Máiría Cahill moves to reassure senators about her past ahead of vote

Seanad hopeful Máiría Cahill has contacted Government members of the Seanad to quell fears over recent controversy surrounding her past and to say she has always sought to “rise above these claims”.

Máiría Cahill moves to reassure senators about her past ahead of vote

Ms Cahill, a survivor of sex abuse, sent an email to Labour and Fine Gael senators who are eligible to vote in tomorrow’s Seanad by-election to address the allegations.

Ms Cahill, a Labour candidate, has been the subject of a number of emails to senators from independent candidate and former developer Jerry Beades, who made claims about her short-lived links to a dissident republican group in 2007.

The claims, which Labour warned could result in legal action, involve other issues.

Separately, Ms Cahill is also the subject of a civil case in Belfast today by Catherine McCartney, sister of Robert McCartney who had been beaten to death, over alleged harassment — a claim Ms Cahill has rejected.

Under by-election rules, senators will be asked to vote for a candidate to succeed Jimmy Harte, who stepped down for health reasons.

While Ms Cahill is almost certain to be elected due to the backing of Labour and Fine Gael, senator David Norris (Ind) told the Seanad they need to be discussed.

Ms Cahill was not available to the media for comment yesterday, with Labour saying she will be available after tomorrow’s court case — after votes have been cast.

However, in an email sent by Labour to Government senators on Tuesday evening, Ms Cahill said the claims should be ignored and “the most important thing, now, is to remember to cast your vote”.

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