Sunday 16 December 2018

Gardai follow up new leads on Paudie 'rapist'

Paudie McGahon
Paudie McGahon

PAUDIE McGahon's account of rape and inquisition at the hands of the IRA, which he revealed on BBC's Spotlight a fortnight ago, has generated several leads for the national Garda unit leading the investigation into in excess of 30 allegations of sexual abuse within the republican movement.

The Sunday Independent has learnt that one person has come forward through an intermediary with information relating to the IRA man who allegedly raped Paudie McGahon. It's not clear whether the information relates to fresh abuse allegations.

Contact was made with the Garda's domestic violence and sexual assault unit through a Sinn Fein representative in the past fortnight and the meeting is expected to take place imminently.

Informed sources said detectives don't know what information to expect until the meeting happens. Garda sources said that the force's domestic violence and sexual assault unit has been receiving information from numerous sources about alleged abusers within the republican movement.

Mr McGahon's alleged rapist is a suspected serial child abuser, who is linked to at least two more incidents of rape and assault, in North Ireland and in Dublin.

Originally from Belfast, he was moved across the border, where he lived for a time in Galway and later in Louth, staying in various "safe houses".

It is understood that he has not been interviewed by gardai investigating Mr McGahon's allegations of abuse, but according to sources, he was seen in the border counties several months ago.

Paudie McGahon said the IRA man was using his family home as "safe house" when he raped him in the early 1990s when he was 17 years old. He left his home shortly afterwards.

He told a Sinn Fein councillor, Pearse McGeough, about the abuse in 2002, and a short time later, he and another victim were asked to attend a kangaroo IRA court in their own home and his alleged abuser was ordered to leave the country.

He later told Arthur Morgan, then a Sinn Fein TD for Louth, who in turn told Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader.

Mr McGahon decided to report the abuse to gardai late last year, after Mairia Cahill went public with her story of rape by an IRA man and of later being subjected to a kangaroo court.

Mr Adams has said he did not know the details of Mr McGahon's case, and did not know who his alleged rapist was until his name appeared on a list of alleged abusers sent to Mr Adams last year.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News