Belfast Telegraph

Mairia Cahill claims Social Services knew of abuse allegations and did not act

IRA sex abuse victim Mairia Cahill has claimed Social Services knew of her abuse allegations almost 20 years ago and did not act.

She said the organisation received an anonymous tip-off in 2000 and while a file was opened, it was closed two months later.

"I want social services to step up to the plate and explain what their actions were in relation to this," she told the BBC.

"I want to know from them why they also failed us victims."

She said she contacted the organisation before the Police Ombudsman scathing report into police actions over her claims saying she only received a thanks for her call.

The Department of Health said it would respond when officials have properly reviewed the Police Ombudsman report.

Ms Cahill, a grand-niece of prominent Belfast republican Joe Cahill, claimed she was sexually abused as a 16-year-old by Martin Morris.

As well as Ms Cahill, there were two other alleged victims in the case.

Mr Morris, who denied all wrongdoing, was later acquitted of rape and IRA membership when the case against him collapsed in 2014 after the women withdrew their evidence.

As well as delivering a scathing critique of PSNI and RUC failings, Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire noted that Sinn Fein did not act when Ms Cahill originally made her allegations to senior party figures in 1997, instead waiting for three years to suspend her alleged attacker.

She has previously alleged the republican movement's response to her abuse claims was to subject her to an IRA interrogation.

Department of Health spokesperson said: “When the Department has the opportunity to review the Police Ombudsman’s Report, we will respond appropriately.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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