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Sinn Féin says it 'advised victims to tell gardaí' after they sought help

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Pearse McGeough: Commended victims’ courage

Pearse McGeough: Commended victims’ courage

Pearse McGeough: Commended victims’ courage

Sinn Féin defended its actions after the victims of rapist and alleged IRA man Seamus Marley came to the party for help.

Paudie McGahon has alleged that he and another victim went to Louth councillor Pearse McGeough for help in 2002 and claimed Sinn Féin and the IRA tried to prevent them going to gardaí.

Mr McGeough has previously denied that he was involved in the kangaroo court, and said that he advised Mr McGahon and the second victim to go to gardaí.

Sinn Féin last night also insisted that the party's advice to the victims had been to report the abuse to the force.

Marley was jailed in recent weeks for seven years for the rape of Mr McGahon and another victim two decades ago. A Sinn Féin spokesperson commended the victims for their courage in bringing the abuser to justice. A statement said: "The abuser is now in jail, where he should be. We hope the victims and their families get the closure they deserve."

It added: "Sinn Féin's advice was to bring the allegations of abuse to gardaí. They are the only people who can investigate these matters."

Mr McGeough - who is running in this week's local elections - said: "The testimony of the victims in this case was harrowing. I want to commend them for their courage in pursuing this matter.

"I would urge anyone with any information relating to abuse to report that to the relevant policing or social services bodies, north and south."

Mr McGeough added that the party's advice at the time was to bring the allegations of abuse to An Garda Síochána.

"As adults, that decision was for the victims. We support their stand and commend their courage," he said.

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