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Adams: I will not resign over Mairia Cahill issue

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Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams

THE Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said he will not step down over the Mairia Cahill controversy.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Mr Adams also said he did not know if Ms Cahill was forced by the IRA to face her attacker.

"There is no possibility of me resigning on this issue," he insisted, after rejecting suggestions of systemic abuse in the IRA - and comparisons with the Catholic Church's handling of sex abusers.

Mr Adams said  he doesn't know where alleged sex offenders were sent when they were expelled from Northern Ireland by the IRA.

Mr Adams was speaking after two women who say they were sexually abused by an alleged IRA member say they withdrew their statements because of the way the authorities in Northern Ireland dealt with the case.

The Belfast women alleged they were abused over a three-year period in the late 1990s, when they were just teenagers.

They claim the case was delayed because prosecutors gave precedence to a separate court case, involving allegations made by Ms Cahill.

But their abuse allegations are also believed to be have been investigated by the IRA.

Sinn Fein vice-president Mary Lou McDonald has acknowledged Ms Cahill's alleged rapist also abused other victims.

"I have from the very, very beginning accepted Mairia Cahill's story and testimony about the awful trauma of her sexual abuse. I know that in the case of the person she alleges carried out this abuse, that there were other victims. I also know that these matters were investigated, they came to court," she said.

The two women in Belfast say they had been "utterly let down by the criminal justice system".

The women, who have retained their right to anonymity, released a statement through their solicitor, outlining the background to their case and the delays they faced in bringing the matter to court.

The two women said they first reported the alleged abuse to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in January 2010.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said sex abusers moved by IRA have not gone before courts and are not on the sex abusers register.

Online Editors