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I won't be frightened away over my abuse, says Cahill

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Mairia Cahill outside Government Buildings. Photo: Tom Burke

Mairia Cahill outside Government Buildings. Photo: Tom Burke

Mairia Cahill outside Government Buildings. Photo: Tom Burke

Rape victim Mairia Cahill has accused members of the republican movement of actively trying to undermine her efforts to highlight the issue of sex offenders being exiled from the North.

Ms Cahill last night hit out at what she described as attempts to "frighten me to go away", adding that she will continue to expose the alleged "cover-up" of sexual abuse.

The Belfast woman was responding to the release of two letters by Breige Wright, one of four people said to have been involved in the internal IRA interrogation following her rape.

The letters, released through Madden and Finucane solicitors, appear to show that Ms Wright supported Ms Cahill in dealing with her abuse ordeal. They also illustrate that Ms Cahill was struggling to come to terms with her abuse and that she sought comfort and advice from Ms Wright.

In a statement accompanying the letters, Ms Wright claims that she has been subjected to a "media onslaught" since Ms Cahill's claims were aired on the BBC 'Spotlight' programme last month.

"There has been a deluge of inaccurate, prejudiced and selective reporting of all aspects of this case.

"Particularly, my relationship with Mairia Cahill and in terms of the support that I offered her," the statement said.

"My intent was to try to help Mairia. I believe that these letters demonstrate that Mairia accepted and valued that support," it added.

The letters were sent by Ms Cahill to Ms Wright in 2005 and 2008. Her rape is alleged to have taken place in 1997.

But in a statement to the Irish Independent, Ms Cahill said the letters "corroborate" her account of her abuse.

She added that they also illustrate she was in "turmoil" following her ordeal and that Ms Wright was present during the interrogation.

"This selective drip feeding of information without context is designed to frighten me to go away. It will not work," Ms Cahill said.

While Ms Wright was one of four people alleged to have been involved in the interrogation, all charges against her and three other individuals were dropped in May.

Separately yesterday, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was forced to defend his posting on Twitter of a poem by poet Maya Angelou.

The poem, 'Still I Rise', contains the verse: "Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise? That I dance like I have diamonds at the meeting of my thighs."

The poem itself was posted by Mr Adams last year. He said the words were those of the poet and not his.

"(The poem) was sent to me by a young family member, it's a wonderful poem," he said.

Mr Adams claimed that he himself has been the victim of a smear campaign.

Irish Independent