Belfast Telegraph

Secret document identifies Sinn Fein man who allegedly abused 13-year-old

By Daniel McConnell

A prominent Dublin Sinn Fein figure allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl who was in turn subjected to an IRA kangaroo court.

A secret document about an internal Sinn Fein "inquiry" into IRA abusers names the prominent party figure as having been accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl, who was known to him.

The shocking disclosure raises more troubling questions for Sinn Fein and its leader Gerry Adams as the party faces new accusations that it covered up child sex abuse.

The document says an internal "inquiry" was conducted by a Sinn Fein committee in 2006, and was led by four senior party figures.

In the case of the prominent Dublin figure, it is alleged by the 13-year-old that she was abused by him. This was reported to the Irish authorities by child services, who began an investigation.

However, at the same time republican figures undertook their own investigations. The document states that on hearing the allegation, "republican movement investigators" interviewed the child before she was interviewed by social services.

In this meeting, which is very similar to the kangaroo court endured by Paudie McGahon, the child maintained she was abused by the prominent Sinn Fein figure.

The author of the document states they are unaware of what the child said to child services.

But the document does state that social services were not informed of the Republican Movement interview.

The prominent figure is one of four people named in the dossier which suggests there are up to 100 IRA abusers and which records details of the "inquiry" into dozens of cases involving sexual and physical abuse.

The document, which has been raised in both the House of Commons and the Dail, says the IRA man who sexually abused Paudie McGahon also allegedly raped a 12-year-old child after being moved south of the border by the Provisional IRA.

The man is a serial abuser who carried out a litany of attacks on children while he was moved around safe houses by the republican movement, the document states. He is also alleged to have attacked two teenagers in Derry. It is believed these sex assaults took place after he raped Mr McGahon in the early 1990s.

The report states that the internal Sinn Fein committee was told of 100 members and ex-members who had allegations made against them.

These people came from all parts and were at all levels of the "Republican Movement".

Some were ordinary Sinn Fein Cumann members, others were senior. They were also members of the "Army-IRA" including those who held dual memberships in the Republican Movement.

Yesterday, Sinn Fein justice spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn denied Sinn Fein carried out investigations into abuse allegations. He also criticised so-called 'kangaroo courts' and called on anyone with information to come forward.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness challenged anyone with information to support such a claim to give it to the gardai and the PSNI. He said Sinn Fein was seeking legal advice on the allegations.

Mr McGuinness said gardai and the PSNI have the responsibility to investigate such allegations and he said Sinn Fein members with any information have a responsibility to co-operate with police investigations. Mr McGuinness said he had no reason to doubt anything Paudie McGahon had to say.

He said when somebody was the victim of abuse and came forward with their testimony that had to be taken very seriously.

However, he said people within the political process and in the media were attempting to exploit the terrible trauma that a number of victims had gone through.

Asked about a list of names of alleged abusers provided to Mr Adams in November, Mr McGuinness said it would not be unusual for people to come forward after hearing Sinn Fein leaders asking people who had information or who could assist to come forward.

Mr McGuinness said it was up to police services to investigate allegations of abuse, but it was the responsibility of Sinn Fein members and society as a whole to co-operate with the police.

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