McGahon: TD’s letter to victim ‘a red herring’

Arthur Morgan: Advised Mr McGahon togo to gardaí with his complaint.

IRA abuse victim Paudie McGahon has described former Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan’s 2009 letter advising him to go to the gardaí with his complaint as “a red herring” and “a diversion”.

Earlier this week, Mr McGahon, 40, from Louth, revealed he was raped by a senior republican in the 1990s and was later made face a ‘kangaroo court’ in 2002. He said he first brought the allegations to Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough in 2002.

Yesterday, former Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan published a letter he wrote to Mr McGahon in April 2009 in which he said he hoped Mr McGahon would contact the Garda concerning the allegations.

In a statement, Mr Morgan said that at a previous meeting with Mr McGahon in late 2008, he advised him to go to the gardaí with his complaint.

“I first met with Mr McGahon in late 2008 when he came into my office when I was the TD for Louth. At the time I advised him to go directly to the gardaí and offered to arrange a meeting there and then,” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough said in a statement that when he was informed of the abuse allegations, he advised Mr McGahon him to go to the Gardaí and offered to accompany him.

“When Mr McGahon and another person disclosed to me that they were abused they were both adults. I advised them to go to the gardaí and offered to go with them.”

“They decided at the time not to notify the gardaí. I fully recognise that going to the authorities is huge step for victims and this was their decision to make. I fully respected that view,” he said.

However, speaking to RTÉ’s Liveline yesterday, Mr McGahon described the letter Mr Morgan sent to him after this meeting as “a red herring” and “a diversion”.

He also claimed that no member of the Republican movement told him he should go the Garda until after his 2009 meeting with Arthur Morgan.

Mr McGahon also claimed that Mr Morgan did not say to him during the 2008 meeting that he would drive him to a Garda station.

“What way would I put that — it’s a red herring, a diversion. They knew of the other victims...He [Arthur Morgan] stated on a programme today that he offered to drive me to the local superintendent. Now, that never happened,” he said.

Mr McGahon also claimed that when he went to meet Arthur Morgan to discuss his claims, he was frisked but not in the presence of the former Sinn Féin TD.

In an interview with LMFM, Mr Morgan denied that such an event occurred at his constituency office but stopped short of calling him a liar.

“I think it might be unfair to describe that as a lie. The guy, as I’ve said, was traumatised over…perhaps he was somewhere else, perhaps not, but it certainly didn’t happen at my constituency office.”

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