Gerry Adams to meet woman 'raped by top republican'
SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has agreed to meet a rape victim who was the subject of an internal investigation by the IRA days after the party's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty publicly rubbished claims by Fianna Fail that such victims existed.
Last Wednesday, Liam Adams, 58, brother of the SF leader, was sentenced to 16 years for the rape of his daughter Aine when she was aged between four and nine.
After sentence was passed in Belfast, FF leader Micheal Martin revealed he was aware of similar cases covered up by the Republican movement.
"From information that we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have been a broader trend within the Republican movement," Mr Martin said.
"Just like the church, the Republican movement says the institution of the Republican movement is more important than individual victims."
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On Thursday, Mr Doherty said Mr Martin's remarks were "a new low", adding: "The claims by Micheal Martin are unfounded and untrue. It's as clear as I can make it."
Yesterday, Mr Doherty contacted the Sunday Independent to claim: "I used the phrase 'unfounded and untrue' in relation to Micheal Martin's claim that implied that Sinn Fein was akin to the Catholic Church in covering up incidents of sexual abuse."
However, the comments of Mr Doherty has prompted the victim – whose identity is known to the Sunday Independent, to offer to meet the Sinn Fein leadership.
"I was stunned," she said yesterday. "I was angry. I felt sick. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Individuals within Sinn Fein know who I am. They know I'm not a liar. Let them meet me again and tell me to my face that I'm lying."
She says the IRA subjected her to a secret investigation when she revealed that she – and others – had been raped by a senior republican.
She added: "Just as the Catholic Church eventually had to face up to what it did, Sinn Fein needs to apologise to all of those victims who they insulted this week, and they need to admit to the way in which they were treated."
In response to a request to meet with the victim, sent through the Sunday Independent, Mr Adams replied: "If the person that you have mentioned wishes to meet me I am willing to do so and suggest that person contact my office to arrange such a meeting.
"However, please make sure that this person is aware that if an allegation of sexual violence or abuse is communicated to Sinn Fein, the party will be obliged to report this information to the relevant authorities."
An offer to meet Sinn Fein vice president Mary Lou McDonald has so far gone unanswered.
EILIS O'HANLON EXCLUSIVE