Rape victim Maíria Cahill has demanded Gerry Adams resign as head of Sinn Féin after he continued to brand her a liar, despite admitting republican vigilantes "investigated" cases of sexual assault.
Ms Cahill, 33, said Mr Adams’ acknowledgment of how IRA units “policed” nationalist areas of the North during the Troubles vindicated her claims that she was subjected to a “kangaroo court” by paramilitaries who forced her to confront her rapist.
The move came as Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he understood that “more cases” of alleged IRA and Sinn Féin “cover-ups” regarding sex crimes are set to come to light. In a fierce attack on the stance Sinn Féin has taken against Ms Cahill, Mr Kenny said their behaviour was “utterly despicable”.
The Taoiseach, who is set to meet Ms Cahill today, said: “I think there has been despicable, utterly despicable, conduct by Sinn Féin, to discredit Maíria Cahill over the last period.
“Is this another part of an attempt to discredit a young woman who’s telling a story from the inside, and my understanding is that there is more to follow.”
Mr Adams says he accepts that Ms Cahill was repeatedly raped by a senior IRA figure when she was 16 in 1997, but does not believe she was subjected to a subsequent “investigation” and “kangaroo court” by the IRA.
Ms Cahill said a blog post by Mr Adams, which admitted that the IRA “shot” suspected sex criminals in the past after the paramilitaries “investigated” allegations, showed she was telling the truth.
“After a week of continuously saying this, and after years of being vilified for trying to raise this issue to protect vulnerable children, Gerry Adams is finally admitting that, yes, it happened, and, yes, the IRA did carry out internal investigations into sexual abuse,” Ms Cahill told RTÉ as she called on Mr Adams to resign. “The most disgusting thing actually is that, while he admitted it happened in that blog, he is still denying it happened to me.”
Ms Cahill, who used a meeting with the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson to call for more support for abuse victims, also said Mr Adams’ repeated denial he was a member of the IRA impacted on his credibility.
“I know Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA,” Ms Cahill told Newstalk Breakfast. “My grandfather recruited him into what was termed the ‘Community Organisation’. That is a matter of record.
“I have family members who were also in the IRA who would have confirmed this.”
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said she was aware of the IRA sex crime “investigations” acknowledged by Mr Adams.
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