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Sinn Féin TD accuses RTÉ of bias in its reporting of Maíria Cahill story

Peadar Tóibín was interviewed on Morning Ireland after tweeting his dissatisfaction at how the show was covering the story.

SINN FÉIN TD Peadar Tóibín has accused RTÉ of bias in its reporting of the Maíria Cahill story.

The Meath West TD was interviewed on Morning Ireland after tweeting his dissatisfaction that the programme had not covered the solicitor’s letter written on behalf of four people against which Cahill has made allegations.

Cahill claims to have been raped by a senior member of the IRA when she was a teenager. When she came forward with the information, she said the abuse was covered up and she was forced to confront her attacker in an internal ‘kangaroo court’.

Padraic Wilson, Seamus Finucane, Briege Wright and Maura McCrory deny the claims made against them. The letter refers to the court case on the issue and states that the accused have been subject to a lengthy police investigation during which Cahill was “afforded every resource the state could offer”.

The document also states that Cahill “would not participate in the normal method of giving evidence at a trial, where the truth of her version of events would be tested by cross-examination.”

Cahill has said that she withdrew her evidence as she believed the investigation had been mishandled.

Here’s the tweet that led to Tóibín appearing on Morning Ireland:

During the heated interview, Tóibín accused RTÉ, other media outlets and certain politicians of subjecting the four individuals and Gerry Adams to “trial by the media”.

We’ve had a lot of debate on this very important issue over the last number of days but I was surprised that this really important statement made by these individuals through their solicitors wasn’t being covered by your show this morning.

Presenter Cathal Mac Coille said that the Six One News had reported on the letter yesterday evening, adding: “Every programme does not have to cover every statement about everything.”

He also noted that Morning Ireland contacted Madden and Finucane Solicitors for a representative to appear on the show, but they did not receive a response.

Tóibín said that the line of questioning adopted by some journalists equated to them “deciding the guilt live on air of four Irish citizens”.


Mac Coille denied that this was the case and said RTÉ had repeatedly clarified that charges made against the four individuals were withdrawn.

Sinn Fein Launches Motion on Jobs Peadar Tóibín Wanderley Massafelli / Photocall Ireland Wanderley Massafelli / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Unsatisfied, Tóibín continued:

“The only way that this can be got to the bottom of is through the criminal justice system … If serious allegations were made against you, would you rather those allegations were decided in a court of law, the media or the Oireachtas?

Every day this week we have had elected representatives asked if they believe such and such. We are not qualified to decide. You are asking us to literally be the investigator, to be the prosecutor, to be the judge and to pass sentence on four Irish citizens.

“If we’ve learnt anything from what has happened in the Church over the last number of years, we’ve learnt that these issues should not be dealt with internally in organisations.”

Tóibín told Mac Coille that he wasn’t aware if the four people in question had been involved in the internal IRA inquiry Cahill said took place following the alleged rape.

Background: ‘The story that Maíria Cahill has to tell is not just powerful, it will have serious consequences’

Read: Archbishop on IRA sex offenders: “Let the truth come out”

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