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Sinn Fein man led 'internal inquiry' into the rape of two boys, Dail told

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Padraic Wilson

Padraic Wilson

PA

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A PROMINENT Sinn Fein member involved in the Mairia Cahill interrogation allegedly participated in a similar investigation into the rape of two young boys.

Padraic Wilson - described by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams as "decent" - was named in the Dail as being involved in both the Cahill case and that of two brothers sexually abused in Co Louth.

Wilson is one of the so-called 'Belfast Four' allegedly present when Ms Cahill was forced to face her rapist in a harrowing kangaroo court.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin alleged that Wilson also played a role in the inquiry into the "rape of brothers in Louth" as well as other cases of alleged abuse.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed deep concern that IRA and Sinn Fein sex abusers were at large in communities. He said women and children in the Republic had been preyed on for years by the IRA's "undesirables and exiles".

Fine Gael Meath East TD Regina Doherty said she would hand over the names of nine alleged sex abusers suspected of being moved to the Republic by the IRA. During a powerful speech by the backbencher, she said she felt "too afraid" to read the names in the Dail, but would provide the information to her local sergeant tomorrow.

Ms Doherty used Dail privilege to ask Mr Adams if "alleged abuser Martin Morris" was given cash and a car to "help him on his way" out of the North in July 2000.

One of the brothers allegedly abused by an IRA activist in Co Louth last month broke his silence in an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent.

And last night he said: "I decided to come forward and expose these people once and for all when I saw what Mairia Cahill went through. I was amazed when I read her account of the kangaroo court, because it was identical to what me and my brother experienced in 2002."

One of the brothers has previously told how following the "hearing", he and his brother were given three options for the man's punishment. The man could be killed, the brothers could "do him" or the man could be expelled from the country.

"We were traumatised over what had happened. But we are not murderers or terrorists, so we decided to go for the third option," he added.

It emerged last night that gardai have launched a major inquiry into the allegations by the Co Louth brothers.

Detectives will also investigate a possible conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and have spoken so far to four witnesses. They are now expected to speak to Padraic Wilson and other senior republicans about what they knew.

Separately, Mr Martin also claimed that there was the potential for 28 victims to come forward in relation to other cases. "I understand that as many as 28 victims are now discussing how to have the truth of what happened to them acknowledged. Many more remain scared of the power and reach of a movement which retains iron discipline," he said.

Ms Cahill was in the visitors' gallery as the four-hour debate unfolded. The Belfast woman, who was raped by an alleged IRA member in 1997 aged just 16, also exchanged words with Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald on the grounds of Leinster House. Ms Cahill said she hoped the truth would be told during the debate, to which Ms McDonald replied: "Mairia, I always tell the truth."

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Ms Cahill accused some Sinn Fein TDs of showing her disrespect during the debate.

"I saw some of their TDs smirking and texting on their mobile phones" during the debate," she said.

The issue of alleged abusers being moved to the Republic dominated the Dail debate.

Tanaiste Joan Burton recalled Ms McDonald describing the actions of the Catholic Church in relation to child sexual abuse as a "gross betrayal of generations of children" and calling for the punishment for those responsible. "I ask her to apply those same standards to Sinn Fein and the IRA," Ms Burton said.

Party president Gerry Adams said the IRA investigated rape allegations and then found Sinn Fein being accused of a "cover-up". He criticised Independent News & Media coverage, and accused the Taoiseach of abusing his office. And he said all the other parties were interested in gaining advantage for the next General Election.

He also said he and his family "deeply reject the continuous taunts and offensive commentary" about what he described as a "deeply traumatic episode in our family life". Mr Adams was referring to the sexual abuse of his niece Aine Tyrell at the hands of his brother and her own father Liam Adams.

Speaking after the debate, Ms Cahill said she felt that Mr Adams did not, in her view, tell the full truth.

Irish Independent