'Gerry Adams told us he was the leader of IRA and Sinn Fein' - Paudie McGahon
An IRA child sex-abuse victim claims that he witnessed Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams admit to being the leader of the IRA on a number of occasions.
Paudie McGahon revealed that he heard the Louth TD making the admissions at closed republican meetings which he attended as a teenager in the 1980s and early 1990s.
And the father of three challenged Mr Adams to consent to a lie detector test if he refuted the allegations.
“Gerry Adams spends much of his time denying his past and the only way of establishing what is true or false is for him to take an independent polygraph test,” said Mr McGahon.
“I personally heard Mr Adams telling groups of die-hard republicans that he was both the leader of Sinn Féin and the IRA. I used to go to these meetings with my father from the time I was 13 – my father was a big republican sympathiser, which is why our home was being used as a safe house for IRA volunteers like the man who raped me.”
Mr McGahon (40) from Ardee, Co Louth, said that he was brought to the secret meetings because he was being “groomed” for recruitment.
The meetings took place in Louth, Monaghan, Donegal and Tallaght in west Dublin.
“I was being groomed to become a volunteer and when I was a teenager it was all
very exciting for me – I was a fully fledged republican. At that age I was starry-eyed and hugely impressed by Gerry, who everyone accepted was the overall leader. I remember every word Gerry Adams said as if it were today.
“I heard him reassure the crowd, who were all committed republicans that ‘we will take the war to the Brits and we will beat them’ and ‘I am the leader of Sinn Féin and the IRA’. They (Sinn Féin) forget just how involved I was in the organisation when I was a young teenager.
“I remember that before these closed meetings took place, people would check the place for bugs and tape up the doors and vents and windows to prevent anyone eavesdropping.
“Outside, IRA volunteers would patrol around the building to ensure that no one could get near enough to spy.”
Last March, Mr McGahon publicly revealed that he and another man had been raped by an IRA volunteer who had been hiding out at his family home in Co Louth in the early 1990s.
In 2002 he and the second victim were subjected to an IRA kangaroo court, which had been organised by Sinn Féin members and included members of the army council.
The “court” later informed the two men that their allegations had proved to be true and that the IRA man had admitted to abusing a third boy.
The victims were offered three choices: the IRA could ‘execute’ the abuser, the two men could ‘deal’ with him themselves or he could be ordered to leave the country.
Mr McGahon said the purpose of the “court” was to prevent them going to the Gardaí.