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Thursday 21 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# Spotlight
Sinn Féin offering to meet Maíria Cahill over IRA rape claims
Cahill, a niece of IRA member Joe Cahill, says the IRA convened a ‘kangaroo court’ to deal with the abuse claims, in order to prevent a police investigation.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has again rejected allegations about a meeting with a woman who claims the IRA forced her to confront her alleged rapist, and essentially convened a ‘kangaroo court’ to deal with the abuse claims.

Maíria Cahill, a niece of IRA member Joe Cahill, claims that as a teenager, she was raped and repeatedly sexually abused throughout 1997 by a prominent member of the group.

In a BBC documentary, broadcast last night, she was also scathingly critical of the tone of a conversation she had with Adams, a few years later.

Adams said in a statement last night that he totally refuted the allegations made in the programme.


“I met Maíria in good faith, at the behest of her cousin and my late friend Siobhan O’Hanlon,” his statement continued.

Adams said that, after hearing about the rape allegations, he met with Joe Cahill, and “asked him to speak to Maíria about reporting this to the RUC.”

The Louth TD claims she was unwilling to go the police at that time.

Latest response

Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon, Adams said that he was horrified that certain remarks were attributed to him, and denied making them.

“The fact is, if this young woman was raped that was absolutely and totally wrong.

If the IRA did deal with it in the manner she said, then was absolutely and totally wrong.

“Both those matters have been dealt with in the courts,” he said.

AP / Press Association Images ... Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams AP / Press Association Images ... Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams / Press Association Images ... Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams

Adams insisted that any republican who talked to Maíria “all told her — go to your family, go to the social services, go to the police and report this”. 


Separately, a Sinn Féin representative in Belfast has offered to meet with Maíria to talk about the issues she raised in the BBC Spotlight programme.

“I have no problems whatsoever if Maíria wants to meet with me today or anytime in the near future,” MLA Jennifer McCann said, according to BBC Northern Ireland.

Martin McGuinness, the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, has also been asked about the issue today, saying:

We have to have tremendous sympathy for anybody who felt they were in any way unjustly dealt with.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has said there are serious questions to be answered by senior Sinn Féin figures over how the claims were dealt with.

Read: Gerry Adams denies claims about meeting with alleged rape victim

Read: How many houses does Gerry Adams own?