herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Mairia Cahill rape claim to be probed both north and south

cahill
cahill

Mairia Cahill's allegations she was raped by an IRA member and subjected to a Provo interrogation will be the subject of two different probes north and south of the border.

Ms Cahill will meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny today as she continues to put Sinn Fein under pressure over the cover-up of her case.

Mr Kenny clashed with Gerry Adams in the Dail, pointing out he "wouldn't last five minutes" if the allegations being made about Sinn Fein were directed towards Fine Gael.

The Taoiseach referred the "horrific case" of Ms Cahill's rape to the Oireachtas justice committee for examination. The committee will look into the case and invite witnesses, if appropriate.

His move followed a decision in Northern Ireland to review the three cases linked to the alleged rape of the Belfast woman in the 1990s.

Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory announced he is establishing an independent review into the case.

Ms Cahill said she was raped as a teenager in 1997 by a member of the IRA and later interrogated by the Provos about her allegations.

The IRA member she accused of rape was later acquitted of the charges when she withdrew her evidence.

Mr McGrory said an independent external scrutiny of the processes and procedures in relation to the cases was warranted. Mr Kenny said he looked forward to meeting Ms Cahill.

The Taoiseach told Mr Adams if the allegations were being made about Fine Gael, he "wouldn't last five minutes".

"Were I standing in this position, where I had to sit in the knowledge of somebody who had raped a woman, were a member of my party. And that I were to attend and speak to that person in the knowledge that that person had her abuser or her rapist brought before her, I wouldn't last five minutes in this position," he said.

Mr Kenny said Mr Adams spoke to Ms Cahill after her allegations of sexual abuse.

"You attended and spoke to this young woman. And she says you weren't speaking about the weather," he said.

Mr Kenny said the "false assumption of a war being waged" did not justify abductions, shootings or kangaroo courts by the IRA.

The Taoiseach also targeted Sinn Fein vice-president Mary-Lou McDonald and her fellow TDs for criticism.

"You can't have blind allegiance from your deputies saying 'I believe Gerry fully and completely. I can give you a categoric guarantee there was no cover-up within the Sinn Féin party or within the IRA'."

hnews@herald.ie

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