Belfast Telegraph

Mairia Cahill's anger over Gerry Adams' New York speech: Alleged rape victim slams Sinn Fein leader

By Niall O'Connor

Mairia Cahill has hit out at Gerry Adams' speech at a lavish Sinn Fein fundraiser in New York, where he joked about the coverage of her claims of rape by an alleged IRA member.

Mr Adams' supporters enjoyed fillet mignon at the upmarket Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan.

The Sinn Fein president met donors at 5pm before mingling with guests during the cocktail hour at 6pm. The event, organised by Friends of Sinn Fein USA, was attended by 650 supporters.

With tickets selling for an eyewatering $500 (£315), the evening was expected to raise £220,500.

As she continues to seek answers from Mr Adams, Ms Cahill revealed she was continuing to receive abuse after publicising her alleged rape ordeal.

"I'm loathe to dignify his comments with a response except to say that while Gerry is joking about the affair in America, his supporters are continuing to retraumatise a victim," she said.

"It shows that he continues to not treat the issue seriously and he would do better to bring information forward to the authorities." Ms Cahill is considering whether to attend next week's Dail debate on child sexual abuse. Mr Adams hit out at those who had questioned Sinn Fein over the affair.

He told supporters Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Joan Burton and Fianna Fail were prepared to employ any "dirty trick, any slander, any lie" to stem the rising tide of support for Sinn Fein in Ireland but that the "scurrilous accusations" being made against him and the party were "untrue".

"The Independent Group of Newspapers opposed our efforts at building peace 20 years ago, continues to attack us today," he told the gathering. Mr Adams said after initially condemning Michael Collins, the Independent now hailed him as a "Gandhi" figure.

"He went in, sent volunteers in to the offices, held the editor at gunpoint and destroyed the entire printing press. That's what he did. Now I can just see the headline in the Independent tomorrow. I'm obviously not advocating that," he said as the crowd laughed.

Meanwhile, a Labour TD has been warned that he and his colleagues will be "urinated on" after he criticised Mr Adams' trip to the US. Cork South-West TD Michael McCarthy said his office received threatening phone calls and emails following an interview, where he accused Sinn Fein of hypocrisy over its hosting of the Manhattan dinner.

"Sinn Fein cannot accept criticism either internally or externally," he said.

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