Ms Cahill made the comments yesterday as Enda Kenny led calls for Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams to answer mounting questions about fresh abuse and cover-up claims.
Mr Adams last night said the man who had raped Mr McGahon should hand himself in to police.
The latest abuse claim centres on the rape of Mr McGahon when he was a boy in his Louth home in the early 1990s. Mr McGahon told BBC’s Spotlight programme he reported the rape to Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough in 2002. He says he was later brought before a secret IRA court. He claims no member of the Republican movement suggested he should go to gardaí until he met Sinn Féin Louth TD Arthur Morgan in 2009.
Rape victim Mairia Cahill, who says Sinn Féin covered up her abuse, said Mr McGahon’s abuser was well known.
“The man comes from a very prominent Republican family and his family have connections with Sinn Féin,” she told RTÉ.
Mr Adams and Sinn Féin now face a series of questions. These include:
Where is the rapist — also alleged to have abused a second young man — and who is he?
When did Mr Adams first become aware of Mr McGahon’s abuse and what did he do?
Are there other alleged Republican abusers and if so where are they and have gardaí been informed?
How did a safe house — where Paudie McGahon was raped — operate for IRA members?
Have Sinn Féin TDs or senators asked the leadership questions about abuse claims and, if not, why not?
Enda Kenny yesterday said immediate answers were needed: “You can’t have a situation where known paedophiles were moved around the country for political purposes and God knows how many children were in danger or are in danger as a consequence.”
Mr Adams said he knew the identity of Mr McGahon’s abuser and appealed for anyone with information to tell him. “He should hand himself in. Paudie said he wants justice, the way he should get justice should be through the law.”
Mr Adams said he became aware of the rape in 2009. He did not tell gardaí as Mr McGahon “was an adult at this time” and did not want to do that.
“I didn’t try to establish the detail of the case because it is not Sinn Féin’s responsibility to investigate historical abuse cases,” he said.
Mr Adams also said a tweet by Sinn Féin Mid-Ulster MP Francie Molloy, which dismissed Mr McGahon’s claims as rubbish, was “entirely inappropriate”.