IRA 'child rapist' is a suspect in murder of missing US tourist Annie McCarrick
A member of the Provisional IRA is a "person of interest" in the disappearance of an American student over 20 years ago.
The man was moved to Dundalk by the IRA after he allegedly raped a 12-year-old child in Belfast.
Four years ago gardai received information that this man told an IRA colleague that he had given a lift to missing Annie McCarrick (26) on the night she disappeared.
The student was last seen walking in the Wicklow mountains in 1993. It is suspected the man may have been responsible for Annie's murder and secret burial and was making an excuse to his IRA associates in anticipation of possibly being arrested.
The source told gardai that the man said he gave a lift to Annie from Johnnie Fox's pub in the Dublin Hills to Bray on the night, but left her at a bus stop in Bray and never saw her again. The IRA man was moved out of Belfast after allegedly raping the daughter of another IRA man. Gardai believe he was subjected to an internal IRA "court martial" over the rape of the child in Belfast but that despite a ruling that he be shot in the legs, he was let off.
He was taken to Dundalk and then moved to a house in south Co Dublin. While there, it was further reported to the IRA that he sexually abused children in the family home. Again nothing was done and gardai were not alerted.
Later, after the disappearance of Annie McCarrick, the man moved to France before being helped to move on to the US. Republicans believe he settled in Texas.
He was the subject of an extradition warrant for a number of offences including escaping from custody in Northern Ireland. But, at the time, the Republic did not extradite IRA on-the-runs.
The man was never tracked down, arrested or questioned about Annie's disappearance. Gardai now believe he was shielded by the IRA.
Annie's disappearance over 20 years ago has been an enduring mystery in the Republic. Her family were left deeply distressed by her loss and the lack of justice in the case.
Annie's father John, who has since died, said he knew immediately something was terribly wrong when her friends in Dublin called him to say they didn't know where Annie was.
"She was always reaching out and touching someone... she would never have gone a day without talking to someone… we were very, very concerned," he told ABC News in America.
Annie, from Long Island in New York, had gone to college in Ireland and returned to trace her family's heritage when she went missing in 1993. The 26-year-old was staying with friends in Dublin and looking forward to welcoming her mother Nancy on a visit. Before her mother arrived, on March 26, 1993, the young woman failed to show up at her workplace.