Belfast Telegraph

Fianna Fail leader calls for probe into IRA cover-up of sex abuse

Claims: Paudie McGahon
Claims: Paudie McGahon

By Kevin Doyle

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has backed calls for an independent investigation into claims Sinn Fein and the IRA sought to cover up sex abuse with a 'kangaroo court'.

Louth man Paudie McGahon and a second victim were raped as children by alleged Belfast IRA member Seamus Marley who has been jailed for seven years.

Mr McGahon (44) waived his right to anonymity to speak out about what he believes was an attempt to protect his attacker by people associated with Sinn Fein and the IRA.

He claims an IRA kangaroo court was convened in 2002 after the victims sought help from Louth Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough.

Mr McGeough denies being involved in a kangaroo court and remains a candidate in Friday's local elections in the Republic.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has suggested a commission of inquiry is needed to look into Mr McGahon's claims.

This has now been backed by the Fianna Fail leader who said Mr McGahon had been "put through hell by the Provisional movement".

"He has sought and achieved justice through the courts, and now wants an investigation into claims that Sinn Fein sought to block a Garda investigation. Who would deny him?" Mr Martin said.

Mr McGahon has also alleged that former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams knew about his accusations against Marley in 2002.

In a statement, Mr Adams said it is clear that Mr McGahon suffered "dreadful abuse".

"Sinn Fein did not try to prevent the abuse being reported to An Garda Siochana. On the contrary, Mr McGahon has acknowledged publicly that [former SF TD] Arthur Morgan advised him 'to go to the Garda and if I wanted, he or Pearse could go with me'," he said. "This is not the first time Paudie McGahon has made allegations about me. I have previously denied these and stand over that."

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