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Gardai to quiz SF councillor over kangaroo court allegations

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Pearse McGeough

Pearse McGeough

Pearse McGeough

A SINN Fein county councillor is expected to be interviewed by detectives investigating claims that two brothers were sexually abused as children by an IRA member in Co Louth.

One of the victims has told gardai how the siblings were interrogated by an IRA kangaroo court in 2002, after bringing their allegations to the attention of Councillor Pearse McGeough.

One brother has alleged that Mr McGeough contacted him and his brother individually, and arranged for them to attend the "internal inquiry".

"Pearse was in the house when we were being interviewed in a room upstairs and he sat downstairs with our two wives," he said.

The revelations will heap further pressure on the Sinn Fein hierarchy following a heated Dail debate last week where the party was accused of covering up abuse.

Mr McGeough issued a statement to his local newspaper two weeks ago in which he confirmed he was a friend of the victims' family, and that they had informed him about the abuse.

However, Mr McGeough said that he had advised the brothers to go to the gardai and make an official complaint against their attacker.

But one of the victims has disputed the politician's version of events and claimed that he only advised him to go to gardai in 2009 - seven years after the original Provo investigation.

"Pearse McGeough never mentioned the guards to me or my brother when we approached him about the abuse in 2002," one victim told the Irish Independent last night.

Security sources confirmed gardai will also want to interview Padraic Wilson, the prominent Belfast Sinn Fein figure, who featured in both the Mairia Cahill and Louth abuse cases.

It is understood that one of the brothers has identified Wilson, a veteran IRA member, as one of the people he met during the 2002 hearing.

Wilson was described by Michael Martin in the Dail last week as playing "an active role in enforcing Provisional IRA justice" and being "close to the Northern leadership of Sinn Fein".

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The Fianna Fail leader accused Sinn Fein of going to "extraordinary lengths", including withdrawing support for policing at one point, when Wilson was arrested.

Mr Martin revealed that he had met with one of the brothers at the centre of the abuse claims in Louth.

"He told me a very harrowing tale of what happened to him and his brother," the Fianna Fail leader said.

"In 1992, as a teenager, this man was raped by a member of the Provisional IRA who was using his family's home as a safe house.

"The Provisional IRA member's use of the house was facilitated by a person who has been a Sinn Fein elected representative in Louth for over a decade."

Mr Martin added: "It was a decade later that his younger brother told him that he too had been raped by the same man. After their father contacted the local Sinn Fein representative, Pearse McGeough, in 2002, the Provisionals again commenced their sinister internal investigation procedures."

Mr McGeough has not commented on the latest developments.

But in a recent statement to the 'Dundalk Democrat' he said: "I am aware of the case of alleged abuse that has recently appeared in the press.

"I have known the family concerned for over 30 years. When I became aware of the abuse allegation I worked to support the victims. I was acutely aware that the best agency to deal with the matter were the gardai and advised the family to report the matter to the gardai. The victims disclosed the abuse when they became adults and decided not to notify the gardai. I fully recognise that going to the authorities is a huge step for victims and supported their decision."

He added: "Over the intervening period I have continued to support the family and advise them to go to the gardai."


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