herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Unlike Mairia, Adams always has problems with the truth

Gerry Adams has finally met his nemesis. On the BBC spotlight programme last week Mairia Cahill, now a 36-year-old woman, told the shocking story of how as a 16-year-old child back in 1997 she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by a senior member of the Provos.

She named her attacker as a senior IRA man. On the spotlight programme and in later interviews in RTE, Maria recalled in vivid detail the horrific abuse she suffered.

In early 1998, she finally reported on her ordeal to a number of senior female members of the provisional IRA. Mairia then recounted that in Oct/Nov 1999 her case was investigated by an IRA kangaroo court.

She spoke in chilling detail of her horrific experience at a so-called "inquiry". She was taken to a private house in west Belfast and interrogated for hours by IRA volunteers. She stated that she was shaken and terrified out of her mind and feared she was going to be beaten or shot.

Mairia then went on to describe how these "investigators" finally decided in 2000 that she would have to go face-to-face with her alleged rapist in this kangaroo court so that they could read her body language and decide who was telling the truth.

This travesty of so-called investigation was a soul-destroying ordeal. In her own words, "They turned me into a complete shell of a person".

However, most damaging of all were her revelations regarding the response of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in meetings they had from 2000-2006.

During one of these meeting, Mairia alleges that he told her that he was aware of the sick mentality of child abusers and their manipulative ways.

Mairia also recalled that she informed Gerry Adams of her forced inquisition and intimidation at these IRA kangaroo courts.

Since this controversy, Mr Adams has released at least three statements admitting that he did meet with Mairia Cahill, but denying point blank that he ever discussed her allegations of rape or her interrogation by the IRA.

Mairia Cahill came across to me as a truthful, honest and trustworthy person. She is also a fearless young woman who put great personal risk on herself in seeking justice.

COURAGE

Mairia Cahill's honesty, candour and courage stands in stark contract to the pathetic and shameful attempts of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein to distant themselves from this scandal. Adams' persistent denials that he didn't discuss Ms Cahill's rape and subsequent interrogations is unbelievable.

I suppose, what else can you except of a man who still denies in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was ever a member of the IRA.

However, what is even more disturbing is how the young guns of Sinn Fein - like deputy Pearse Doherty and the vice president TD Mary Lou McDonald - have closed ranks around their leader. They have sacrificed whatever credibility they have left in the interest of blind loyalty.

This whole affair has been a disaster for Sinn Fein, but especially for Gerry Adams.

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