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Micheál Martin tells Dáil of 'harrowing' sexual abuse suffered by two brothers

“These are not isolated cases. They are the tip of an iceberg.”

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

DURING A HEATED Dáil debate on allegations that Republicans moved sex abusers to the South, Micheál Martin spoke about two brothers who claim to have been sexually abused by a member of the Provisional IRA.

The Fianna Fáil leader said that it was “a profoundly disturbing fact” that the case of Maíria Cahill “appears to be just one amongst many”.

Last week Martin met with one victim who told him “a very harrowing tale of what happened to him and his brother”.

In 1992, as a teenager this man was raped by a member of the Provisional IRA who was using his family’s home as a safe house. The Provisional IRA member’s use of the house was facilitated by a person who has been a Sinn Fein elected representative in Louth for over a decade.

“In response to the abuse the young man fled his home. It was a decade later that his much younger brother told him that he too had been raped by the same man. After their father contacted the local Sinn Fein representative Pearse McGeogh in 2002 the Provisionals again commenced their sinister internal investigation procedures.”

Martin said that the brothers “were summonsed to a meeting involving the same man who was in charge of the Maíria Cahill and Robert McCartney investigations” – a senior member of Sinn Fein.

He stated that “three days later the Provisional’s designated ‘clean up’ man said that the abuser admitted what he had done to them and to at least one other person in another house”.

Three choices

Martin noted that the brothers were given three options regarding the fate of their abuser, namely “beatings, execution or exile”.

He said that the rapist was “exiled from the country but there was no possibility allowed of him being handed over to the legitimate forces of justice in our country”.

“This was 2002, five years after the permanent ceasefire and in the jurisdiction of this state. The boys were offered the services of a Provisional movement-approved therapist.”

Because of the profound and ongoing impact that the rapes and the IRA inquiry had on the brothers the case didn’t disappear as the local Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein representatives would have liked.
Only in 2008 did their local Sinn Fein TD and Councillor advise that the Gardaí should be informed – however neither of these men nor any other person in the movement has given their support to the brothers. No one in the movement ever actually went to the Gardaí to inform them or to corroborate the facts they know to be true.
These are not isolated cases. They are the tip of an iceberg.

Martin said that he had made the information available to gardaí.

He said that “as many as 28 victims” with similar stories are now considering coming forward.

Speaking on the Six One News this evening, Maíria Cahill said that she believes there were many more than 28 people abused.

Martin said there is “no doubt that there was and remains a cover-up within the Provisional’s movement”.

During today’s debate, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said that while a number of sex offenders had resettled or been expelled from the North, he was not aware of any being moved to the Republic.

Adams has repeatedly denied that Sinn Féin covered up any abuse.

LIVE: TD will give gardaí names of eight sex abusers that IRA allegedly moved to Republic

In full: Enda Kenny’s speech accusing Sinn Féin of moving sex abusers to the South

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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