Belfast Telegraph

'IRA kangaroo courts': Man says he was also a victim of abuse, with story almost identical to Mairia Cahill

By Paul Williams

A man who claims he was raped by an IRA member as a teenager has revealed that he was interrogated by a 'kangaroo court' in a scenario almost identical to that described by Mairia Cahill.

The latest victim of the IRA's sex abuse cover-up scandal claimed that he and his brother were both abused by the known terrorist when he was hiding at their Co Louth home in the early 1990s.

John (not his real name) said that when they first made their allegations known in 2002 they were both interrogated by an IRA kangaroo court in the constituency where Gerry Adams is now a Sinn Fein TD.

The incident occurred two years after Mairia Cahill says she was quizzed about her rape claims in a similar style in Belfast.

Read more: Adams challenged on sex row 'exile'

'John' first told his story to this reporter in 2009 but declined to have it printed. However, he now has the courage to speak out after Ms Cahill went public with her story.

"The reason I am telling my story now is because of Mairia Cahill's bravery in coming forward," he said.

"The revelations of what happened to her are so similar to what happened to my brother and myself.

"I cannot identify myself to the public because I have to protect my wife and family and if I had gone public before this then I would have been ignored.

"Sinn Fein and the IRA would have buried me like they do anyone else who attempts to stand up to them," he added.

Ms Cahill said last night that she would be willing to meet John to discuss their stories.

"I want to thank him for sharing his experience because I think it's probably been much harder for him to do it in face of continuing denials all week," she said.

John revealed that following an IRA investigation into he and his brother's claims, he was informed that his alleged attacker had also admitted to abusing a boy at another safe house in the same county.

"They said that they believed us and that he (the IRA member) had admitted what he had done and he was being kept in custody at another house," John said.

"We were told that he could be executed and buried or he could be brought to us and we could do him ourselves. The third option was that he would be ordered to leave the country.

"We were traumatised over what had happened but we are not murderers so we decided to go for the third option," the man added.

John, whose father had strong republican connections, first brought his story to this reporter in April 2009 but at the time he decided not to have it published for fear of reprisals.

He claimed that he and his brother, who were aged 17 and 14 respectively at the time of the sexual assaults, were also "warned of the consequences" of either going to the press or making a complaint to the gardai.

Yesterday his recollection of events had not changed in any way from the unpublished 2009 interview.

The man, who is now in his late 30s, had considered breaking his silence after the IRA and Sinn Fein reneged on an offer he says they made in 2002 to provide counselling services for him and his sibling.

"My brother in particular had developed a serious alcohol problem and I contacted (a named Sinn Fein official) asking that they pay for his addiction counselling services but they refused," said John.

Correspondence between the alleged sex abuse victim and Sinn Fein corroborates his claims.

In 2009 another Sinn Fein official wrote to the man advising him to go to the gardai and offered to accompany him.

It is understood that the IRA member at the centre of these latest sex abuse claims has since defected to join the dissident republican side.

"I had been involved in the movement since I was a child but thank God I refused when my father and another Sinn Fein representative in our area suggested that I join the IRA properly when I was 16."

John said the IRA volunteer had been using their home as a safe house.

According to the victim the IRA man attacked him one night while they were sharing the same bedroom.

About eight years later his younger brother also revealed that he too had been subjected to sexual abuse and raped.

He claims that the two siblings finally confronted their father in 2002 who then brought them to meet a senior Sinn Fein official in the area where they live.

"Sinn Fein and the IRA are all the one organisation and I now know that their only concern was to cover up the truth," he said.

John said that he was summoned to a meeting in his family home a short time after they informed their father of what had happened to them.

He said that he now wants to meet Ms Cahill and tell her his story.

Further reading:

Sinn Fein junior minister Jennifer McCann's role in the spotlight at Stormont 

Three criminal cases linked to alleged rape of Mairia Cahill to be reviewed  

Slurs about family won't silence me, says IRA accuser Mairia Cahill  

Mairia Cahill says Gerry Adams was recruited into the IRA by her grandfather

Mary Lou McDonald joins Gerry Adams in admitting she knew about IRA 'sex abuse courts' 

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