Maíria: Rape case left me homeless

Maíria Cahill has claimed she is now homeless and in debt as a result of going public about her claim that she was raped by an IRA member as a teenager and subjected to an IRA "kangaroo court".

In a lengthy and strongly worded statement, Ms Cahill hit out at weekend newspaper reports linking her to the political group the Republican Network for Unity as an attempt by Sinn Féin to smear her “as some sort of dangerous dissident”.

“Simply, I was abused,” said Ms Cahill. “An illegal internal investigation was conducted into that abuse. I was forced to attend a confrontation by the IRA as a traumatised 18-year-old in a room with my rapist. That is the issue. I raised it very publicly, at great personal cost to myself. I am now homeless and in debt.”

Ms Cahill acknowledged she was a member of the RNU but said the media reports detailing the extent of her involvement with the group were “inaccurate and slanted”. She said efforts to portray her as opposed to the police in the North were “ridiculous”.

“There was nothing illegal about RNU,” said Ms Cahill. “It was not involved in any armed action... My opposition to violence has been consistent throughout my life, even though some people might find this strange, when I was in Sinn Féin.”

Ms Cahill said that, since going public: “I have been attacked for doing so and have made a complaint to the gardaí. All manner of false rumour and innuendo and completely ludicrous allegations, including the fact that I supposedly had an affair with a male dissident while I was heavily pregnant (not true), enticed my rapist (not true), and had an affair with a female victim of the IRA (not true) have been peddled about.”

“All of this is designed to increase pressure on me to go away and stop publicly raising the issue of child abuse. It won’t work.”

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