17 October 2014
Gerry Adams responds to remarks by Mairia Cahill
SINN FÉIN leader Gerry Adams TD has reiterated his rejection of remarks that Mairia Cahill has claimed he made to her.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Gerry Adams said:
“Allegations of rape and abuse must be treated sensitively and victims must be treated with respect. I speak from experience. I have helped and supported, and will continue to support victims of abuse.
“Some of them have come to me because of my own experience with this harrowing and traumatising issue. I will continue to work with victims of abuse.
“With regard to the allegations contained in the BBC Spotlight programme, it should be noted that the allegations of rape and abuse were brought to the court and dealt with.
“The allegation of an IRA investigation was subject to a police investigation and court case. Charges were brought against four people and all four were acquitted.
“However, if there was an IRA investigation – as Mairia has alleged – then that was totally wrong.
“I met Mairia in good faith, at the behest of her cousin and my late friend Siobhán O’Hanlon who was concerned for Mairia’s welfare. My sole reason to meet her was to help.
“I am personally horrified at the allegation that I would make the comments Mairia has attributed to me.
“That the BBC would broadcast that allegation, without any attempt at balance whatsoever, is reprehensible.
“I would never make such remarks to anyone, much less an alleged victim of abuse.
“When I learned of the allegation of abuse from Siobhán, she told me that Mairia was refusing to go to the RUC.
“Siobhán and I met with Joe Cahill, who was Mairia’s uncle. We told Joe of the allegation and asked him to speak to Mairia about reporting this to the RUC. He did so. Mairia did not want to do this at that time.
“When she did make a complaint to the police some time later, I co-operated with the police investigation.
“I am aware that Mairia spoke to a number of her friends and colleagues within Sinn Féin.
“I have spoken to those named by her and I am assured that at all times they sought to support and help Mairia. They advised on counselling, on speaking to her own family or approaching social services or the police.”
Speaking in response to further comments by Mairia Cahill at Leinster House, Gerry Adams said:
“Notwithstanding the clear differences between us about what conversations we had, I am happy to meet with Mairia Cahill if she so wishes and if it is of any help to her.”