Maíria Cahill has denounced claims that she co-operated with an IRA "kangaroo court" investigation into her abuse.
Ms Cahill, who says she was raped by a senior IRA figure when aged 16 in 1997, alleges that she was forced to confront her attacker during the IRA inquiry, and that a letter she sent to IRA chiefs in 2000 proves that an investigation took place.
A fresh war of words erupted after solicitor Peter Madden, who represents four people Ms Cahill alleges were involved in the investigation, said the letter, included in prosecution papers for a trial against the four that did not go ahead, indicated that she co-operated with the IRA inquiry.
Ms Cahill, who insists Sinn Féin have been involved in a cover-up of sexual abuse cases, dismissed Mr Madden’s claims.
“The letter proves that there was an IRA investigation — something which Sinn Féin has denied in a public way over the last number of weeks,” she said.
“It proves that I was forced into that investigation. At that time, I was barely 19 and didn’t know what to believe. I was in complete turmoil. By the time this letter was written, I had been put through hell for almost a year.
“The letter clearly sets out my frustration at not being able to go to the RUC. I had been put through two investigations at that stage and anyone around at that time can corroborate that I was severely traumatised — but I faced them down at the point when I was clearly frustrated that they had collectively covered up for a paedophile.”
Mr Madden told RTÉ the letter implied co-operation with the IRA on Ms Cahill’s part.
“She complains about the fact that the IRA didn’t actually carry out a proper investigation [in the letter],” said Mr Madden. “She wrote to the IRA army council... and also implies that she co-operated in the investigation. She also has made a note to the IRA investigation team setting out what her allegations are. In other words, it would seem from these papers that she was co-operating with an IRA investigation.”
Mr Madden said his four clients deny membership of the IRA.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says he believes Ms Cahill was raped, but does not believe she was subjected to a “kangaroo court” and has denied he was involved in any cover-up of sexual abuse.
The Dáil is to debate the controversy involving Ms Cahill next week, after Taoiseach Enda Kenny praised her courage.
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