Morgan and McGeough detail Paudie McGahon contact

Sinn Féin members say rape victim was advised to go to Garda

 

Former Sinn Féin TD for Louth Arthur Morgan has released a statement detailing his meetings with Paudie McGahon, who told BBC Spotlight he was raped by an IRA man when he was a teenager.

Mr McGahon (40) has said he earlier brought the allegations to the attention of Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough. Mr McGahon has alleged he was raped at his family home in Co Louth by a senior IRA member when he was 17.

Mr Morgan said he first met Mr McGahon in late 2008 after Mr McGahon came to his office.

“At the time I advised him to go directly to the gardaí and offered to arrange a meeting there and then,” Mr Morgan said.

“When Mr McGahon disclosed the alleged abuse he was an adult and would have needed to bring forward a complaint to the Garda to start an inquiry. At all times Mr McGahon was treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity.”

Mr Morgan said he offered to accompany him to the gardaí, recognising “that this can be very daunting to a victim, but Mr McGahon “declined that offer at that time”.

The former TD, who represented Louth until 2011, said in his statement released on Wednesday that Mr McGahon made an appointment to see him again in April 2009.

Arthur Morgan Letter

“I again advised Mr McGahon that this was a matter for An Garda Síochána, and that he should make a formal complaint to them. I offered this advice in person and in writing,” Mr Morgan said.

“I offered in writing that I, or a party colleague, Councillor Pearse McGeough could accompany him to meet with the gardaí.

“I am aware that there is an ongoing Garda inquiry into this matter and I hope that justice is served and support offered to Mr McGahon.”

Meanwhile, Mr McGeough also released a statement on Wednesday in which he said when Mr McGahon and another person disclosed to him they had been abused “they were both adults”.

Mr McGeough said he advised them to go to the gardaí and offered to accompany them.

“They decided at the time not to notify the gardaí. I fully recognise that going to the authorities is huge step for victims and this was their decision to make. I fully respected that view,” he said.

“Over the intervening period I have continued to offer my support Mr McGahon and another victim.”

Mr McGeough said he was aware Mr Morgan “also reiterated this position in person and in writing to Mr McGahon”, and he supported that fully.

“On one occasion with the agreement of one of the victims I personally arranged to accompany him to the Garda station to make a complaint.

“However shortly before the meeting the victim of the alleged abuse decided not to go ahead at that time.”

Mr McGeough said he was aware a formal complaint had now been made and a Garda investigation is under way.

“I hope that the investigation continues, that justice is served, and the victims are supported to further their recovery,” he added.