Belfast Telegraph

Mairia Cahill demands withdrawal of 'sick' Gerry Adams cookbook

By Gareth Cross

A woman who claims that senior IRA figures covered up her rape and forced her to face her attacker has branded a planned cookbook from former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams "sick".

Mairia Cahill, who now serves as an SDLP councillor, said that Mr Adams should withdraw plans to publish the cookbook and apologize to victims "who are continually traumatized by the IRA and Sinn Fein".

She said that Sinn Fein claim that the "interests of abuse victims are paramount" but that their actions were often to the contrary.

During a talk at the west Belfast Feile on Monday Mr Adams revealed that he was planning to publish the cookbook, and said it would include some of the best-kept secrets of the talks, which produced the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Ms Cahill was plunged into the spotlight in 2010 after she waived her right to anonymity to speak out, making allegations she had been raped by an IRA member when she was a teenager in 1997.

She further claimed that the IRA conducted its own inquiry into her account, subjecting her to interrogation and forcing her to confront her alleged attacker.

The man she accused of rape was later acquitted of criminal charges in court after Ms Cahill withdrew her evidence.

Charges were dropped against those allegedly involved in the IRA's internal inquiry.

Ms Cahill said she was also angry about the involvement of Padraic Wilson in the book plan who she says she met regarding her abuse during Feile week in August 2000.

The Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor said that the news regarding the release of the book has “caused maximum hurt to me as a victim".

"Feile Week is a particularly difficult time for as it is the most raw in terms of memories of abuse," Ms Cahill said.

"Gerry Adams and Padraic Wilson should be well aware of this as I spoke about it not only in my court evidence, but also numerous times publicly."

Ms Cahill said that both men's involvement in the book was an insult to victims.

"I separately met with both Adams and Wilson for the first time regarding my abuse during Feile Week in August 2000, at the tail end of two IRA investigations forced upon me in 1999 and 2000," she said.

"Therefore, Adams’s recent tweet announcing a cook book in which he states he has received help from Wilson, and whose smiling face appears on the cover has caused maximum hurt to me as a victim.

Branding the planned publication as “sick”, Ms Cahill said: “The only thing cooked up by Sinn Fein was how to deny the IRA's role in the illegal investigation and cover up of child sexual abuse in both jurisdictions in Ireland.”

The Belfast Telegraph has contacted Sinn Fein for a response to Ms Cahill's comments but have yet to receive a response.

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