Cahill wants inquiry into SF sex abuse ‘cover-up’

The woman at the centre of claims that Sinn Féin and the provisional IRA covered up sexual assaults, and moved abusers over the border to avoid detection, has called for a statutory inquiry into the scandal.

Maíria Cahill said the move was needed to highlight the extent of abuse within the republican movement, adding she has already spoken with political parties supportive of the measure.

Ms Cahill, who has been at the centre of a high-profile debate over the issue since a BBC Spotlight investigation last month, said “something needs to be put in place to realise the scale” of what happened.

The Belfast woman — who alleges she was repeatedly raped by a senior IRA member throughout 1997, when she was 16 — had previously revealed she was subjected to a “kangaroo court” by the army council which forced her to confront her alleged abuser.

It has been further claimed a number of alleged abusers of other children were moved south of the border to avoid detection.

Despite initially refuting the existence of internal investigations, last month Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams admitted the unofficial inquiries took place.

“I want something tangible for victims when they come forward,” Ms Cahill told RTÉ’s The Saturday Night Show, urging that any statutory inquiry should be led by a “trusted individual”.


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