herald

Sunday 23 September 2018

Apology 'woefully inadequate', Cahill tells SF's Mary Lou

Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: RollingNews.ie
Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has unreservedly apologised to Mairia Cahill after a Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman report found evidence the man accused of raping the former senator was suspended from Sinn Fein when it was suspected he was abusing children.

In a statement, Ms McDonald said she "deeply regrets" that Sinn Fein did not have mandatory reporting procedures in place at the time of Ms Cahill's ordeal. However, the apology was almost immediately rejected as "woefully inadequate" by Ms Cahill.

Cowardly

She said she wanted the Sinn Fein leader to admit she was telling the truth.

"I think Mary Lou's statement was cowardly and woeful, and that is me being kind to Mary Lou," Ms Cahill said.

In her apology, Ms McDonald said she had no doubt the three women at the heart of the report had "been through an ordeal".

Mairia Cahill
Mairia Cahill

"I want to commend their bravery, in particular the bravery of Mairia Cahill for waiving her anonymity," she added.

It comes after RUC intelligence showed police in the North received information in 2000 which suggested Martin Morris was suspended from Sinn Fein because he was "suspected of abusing certain children".

The ombudsman also found the RUC received intelligence which suggested the Provisional IRA was investigating the child sex abuse accusations made against Mr Morris.

He has denied the allegations and was acquitted of charges of rape and IRA membership when his trial collapsed in 2014.

The ombudsman found Ms Cahill was failed by the police over its handling of her sex abuse allegations.

The new highly sensitive RUC information will not be published by the ombudsman, but it is set out in a letter to Ms Cahill.

"RUC CID received information in 2000 that suggested Mr Morris was suspended from Sinn Fein as it was suspected that he was abusing certain children," the letter said.

"Upon request by the Police Ombudsman, police confirmed they could find no electronic record of any actions having been taken by the police officers with whom this information was shared."

The ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, said he had found Ms Cahill had been "failed" by a disjointed police investigation.

He confirmed the RUC had information about the alleged abuse a decade before it began investigating the case and recommended four officers be disciplined.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News