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IRA abuse claim duo say justice system has failed them


Accusations: Mairia Cahill

Accusations: Mairia Cahill


Accusations: Mairia Cahill

Two women who say they were sexually abused by an alleged IRA member withdrew their statements because of the way the authorities in Northern Ireland dealt with the case.

The Belfast women alleged they were abused over a three-year period in the late 1990s, when they were just teenagers.

They claim the case was delayed because prosecutors gave precedence to a separate court case involving allegations made by Mairia Cahill.

Their abuse allegations are also believed to have been investigated by the IRA.

Sinn Fein vice-president Mary Lou McDonald has acknowledged Ms Cahill's alleged rapist also abused other victims.

"I have from the very, very beginning accepted Mairia Cahill's story and testimony about the awful trauma of her sexual abuse.

"I know that in the case of the person she alleges carried out this abuse, that there were other victims.

"I also know that these matters were investigated, they came to court," she said.

The two women in Belfast say they were "utterly let down by the criminal justice system".

The women, who have retained their right to anonymity, released a statement through their solicitor, outlining the background to their case and the delays they faced in bringing the matter to court.

The two women said they first reported the alleged abuse to the PSNI in January 2010.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said sex abusers moved by the IRA have not gone before the courts and are not on the sex abusers register.

Mr Kenny has challenged Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to come forward with information on the whereabouts of sex abusers.

The Taoiseach said that Gerry Adams should approach the authorities and tell them where the IRA moved abusers, as parents deserve to have their concerns put at ease.

Belfast Telegraph