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IRA man and abuse suspect arrested by Spanish detectives

By Paul Williams and Niall O'Connor

The alleged rapist of Louth man Paudie McGahon has been arrested by Spanish police on the back of an international arrest warrant, the Belfast Telegraph has learned.

The IRA figure, who comes from a well-known Belfast republican family known to Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, was detained by detectives in Spain last Wednesday.

Sources confirmed that the suspected abuser was remanded in custody and has been refused bail.

It is understood the alleged abuser will now be subjected to extradition proceedings to secure his return to the Republic of Ireland.

The decision to arrest the individual, who fled Ireland over two years ago, was taken following a request from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Dublin.

The move represents a major breakthrough in the garda investigation into IRA sex abuse and the operation of its kangaroo courts.

It was also revealed yesterday that a separate individual, who holds an influential position within Sinn Fein, is also facing charges of perverting the course of justice after he allegedly organised a clandestine IRA kangaroo court to investigate the abuse allegations made against the IRA by Mr McGahon and another man.

The revelations have plunged Sinn Fein into its most serious crisis in years and heaped further pressure on party president Gerry Adams.

It is understood the alleged rapist is also suspected of raping a 12-year-old boy in Dublin.

He comes from a well-connected Belfast family, likened by sources to "republican royalty".

The man's brother is a convicted bomber, while another brother is a prominent Sinn Fein activist.

He is one of four people named in an internal and secret Sinn Fein document which suggests that there could be up to 100 IRA abusers - and which lists details about a Sinn Fein 'inquiry' into a litany of cases involving sexual and physical abuse.

Mr McGahon and another man were allegedly raped in his own bedroom in Louth in 1992. Ten years later and at the same location, they were subjected to a kangaroo court style interrogation.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast yesterday, Mr McGahon said his life is "up and down" since he went public, and said he continues to suffer vile abuse at the hands of Sinn Fein figures.

"It's hard. It's not easy. I had some tough times over the last 18 months. I shed enough tears.

"But as I said I grew a bigger backbone than I had," Mr McGahon said.

"I have people that I know are members of Sinn Fein and they're 100% behind me.

"But you have the vile ones who will hurl abuse at you."

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