Belfast Telegraph

Fears Provisional IRA paedophiles freed to rape more victims

By Mark O'Regan

Child abusers expelled by the Provisional IRA are "highly likely" to have gone on to rape an unknown number of victims.

It is claimed the IRA is now providing gardai with names, approximate ages, and last-known addresses, of six men accused of sex crimes spanning a 30-year period.

Many other victims could have been abused by these predators over that time, according to Cliona Saidlear from Rape Crisis Network Ireland.

The organisation's acting director said that paedophiles tend to be repeat offenders - and it is unlikely their abuse patterns came to an end when they were forced to move elsewhere.

"There is a high recidivism rate for many types of sexual violence - including child abusers," she said. "If a person has abused power in this way, then it becomes part of a risk assessment, that they will re-offend.

"Once we know that someone is abusing in a certain way, it is vital their subsequent behaviour is effectively monitored."

Cliona Saidlear also condemned Sinn Fein for its ongoing treatment of Mairia Cahill, saying the party's actions have done little to encourage other survivors to come forward.

"She was put through a very difficult time. The onus is on authority figures to give the signal that survivors will be listened to."

Ms Cahill appeared on RTE television on Saturday night to take about her ordeal.

A Garda spokesman said: "All such allegations will be thoroughly investigated once relevant details are supplied to the force."

It has been suggested a letter written by a senior IRA member - who said he would not deal directly with the gardai - provided details regarding the history of six alleged sex abusers.

They were found guilty of the allegations made against them, and five of the six were court-martialled, and expelled from the IRA. It's thought two are dead.

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