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Cahill's ordeal being exploited to attack Adams

While being conferred with the James Larkin Thirst for Justice Award at the Irish Labour Party's national conference in Killarney, IRA rape victim Mairia Cahill used the occasion for yet another attack on Labour's principal opponents, Sinn Fein.

Whereas I unequivocally support Ms Cahill's demand for justice and her right to speak wherever she choose, the alacrity with which some politicians and political parties - on both sides of the border - have exploited her story, while ignoring other examples of abuse, leaves me with the impression that Ms Cahill's experience is being played out for its full political value.

By any standards, these attacks on Sinn Fein - and, in particular, its leader Gerry Adams - are bitter and incorrigible attacks on democracy.

The sheer level of malice, prejudice and political bile which has been hurled at Mr Adams and Sinn Fein in regard to the Mairia Cahill affair - enthusiastically peddled by some in the media and political arena - go far beyond accepted discourse.

TOM COOPER

Dublin

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