Máiría Cahill says names of abusers being handed over to gardaí

SDLP members told Sinn Féin trying to turn narrative and play victim over allegations

Some 30 people have now come forward claiming they were subjected to sexual abuse by IRA members and this information is being passed onto the gardaí, Mairia Cahill told an SDLP meeting in Belfast.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Some 30 people have now come forward claiming they were subjected to sexual abuse by IRA members and this information is being passed onto the gardaí, Mairia Cahill told an SDLP meeting in Belfast. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

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Máiría Cahill has said the names of more than 30 IRA members, who are believed to have subjected their victims to sexual abuse, is being passed on the gardaí.

Ms Cahill, who claimed she was raped as a 16-year by an IRA member and subsequently “interrogated” by four other IRA members, also provided further information on why she did not proceed with the criminal case against her alleged rapist and questioners.

She told a fringe meeting of the SDLP annual conference in Belfast that, in the four weeks since the BBC Spotlight programme, victims of alleged IRA abuse were contacting her, as well as politicians, the media and the police and other agencies in the North and South.

Ms Cahill said the number was now “well into double figures, probably four times the amount (eight) that (Meath TD) Regina Doherty mentioned in the Dáil” earlier this week. “All these alleged perpetrators’ names are making their way to the gardaí,” she added.

In an overflowing room of the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, Ms Cahill repeated her allegations that Sinn Féin had engaged in a “cover-up” over her alleged abuse.

She accused the party of trying to turn the narrative around so that party leader Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin were viewed as the victims because “nobody does victimhood better than Sinn Féin”.

Ms Cahill said she was now being subjected to an “orchestrated” campaign” against her on Twitter, and more generally a “whispering campaign” which was “disgusting”.

“I can take it but there are other members of my family who are deeply traumatised about how this is being played out,” she said.

Ms Cahill also read a letter that she wrote earlier this year explaining to the North’s Public Prosecution Service why she was withdrawing from the case alleging that the rapist and the questioners were IRA members.

Outlining several reasons she said it was “completely unacceptable” that it should take four years for the case to get to trial.

She also said that there were witnesses who could have strengthened the prosecution case who were not questioned; that there “continual adjournments” over the four years; that there was a failure to produce “intelligence which would have categorically proven what I am saying in my statement to be true”; and that she felt “let down by some evidence avenues not followed or addressed”.

“I am supportive of the law and I perhaps naively believed that by telling the truth in a court of law I would see justice being done and the perpetrators responsible for acts against both me and the state would be held accountable for their actions,” she wrote.

“I have regrettably come to the realisation that I will not see justice done. To say this is traumatic, stressful and hurtful is an understatement,” she added.

“It is my firm view that not everything has been done to ensure that the strongest case was presented and as such I feel very let down and traumatised by the agencies who are supposed to fight for justice on my behalf to secure it.”

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