Mairia Cahill ‘regrets’ joining dissident Republicans

Mairia Cahill has said she “deeply regrets” joining a dissident Republican group.
Mairia Cahill ‘regrets’ joining dissident Republicans

Ms Cahill, who is expected to be elected to the Seanad today after being put forward by the Labour party, went further by distancing herself from the Republican movement.

She said: “I am the first person to say it was the wrong thing to do, I regret it deeply and I am deeply sorry for my involvement in it.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a republican anymore,” she told Philip Boucher-Hayes on Radio One’s Drivetime programme yesterday evening.

Her role in the organisation had been questioned in recent days ahead of the byelection for the Seanad position vacated by retired senator Jimmy Harte.

The 225 votes of TDs and senators will be counted this morning, however last night the returning officer and clerk of the Seanad Deirdre Lane, could not confirm how many of these votes had been cast.

The Labour candidate, who claims she was brought before a kangaroo court after she was sexually assaulted by a member of the IRA, said she had a “bad experience” of the Republican movement and no longer wants to be associated with it.

Ms Cahill, who at one stage was Republican Network for Unity (RNU) secretary, said late 2009 and early 2010 was a “very difficult point in her life” and felt isolated.

“Because of the isolation I was probably drawn to something that wasn’t good for me.

“I’m not proud of it. I think people should be allowed to move on once they take responsibility for it,” she said

Dissociating herself with the Republican movement she said: “I have very good links with the unionist community; I have worked with members of the loyalist community, the republic community and across the political spectrum.

Yesterday’s interview — which was aired after Seanad polling closed — was the first time this week Ms Cahill addressed her involvement in the group.

Earlier in the week the sister of murder victim Robert McCartney called on Labour to reflect on its decision to nominate Ms Cahill to a vacant Seanad position

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