McDonald says Paudie McGahon attacker should face law

TD says Adams trying to ‘create the atmosphere’ where people will come forward

Mary Lou McDonald has said the person who “raped and brutalised” Paudie McGahon needed to face the full rigours of the law. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Mary Lou McDonald has said the person who “raped and brutalised” Paudie McGahon needed to face the full rigours of the law. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

 

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald has said the person who “raped and brutalised” Paudie McGahon needed to face the full rigours of the law.

She said An Garda Síochána was best placed to find out what exactly happened in the case of Mr McGahon, who told BBC Spotlight he appeared before a republican inquiry investigating his allegations of being raped by an IRA man.

Mr McGahon has said the inquiry was chaired by leading Belfast republican Pádraig Wilson. Mr Wilson, through his solicitor, has categorically denied all the allegations made by Mr McGahon.

Referring to this, Ms McDonald told Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One on Thursday: “The person who is named asserts that it is not them through their solicitor”.

Ms McDonald said she was not concerned with the “standing or sensitivities” of Sinn Féin.

“I’m interested that a young man, Paudie, says that he was raped and brutalised at the age of 17. The person who did that to him needs to face the full rigours of the law, the full consequences and the full penalties for his actions.”

She said her party leader Gerry Adams is working to “create the atmosphere” under which people could come forward with information.

“Gerry has made it very, very clear that he will bring forward, as is absolutely correct, any information, any names, anything that he comes across,” she said.

“This is the only method by which you actually get to the truth and you get information, is to call on people to come forward, emphasise the absolute necessity of it and then to create the atmosphere in which people come forward.”

Ms McDonald said she believes people would come forward. “I believe that it’ll happen. I believe that people will come forward. I believe people must come forward,” she said.

However, she called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to “respond positively” to the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for an all-island sex abuse inquiry.

“Many, many people would come forward and I think it could create exactly the atmosphere in which people who have been reluctant or afraid to speak would in fact come forward.”

Ms McDonald said she was not “gainsaying” Paudie. “He tells his story and I respect the integrity of that,” she said.