Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein man in Mairia Cahill probe 'took part in other inquiries'

By Paul Williams

A prominent Sinn Fein member accused of involvement in Mairia Cahill's interrogation allegedly participated in a similar probe south of the border following the rape of two young boys.

Padraic Wilson, described by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams as "decent", was named in the Dail as being actively involved in both the Cahill case and that of two brothers who were sexually abused in Co Louth.

Wilson was one of four people allegedly present when Ms Cahill was forced to come face-to-face with her rapist in a harrowing kangaroo court scenario. Charges against him and three others were later dropped.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin claimed Wilson had played a role in the internal inquiry into the "rape of brothers of Louth" as well as other cases of alleged abuse.

It emerged last night that gardai have launched an inquiry into these allegations.

During a highly charged Dail debate on the Mairia Cahill affair, Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed deep concern that IRA and Sinn Fein sex abusers are at large in communities. He said women and children in the Republic have been preyed on for years by the IRA's "undesirables and exiles".

Separately, Mr Martin claimed there was the potential for 28 victims to come forward in relation to other cases.

"I understand that as many as 28 victims are now discussing how to have the truth of what happened to them acknowledged. Many more remain scared of the power and reach of a movement which retains iron discipline."

Ms Cahill was in the visitors' gallery during the four-hour debate. The Belfast woman, raped by an alleged IRA member in 1997 aged just 16, also became embroiled in an exchange of words with Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald in the grounds of Leinster House.

Ms Cahill said she hoped the truth would be told during the debate. Ms McMcDonald replied: "Mairia, I always tell the truth".

Mr Adams, who has been under sustained pressure over the allegations, said they highlighted a time when large sections of the population did not trust or engage with the RUC. Many turned to the IRA to enforce a policing role it was ill-equipped to perform, he said, pointing out it was well known alleged criminal offenders, including sex abusers, were shot or expelled.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that some went to Britain," he added. But he denied there was any cover-up.

Meath East TD Regina Doherty also revealed she is set to hand over the names of nine alleged sex abusers suspected of being moved to the Republic by the IRA.

Quotes

"The only party that behaved shamefully was Sinn Fein. I saw some of their TDs smirking and texting on their mobile phones during a debate on child sexual abuse and a subsequent cover-up."

Mairia Cahill

"They thought so much of this Republic that they would honour their rapists, gift us their child abusers under that so-called elite republican dispensation."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Video: Adams responds to allegations

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