Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein MP Molloy 'must apologise in person to McGahon over offensive tweet'

By Chris Kilpatrick

A Sinn Fein MP has been told to apologise in person to an alleged victim of IRA sex abuse after dismissing his claims as nonsense.

Paudie McGahon (40) alleges he was raped as a 17-year-old by a well-known IRA member when his family home in Co Louth was being used as a safe house for on-the-run terrorists.

He also claims he was subjected to a IRA kangaroo court after telling a Sinn Fein representative about the alleged abuse in 2002.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said he believed Mr McGahon was raped.

As Mr McGahon's claims were being screened by BBC's Spotlight, Mid Ulster Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy tweeted: "Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight. Joint Indo bluesh... production".

Another alleged IRA abuse victim, Mairia Cahill, described Mr Molloy's tweet as an "insensitive, crass and vile statement".

The tweet was later deleted and yesterday morning Sinn Fein issued in a statement, apologising on behalf of Mr Molloy.

He said: "I apologise for any offence my post caused to Paudie McGahon or any victim of abuse.

"I hope that justice is served and the appropriate support delivered to Mr McGahon." Mr Molloy added: "Sinn Fein's priority is to support victims of abuse whether that abuse is historical or contemporary and we will support victims in their efforts to get truth and justice.

"There is a currently a Garda investigation into these allegations. These matters are best dealt with in the justice system rather than trial by television and it is my hope that justice will be done."

But Mr Molloy has been told he should personally apologise to Mr McGahon.

Ulster Unionist MLA and the party's justice spokesman, Tom Elliott, said: "Given that Gerry Adams said this morning on RTE that he believes Mr McGahon, there is a clear responsibility on Gerry Adams to ensure Francie Molloy publicly apologises to Mr McGahon.

"Claiming, as Mr Molloy has now done, that the tweet was 'no reflection on anyone in the programme or on anyone who has been the victim of abuse' is simply not credible nor an adequate apology.

"It is now clear that the culture of secrecy, violence and fear that runs through the DNA of the so-called republican movement, ensured that sex abusers could carry out their evil deeds and go unpunished."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph