'Provos are hiding my abuser in safe house' - Paudie McGahan
Gardai still hunting sick Republican abuser who went to ground after his victim bravely spoke out
Published 17/05/2015 | 02:30
The IRA member suspected of sexually abusing Paudie McGahan and other children while hiding in Provo safe houses is being protected from the gardai by republicans, his victim believes.
Gardai investigating the allegations by Mr McGahon and a second man want to arrest the former terrorist, but have not yet been able to locate him.
The Sunday Independent understands that the Belfast IRA man went to ground in March shortly after Mr McGahon went public with his claims about the abuse and of a subsequent cover up by Sinn Fein.
He is unemployed and has been living in the Republic for several years, with addresses in Louth and Dublin.
It is understood that gardai have not ruled out the possibility that the IRA member may have left the country using a false passport.
Mr McGahon this weekend said he believes that his attacker is still being protected by the republican movement, despite claims by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams that the abuser would be handed over to the authorities.
"I firmly believe that this man is being protected by his own republicans because the movement don't want him being exposed in public because of the embarrassment," Mr McGahon told the Sunday Independent.
"He is being financially supported by these people because he has no source of income. If he has left the country with a false passport that would require a lot of planning and money as well," he added.
The father-of-three from Ardee, Co Louth also revealed he has been the victim of verbal abuse and sexually explicit insults by a number of known Sinn Fein supporters since he first went public with his allegations. Gardai interviewed one man after he hurled abuse and threats at Mr McGahon on the street on St Patrick's Day.
A number of other men have been openly hostile and made jokes about his sexual abuse in front of others.
The victim was also warned that republicans were "trying to dig dirt" about his private life in an effort to discredit him.
"The abuse has been particularly vicious and nasty, but there are a lot of decent people here in Ardee and I have a lot of friends so the abusers won't be tolerated," Mr McGahon said.
"I have been told by the most informed sources that republicans have been trying to dig dirt up to discredit me, but they can dig all they like - they won't push me into the background. I am going nowhere."
The abuse victim's revelations in the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and the BBC 'Spotlight' programme seriously damaged Sinn Fein amid a raft of accusations that the party has covered up dozens of child sex abuse cases involving IRA members during the Troubles.
Mr McGahon revealed how he and a second abuse victim were subjected to a kangaroo court in his family house in Co Louth after the men brought their allegations to Sinn Fein county councillor Pearse McGeough.
Gardai launched a major investigation into Mr McGahon's claims last year and are understood to be making progress in the case.
They are pursuing two lines of inquiry into the actual sex crimes and also a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Mr McGahon and the other victim have already made detailed statements to the gardai about the attacks and the kangaroo court which Mr McGahon claims was chaired by top Belfast Sinn Fein/IRA member Padraic Wilson.
It is understood that a number of properties have been visited by investigators, including the former McGahon family home where the IRA man was in hiding when the rapes took place in the early 1990s.
While there is no hope of forensic evidence being found, it is understood that the locations were photographed and mapped.
Sources also revealed that several people have been interviewed, including members of the McGahon family and close friends of the two men.
Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough has also given gardai a voluntary statement.
Gardai in Ardee have been providing protection to Mr McGahon and his family since his decision to go public.