are again highly prejudicial and inaccurate.
“Given your approach to this matter, my clients have today confirmed that they see no point in meeting, at this stage, with you given your rush to judgment and your setting aside of the court finding and legal processes. On my advice they are declining to meet with you,” said the letter.
Later Mr Adams said he had written to the Taoiseach requesting that those Sinn Féin members who had sought to help Ms Cahill – Jennifer McCann MLA, Sue Ramsey and himself – were seeking a meeting with him.
“As An Taoiseach knows well, my request for a meeting was not confined to the four individuals accused in connection with an alleged IRA investigation, but consisted of those Sinn Féin members, including myself, who spoke to and sought to help Maíria Cahill.
“It is reprehensible that he would spin this publicity in the way that he has done. This reinforces my view that he is playing politics with this issue,” said Mr Adams in a statement.
The promised Dáil debate into the issues raised by Ms Cahill’s allegations is unlikely to take place next week.