Belfast Telegraph

IRA rape victim calls for an inquiry into claim Sinn Fein tried to cover up abuse

Rape victim Paudie McGahon
Rape victim Paudie McGahon

By Paul Williams

The victims of a Belfast IRA man who raped them as children have urged a full investigation into claims that members of Sinn Fein and the IRA tried to prevent the crimes being reported to gardai.

Paudie McGahon (44) said he has decided to waive his anonymity to speak out.  This month, alleged IRA man Seamus Marley was jailed for seven years for raping two teenage boys at a "republican safe house" two decades ago.

Mr McGahon was one of the boys and told of how an IRA kangaroo court was convened in 2002 after the men first brought their abuse allegations to the attention of Louth Sinn Fein councillor Pearce McGeough.

Mr McGeough has denied involvement in the kangaroo court.

The second victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, has authorised Mr McGahon to speak publicly.

Marley (45) is a member of a prominent Belfast republican family.

A jury in Dublin's Central Criminal Court found him guilty on eight counts of sexually assaulting and raping Mr McGahon and the second man when they were boys.

The men claim that the kangaroo court was organised by Mr McGeough, a close family friend of Mr McGahon's father, and chaired by a prominent Belfast republican Padraig Wilson.

At a subsequent "hearing" the men allege that Wilson informed them that their allegations had been proven correct and offered them three alternative punishments for Marley: have him shot by the IRA; they could beat him up or, he could be exiled.

Mr McGahon said they opted for the least violent option.

"We didn't know any better at the time, we had been reared in the republican culture and there was a climate of intimidation so going to the police was just not on because you knew what could happen to you," Mr McGahon said last night.

"It was only years later we began to realise what was really going on. Sinn Fein and the IRA were keeping us quiet."

However last week the victims discovered that Marley was never exiled by the IRA and for two years after the "investigation", Marley had been working with children in Dublin.

"When we discovered that Marley had not even been exiled at the time and that he was left working with children after all that, we were sick and it just convinced us even further that we are determined this conspiracy to silence us and pervert the course of justice is fully investigated," Mr McGahon said.

When the two men made an official complaint to gardai in 2014 detectives launched two separate investigations, one focusing on the rape allegations, which were given priority, and the other on an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

It is understood the second investigation file is still open.

During Marley's trial, Mr McGeough was referred to on a number of occasions by witnesses as the person who brought the terrorist to Mr McGahon's home in the early 1990's.

In his victim impact statement, which he read out to the court after Marley's conviction, the second man described how he had called Mr McGeough to ask for help, but that after the call he knew he was on his own.

Mr McGeough has denied that he was involved in the kangaroo court and has said that he had advised Mr McGahon and the second victim to go to the gardai.

Padraig Wilson has also denied the allegations.

Previously he said he had never met Mr McGahon and described the allegations against him as "completely baseless and untrue".

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