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Man who claims he was raped by IRA member wants Sinn Féin to "tell the truth"

Paudie McGahon, speaking on last night’s BBC Spotlight programme, alleged that he was abused by an IRA volunteer.

Paudie McGahon
Paudie McGahon
Image: BBC

THE MAN AT the centre of fresh abuse claims against leading republicans says that he wants Sinn Féin to “tell the truth”.

Paudie McGahon, speaking on last night’s BBC Spotlight programme, alleged that he was abused by an IRA volunteer and later subjected to a kangaroo court process. McGahon says that the IRA offered to kill the alleged rapist but instead exiled him.

Speaking to Joe Duffy on today’s Liveline, McGahon said that he had received overwhelming support in the past couple of days. He said that he never expected the allegations to have as big an impact as it has had.

McGahon said that his family got to know a number of IRA volunteers and were friendly with a number of them.

He said that a man arrived at his home in 1992. He said that generally speaking, volunteers would not interact with the family, but this particular man was staying long-term.

He said that he was a “staunch republican” and had sought his abuser’s help when he was being bullied.

However, within four weeks of the man’s arrival, he claims that abuse began.

“Our house was overlooking a grave yard. One particular morning he said that something had happened in his room and asked could he sleep in my room. I had no reason to say no. But, on a couple of occasions, he tried to abuse me. I would just turn over and I decided to say nothing.

A lot of people would ask why I didn’t just ask him to leave the room. At the end of the day, this was a volunteer for the IRA.
Other people ask why I didn’t tell my father. Because we followed republicanism, it wasn’t something that you could walk up to your father and say “this man tried this, that or the other”.

He said that after the man raped him, he told him “if you ever open your mouth to anybody about this, you’ll be shot and found on a border road.”

McGahon says that he was made teach the man how to drive, describing it as the “most frightening experience”.

Kangaroo court

McGahon says he discovered in 2002 about other victims and was brought to a meeting in the house in which he was abused.

He said that the IRA members told him the man was “in custody” and offered to kill the man. He says he refused because “injustice is injustice”.

“Living with what I went through was bad enough, but living with a murder would be worse.”

“The truth”

McGahon says that he wants Sinn Féin members who knew about abuse to “tell the truth”.

He called on them to admit that the issue was “handled internally”.

He said that other victims had no reason to be afraid of coming forward and offered his support.

Originally published 16:30.

Read: Micheál Martin: I know Gerry Adams was a former chief of staff of the IRA

Read: ‘Gerry Adams needs to get real on this issue’: Enda and Joan pile pressure on Sinn Féin president

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