Monday 21 October 2019

Paudie McGahon's IRA abuser raped boy in Dublin

IRA man's sex attack on boy (12) among 100 abuse cases in SF 2006 'inquiry'
Provos moved serial sex abuser to Republic after other attacks on teens in North
Abuser's family are 'Republican Royalty' who are well known to Gerry Adams

Paudie McGaho. Picture: Frank McGrath
Paudie McGaho. Picture: Frank McGrath

Maeve Sheehan, Paul Williams and Michael Browne

The IRA man who sexually abused Paudie McGahon also allegedly raped a 12-year-old child after being moved south of the Border by the Provisional IRA.

The Sunday Independent has learned the man is a serial abuser who carried out a litany of attacks on children while he was moved around safe houses by the republican movement.

A secret document about an internal Sinn Fein 'inquiry' into alleged IRA abusers has named the same man who abused Mr McGahon as the perpetrator of a horrific rape of a 12-year-old boy in Dublin. He is also alleged to have attacked two teenagers in Derry. It is believed these sex assaults took place after he raped Mr McGahon in the early 1990s.

The shocking disclosures raise more troubling questions for Sinn Fein, as the party faces a new onslaught of accusations that it covered up child sex abuse.

The party has come under intense scrutiny since Paudie McGahon revealed in the Irish Independent and on BBC's Spotlight programme last Tuesday that he was raped by the IRA man and subjected to an IRA 'kangaroo court'. He is the second victim of IRA sex abuse to go public. Mairia Cahill was the first.

Mr McGahon last night told the Sunday Independent: "I am horrified and sickened by these allegations, but cannot say I am surprised. This is the reason why I went public this week - to try and expose the full extent of the sexual abuse carried out by IRA paedophiles."

Read more: Sinn Fein is in breach of sex abuse guidelines

The Sunday Independent has learned that Mr McGahon's rapist comes from a well-connected family in Belfast that sources have described as being "republican royalty" well known to Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. His brother is a convicted bomber, while another brother is a prominent Sinn Fein activist.

He is one of four people named in the document seen by the Sunday Independent, which suggests there are up to 100 IRA abusers and which lists details about a Sinn Fein 'inquiry' into a litany of cases involving sexual and physical abuse. The document says the inquiry was conducted by an internal Sinn Fein committee in 2006, and was led by four senior Sinn Fein figures. Details from the document have been raised in both the Dail and the House of Commons

In a case that bears chilling similarities to Mr McGahon's ordeal, the document says the man raped a 12-year-old boy in a safe house in Dublin. The rapist was staying as a guest in the home of a republican sympathiser, according to the document. It was considered a "safe house for republicans and the family were respected by republican activists for their contribution to the cause".

According to the document, the victim's family discovered the abuse and reported it within the organisation. Word seeped out and republicans who knew the family were outraged.

The document states: "(The alleged rapist) immediately went on the run from the 'army' and couldn't be found. After a short while his location was given away 'to the 'Army' by his brother..."

When the rapist was caught by the 'Army', the document adds "they broke both of his legs and put him out of the country". The whole incident was hushed up by a senior Sinn Fein figure to "protect" the rapist's family.

Read more: Sinn Fein has shown it is not fit to govern - and here's the reason why

The document does not give a date for the attack on the 12-year-old, but it is believed to have occurred within the last 10 to 15 years, after Mr McGahon was raped.

The attack on the two teenagers in Derry is also alleged to have occurred after McGahon was assaulted, but before he complained to the party in 2002.

The details of this attack are not included in the document seen by the Sunday Independent, but separate sources say the rapist was living in Derry city, where he was accused of attacking two teenagers.

He had left his north Belfast home under a cloud amid similar claims of sexual abuse, according to sources. A republican insider said: "Although the IRA said it would shoot dead the rapist that would never have happened because of his family connections. It was a hollow offer."

The document names three other people apart from McGahon's alleged rapist. These include a brother of the alleged rapist, who was caught by gardai attacking his girlfriend in public. The document says he was suspended from Sinn Fein for a year over the incident.

A second man named is a republican from Belfast, who lived in Limerick, who was sanctioned by the IRA for allegedly grooming a child from a republican family. The IRA held him in custody for three months and then expelled him from the country. Security sources believe he is now in Paris.

A third man who is named in the document was a former IRA and prominent Sinn Fein member in Dublin who was alleged to have sexually abused a teenage girl.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent yesterday, Mr McGahon said: "I know that the man who raped me definitely abused two other young boys at the time - Padraic Wilson (a former IRA member he alleges conducted the 'trial') told me that himself during my appearance before his kangaroo court in 2002," he said. (Mr Wilson has denied any involvement with Mr McGahon or any inquiry.)

"I am quite prepared to publicly challenge Adams over his attempt to continue covering up this scandal that will not go away," he added.

Mr McGahon was highly critical of Gerry Adams. The Sinn Fein President last week said he believed Mr McGahon was raped, but tried to undermine his claim that the IRA held a kangaroo court following his complaint to a Sinn Fein representative in 2002. Mr McGahon made the complaint after he saw his rapist in Louth. He added: "The kangaroo court was organised by a member of Sinn Fein who is very close to Gerry Adams. They can keep dropping the word 'if' for as long as they like, but it cannot alter the truth.

"How can they say that they believe me when I say I was raped, but in the same breath begin to discredit me by claiming that 'if' a kangaroo court took place it would be 'wrong'... this is nonsense."

Read more: Eilis O'Hanlon: Chilling how Sinn Fein's next generation is willing to go along with the silence

Mr Adams last week claimed he only found out about Mr McGahon's rape in 2009, when he was briefed by former Sinn Fein Louth TD Arthur Morgan.

In response to a query from the Sunday Independent, Sinn Fein last night claimed Mr Adams only became aware of the identity of Mr McGahon's abuser recently when the party was contacted by the BBC Spotlight programme that broadcast the latest revelations.

Speaking in Belfast yesterday, Mr Adams attacked Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who earlier accused the Sinn Fein leader of being untruthful about the Paudie McGahon rape case.

"I think his remarks were despicable. I think he demeans his office…He called upon me to do something, that is go to the gardai, when he knows clearly that I've done that," he said. "His focus isn't on trying to resolve this issue."

The information in the document has been echoed in allegations made by a number of senior politicians in recent months. Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan told the Dail last week that she believed Sinn Fein and the IRA investigated 100 cases of abuse.

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty yesterday reiterated her belief that four senior Sinn Fein figures held an internal inquiry into more than 40 different cases of allegations of both physical and sexual abuse by republicans. However, Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty denied that any such inquiry took place.

The Democratic Unionist Party MP Gregory Campbell also raised information contained in the document in the House of Commons two years ago, when he said "very prominent republicans" had been involved in a Sinn Fein "committee" to investigate sexual abuse cases.

In an statement to the Sunday Independent last night, Sinn Fein said it has a rigorous child protection guidelines and that all cases of alleged abuse are passed onto the Gardai or PSNI. The party also said that Mr Adams has reported all the cases "he is aware of to Gardai", but it did not say how many cases he is aware of. Sinn Fein also said it "strongly refutes a claim made by Regina Doherty that the party has investigated cases of sexual abuse".

The statement added: "This is simply untrue. There was no inquiry. This untrue allegation is currently with the party's legal team."

Sunday Independent

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