Belfast Telegraph

Gardai 'set to quiz Sinn Fein man' after abuse claim

By Paul Williams

A Sinn Fein councillor in the Republic is expected to be interviewed by detectives investigating claims that two brothers were sexually abused as children by an IRA member in Co Louth.

One of the victims has told gardai how the siblings were interrogated by an IRA kangaroo court in 2002, after bringing their allegations to the attention of Councillor Pearse McGeough.

One brother has alleged that Mr McGeough contacted him and his brother individually, and arranged for them to attend the "internal inquiry".

"Pearse was in the house when we were being interviewed in a room upstairs and he sat downstairs with our two wives," he said.

The revelations will heap further pressure on the Sinn Fein hierarchy following a heated Dail debate last week where the party was accused of covering up abuse.

Mr McGeough issued a statement to his local newspaper two weeks ago in which he confirmed he was a friend of the victims' family, and that they had informed him about the abuse.

However, Mr McGeough said that he had advised the brothers to go to the gardai and make an official complaint against their attacker.

But one of the victims disputed the politician's version of events and claimed that he only advised him to go to gardai in 2009 - seven years after the original Provo investigation.

"Pearse McGeough never mentioned the guards to me or my brother when we approached him about the abuse in 2002," one victim said last night.

Security sources confirmed that gardai will also want to interview Padraic Wilson, the prominent Belfast Sinn Fein figure who featured in both the Mairia Cahill and Louth abuse cases.

It is understood that one of the brothers has identified Wilson, a former IRA leader in the Maze prison, as one of the people he met during the 2002 hearing.

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