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Sinn Féin

Mary Lou McDonald offers 'unreserved apology' to Máiría Cahill

The Sinn Fein leader says she wishes Cahill well.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has given an “unreserved apology” to Máiría Cahill, stating that she wishes her “nothing but the very best”. 

At the launch of Sinn Féin’s alternative budget today, McDonald was asked would she apologise again to Cahill. 

“I take this opportunity to repeat again our unreserved apology to Máiría Cahill for the ordeal that she was [put] through. I know it’s extremely difficult for any person to step forward and tell their story in the candid way that she has and I commend her as ever for that.

“Back in the day, the proper reporting structures were not in place. I want to emphasise that a scenario like this could not, would not arise now. And I’m happy to clarify that point as the leader of Sinn Fein. 

“At no stage should anybody, any organisation, other than the appropriate statutory authorities, the police and social services been involved in the handling of this terrible, terrible offence against Máiría Cahill. That’s been my position consistently but I’m happy to report that and to wish her nothing but the very best from from me and us,” said McDonald. 

Cahill was raped by an IRA member when she was 16 years old. 

The former Labour party senator, who also joined the SDLP, told police she had been sexually abused from 1997 to 1998, and in subsequent years was subjected to an IRA investigation of her allegations.

She in her new book, Rough Beast: My Story and the Reality of Sinn Féin, which she launched in Dublin this evening, she states that she struggled to have her sexual abuse claims acknowledged. 

Speaking on RTÉ radio over the weekend, Cahill spoke about how she felt McDonald had only apologised for the failure in processes to deal with her abuse, rather than receiving a personal apology. 

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