Sinn Fein denies defector's claims officials bad-mouthed Mairia Cahill
Sinn Fein has hit out at one of its former staff members who alleges he quit the party after vile comments were made about Mairia Cahill during an internal meeting in Leinster House.
Matt Treacy, who previously worked as a parliamentary assistant for Kerry TD Martin Ferris, claims a number of former colleagues made derogatory comments about Ms Cahill after she spoke out publicly about her treatment by Sinn Fein.
Mr Treacy, who spent 10 years in Leinster House working for Mr Ferris, said the meeting took place on a Monday.
This came just days after Ms Cahill appeared on RTE to discuss her rape ordeal at the hands of an IRA man and her subsequent appearance before a so-called 'kangaroo court'.
Mr Treacy, who was a member of the IRA and spent four in Portlaoise Prison, has since quit the party and publicly claimed the treatment of Ms Cahill during the alleged meeting in Leinster House was the "final straw".
Mr Treacy said: "I'd just had enough of them.
"I think the final straw, apart from extortion, was being at a meeting where people were queuing up to call Mairia Cahill a w**** and a s***. It was like something from the Cultural Revolution, and particularly ironic as it came from people who get highly offended at sexism."
Ms Cahill sent a series of queries to Sinn Fein in recent days after Mr Treacy's claims were published in the Sunday Independent.
After the Sinn Fein Press office was contacted later, the party released a statement distancing itself from the allegations.
"These allegations are completely unfounded," the Press office said.
"Sinn Fein does not condone the use of derogatory or misogynistic language against any person under any circumstances.
"Mr Treacy never raised this issue while he was a Sinn Fein member or while he was a staff member."
It is not the first time claims that Sinn Fein diminished Ms Cahill's allegations in derogatory language have emerged.
Ms Cahill met Gerry Adams in 2000 to complain about her rape by an IRA member.
She said that at one of their sit-downs the Sinn Fein leader claimed abusers can be so manipulative that some victims "enjoy" the suffering. Mr Adams strongly denied this.