Sunday 16 December 2018

Exclusive: ‘Sinn Fein describing my abuse as “rubbish” is very hurtful’ – Paudie McGahon

Paul Williams

Paul Williams

THE man at the centre of fresh allegations of IRA child sex abuse has criticised the reaction of some members of Sinn Fein to his story.

Speaking exclusively to Independent.ie this evening, Paudie McGahon has said he has mixed feelings of “joy and sadness” at the reaction he has received after revealing that he was sexually assaulted when he was a teenager.

Sinn Fein has been left reeling after Mr McGahon’s claims that he was abused by a senior IRA figure in Gerry Adams’ Louth constituency in the early 1990s and subjected to a ‘kangaroo court’ organised by a Sinn Féin representative in 2002.

Mr McGahon had been warned that he would killed if he spoke out about the abuse which occurred at his family home when it was used as an IRA safe house.

Read more: Taoiseach and Tanaiste launch stinging attacks on Gerry Adams over his role in handling sex abuse allegations

And he has now spoken of the “sadness” he felt at the abuse he has received from Republican sympathisers across social media during the past 24 hours.

Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy has apologised “for any offence” caused by a tweet he sent last night, in which he described the abuse allegations by Mr McGahon as “rubbish”.

Mr Molloy’s tweet, which was later deleted, was sent as the Irish Independent published and the BBC broadcast Mr McGahon’s allegations.

Mr Molloy’s tweet said: “Another load of rubbish on spotlight tonight. Joint Indo bluesh.. production”.

Read more: Sinn Fein MP apologises for describing abuse allegations as 'rubbish'

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

This morning, another IRA abuse victim, Mairia Cahill called described Mr Molloy’s tweet as an “insensitive, crass and vile statement”.

And Mr McGahon has expressed his dismay at Mr Molloy's comment.

“The sad part is the cronies from Sinn Fein having such negative thoughts and the comments from Francie Molloy were very hurtful – he can apologise 24 hours a day but he can never take it back,” said Mr McGahon.

Mr McGahon has moved his wife and children out of their County Louth home for their own safety since going public.

“I have had such a weight taken off my shoulders after so many years that I am able to stand out instead of being hidden in the corner and (being told) this is not to be spoken about,” he told independent.ie.

“There is also a sense of joy for my wife who has been a rock through all of this,” he added.

Read more: ‘I cannot investigate, I will not investigate’ - Gerry Adams refuses to say whether he could locate alleged McGahon abuser

However, Mr McGahon said he has no regrets about going public.

“This is one of the things in my life that is so large that I will never ever regret coming forward.

“It is not just to help me but to help the victims who are still out there to sit down and evaluate the situation or even sit down with their parents and say: ‘Listen, see what happened him? That happened to me, what do you think I should do?’,” he added.

“I will be returning to a totally different life from what I had last Sunday when I left,” he said.

Mr Adams and other Dail deputies yesterday said they believed Paudie McGahon’s claims about being raped.

However when Mr Adams was asked repeatedly about claims of a kangaroo court he said that it would have been wrong “if” it happened in the first place.

Mr McGahon responded: “The first thing they (Sinn Fein) can do is stop using the world ‘if’ because it doesn’t exist in my mind because there are four witnesses to the kangaroo court…so they can throw the ‘if’ away.”

*More from our exclusive interview with Paudie McGahon to come

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