The Guardian apologises to Máiría Cahill over two Roy Greenslade articles

Ms Cahill told a 2014 BBC Spotlight programme she was raped by an IRA member as a teenager

The Guardian has issued an apology to Máiría Cahill over two opinion pieces it published by its former columnist Roy Greenslade who recently admitted his support for the Provisional IRA while working for the media organisation.

Mr Greenslade had been critical of Ms Cahill, who told a BBC Spotlight programme in 2014 that as a teenager she was raped by an IRA member.

She also said the IRA had sought to cover up the assault and she had to face her alleged assailant in a republican-style court. Ms Cahill was a grandniece of leading IRA figure Joe Cahill.

Mr Greenslade's admission of his support for the Provisional IRA while writing for the Guardian led to the resignation of his former editor there, Alan Rusbridger, from Ireland's Commission on the Future of the Media.


Ms Cahill had previously called for Alan Rusbridger to resign from the Commission, which he did in March.

In a statement on Friday, the Guardian said that in October and November 2014 it published two articles by Mr Greenslade entitled "BBC programme on IRA rape allegations flawed by lack of political balance" and "Demonisation of Gerry Adams a consequence of Ireland's 'media bubble'".

These remained available to read until last March.

“These opinion pieces criticised a BBC Spotlight NI [Northern Ireland] programme which featured the sexual abuse of Máiría Cahill in the late 1990s, when she was 16, and questioned Ms Cahill’s possible political agenda in going public with her story,” it said.

“Mr Greenslade failed to disclose his support for the Provisional IRA and the Guardian now acknowledges that the articles cast doubt on the motivations of Ms Cahill and apologises for the distress which was caused to her.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times