Belfast Telegraph

Justice chief to meet IRA rape victims over probe into 'cover-up'

Abused: Paudie McGahan
Abused: Paudie McGahan

By Paul Williams

The Irish Justice Minister has agreed to meet two IRA child sex abuse survivors who claim Sinn Fein helped stage a "kangaroo court" to prevent them going to the gardai.

Paudie McGahon, who has waived his anonymity to speak out on behalf of himself and the second survivor, said they will urge Charlie Flanagan to ensure gardai conduct a thorough criminal investigation into their allegations. The meeting is due to take place on June 11.

It is claimed an IRA "court" was convened in 2002 after they first brought the abuse allegations to the attention of Louth Sinn Fein councillor Pearce McGeough.

"The consistent smug denials across the board from Sinn Fein in the past few weeks, from Mary Lou McDonald down, and what we view as contemptuous public statements from the likes of Matt Carthy is designed to undermine us the survivors of child sexual abuse," said Mr McGahon.

"We will be asking the minister to ensure that the attempts to silence us is fully investigated by the gardai and that justice is served."

The two men were raped and abused in the early 1990s by IRA member Seamus Marley, a member of a prominent Belfast republican family, in a Co Louth safe house.

Marley (45) was recently jailed for seven years after a jury in the Central Criminal Court found him guilty on eight counts of sexual assault and rape.

The men claim that the kangaroo court was organised by Mr McGeough, a close family friend of Mr McGahon's father.

Mr McGeough has consistently denied being involved in either a cover-up or kangaroo court.

In a statement issued by Mr McGeough, he said that the party's advice to the two men at the time was to bring their abuse allegations to the gardai, adding that "as adults that decision was for the victims".

The two abuse survivors have told gardai that following the "court" the IRA informed them that their "investigation" into the claims against Marley had been found to be true. They gave the men three choices of punishment: shooting, beating or expulsion from the country.

However, following Marley's recent sentencing, Mr McGahon discovered evidence that his abuser had not been expelled, but had in fact continued working with children with special needs in Dublin from 2002 onwards.

Mr McGahon and his fellow survivor have also demanded a full apology from Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy who dismissed the abuse cover up claims as "media generated" during an interview with RTE's Morning Ireland last week.

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