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Enda Kenny meeting Maíria Cahill after war of words with Gerry Adams

Yesterday, the Taoiseach said no member of Sinn Féin could guarantee there was no cover-up of abuse.

Maíria Cahill at Stormont yesterday after meeting with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson
Maíria Cahill at Stormont yesterday after meeting with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson
Image: Stephen Kilkenny/Photocall Ireland

Updated 22 October, 7.22am

ENDA KENNY WILL meet with Maíria Cahill this morning to discuss claims she was raped by a senior member of the IRA when she was a teenager – and later interrogated by the group. 

Yesterday, the Taoiseach said that no member of Sinn Féin can guarantee that there was no cover-up of abuse within the party.

He exchanged harsh words with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams over the issue in the Dáil last night.

Kenny told Adams: “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.

Were I standing in this position where I had to sit in the knowledge of somebody who had raped a woman, 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.

enda kenny 21 oct hand

“So what’s the point you’re making?,” Adams responded.

He accused Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin of making “egregious accusations against me that I reject utterly”, without having “the gumption” to ask him his version of events.

He said the pair were “playing politics” with a sensitive issue, adding:

I’m very conscious that there are people out there who are victims of abuse who are watching this debate.

gerry adams 21 oct point

Kenny is set to meet with Cahill at 10am. She met the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson at Stormont earlier this week.

Independent Review

Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Public Prosecutions Service (PPS) announced that three cases linked to the alleged rape of Cahill are to be the subject of an independent review.

Cahill complained to police before a case was brought against the alleged rapist and those said to be involved in the interrogation. All charges were dropped and the accused rapist acquitted after Cahill withdrew her evidence.

Her allegations in recent weeks have heaped pressure on Sinn Féin and its president Gerry Adams over the issue of sexual abuse by republicans and how it was dealt with by the movement.

The PPS confirmed today that the cases to be reviewed involve the trial of four people accused of organising Provisional IRA meetings and proceedings against the alleged rapist.

Cahill said on Twitter that she welcomed the PPS announcement:

The North’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, said that the review has been ordered following consideration of the BBC NI’s Spotlight programme ‘A Woman Alone with the IRA’ in which Cahill detailed her claims.

“While it would not be appropriate for the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to enter into a media discussion about evidential aspects of these particular cases, I consider that an independent, external scrutiny of our processes and procedures is warranted,” he said in a statement.

Additional reporting: Órla Ryan

Originally published: 12.33pm, 21 October

Read: ‘Despicable’ and ‘mischievous’: Taoiseach and Gerry Adams in war of words

Read: Gerry Adams says IRA “failed victims” in how it dealt with sex abuse claims

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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