Tuesday 20 August 2019

Cahill: I 'deeply regret' joining Republican group

Mairia Cahill
Mairia Cahill
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Abuse survivor Mairia Cahill says her life had gone "into a spiral" and she felt "completely isolated" from her community when she joined the Republican Network for Unity (RNU).

The Seanad candidate broke her silence on links to the group, which opposes the PSNI and Good Friday Agreement, to say she "deeply regrets" joining.

Ms Cahill, who is likely to be confirmed as a senator today, said: "I'm not proud of it. I think people should be allowed to move on once they take responsibility for it."

The Labour Party member has come under intense pressure in recent days to detail her time in the RNU, which included a brief period as secretary of the organisation, which has dissident links.

She said that late 2009, early 2010 was a "very difficult" period for her and she turned to the group, which was the "wrong thing to do" .

Ms Cahill told RTÉ's Drivetime that while she had thought she had managed to deal with her abuse, and the subsequent cover-up by the Republican movement, it resurfaced around that time.

She also found out she was pregnant and was struggling to cope. "I went into a spiral. I felt completely isolated from the community," she said.

Ms Cahill rose to the position of secretary in the RNU, but resigned after only a few hours. "I didn't have notice I would be proposed from the floor. I had a conversation with the chair and I resigned," she said.

Ms Cahill said that when she moved out of west Belfast she "started to see there was a different way of living".

Her involvement with the RNU has been criticised by her rival in the Seanad by-election Jerry Beades and the sister of murder victim Robert McCartney, Catherine.

Irish Independent

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