Sunday 16 December 2018

'I probably would have been killed if I had spoken sooner' - Mairia Cahill

Mairia Cahill
Mairia Cahill

Niall O'Connor

Abuse victim Mairia Cahill feared for her life following her decision to speak publicly about being raped by a suspected IRA figure and her subsequent 'kangaroo-court' style interrogation.

The Belfast woman said she believes if she had made the shocking disclosures a few years earlier, she would have been killed.

Ms Cahill received an extraordinary reaction at the Labour Party national conference in Killarney at the weekend, where she was awarded the prestigious James Larkin Thirst for Justice Award.

Speaking ahead of the keynote speech by Labour leader Joan Burton, Ms Cahill pledged to continue to campaign for justice - particularly involving children.

"My journey isn't over. I will continue to do everything in my power to help highlight the situation and to try and protect children from further harm," she said.

"When I did the 'Spotlight' programme, I was convinced that I would be killed for disclosing.

"Had it been a few years earlier, I probably would have been.

"And in many ways the public nature of my case has afforded me some form of protection," she added.

Ms Cahill was raped by an alleged senior member of the IRA when she was aged just 16. She was later subjected to a kangaroo court run by four Sinn Fein activists.

Irish Independent

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