| 1.2°C Dublin

cahill claims haunted adams and sinn fein

THE controversy surrounding Sinn Fein's knowledge of child abuse by members of the IRA saw pressure continuing to mount on party leader, Louth TD Deputy Adams, in October.

Mr. Adams faced claims by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the republican movement had allegedly moved suspected child abusers and rapists from Northern Ireland to 'safe houses' in Louth, Donegal and Dublin.

The controversy began when Mairia Cahill, grand-niece of Provisional IRA founder Joe Cahill, accused the IRA of carrying out an internal inquiry into her allegations she was raped as a 16-year-old by a senior member of the IRA.

She said she had informed Gerry Adams of her ordeal, and accused the republican movement of covering up her alleged abuse.

The Louth TD responded in the Dail by apologising to sex abuse victims who he said were 'let down' by the IRA during the Troubles.

Ms Cahill, who revealed she had been been contacted by many more victims of abuse by members of the IRA, said Mr Adams' apology was 'not enough'.

She accused the Sinn Fein party of 'trying to discredit her at all costs,' after she went public with her allegations of rape by a senior IRA member first revealed on BBC's Spotlight programme.

In a statement, she said: That is the issue. I raised it very publicly, at great personal cost to myself.

'Nothing about this has brought me any personal benefit. I have been attacked for doing so and have made a complaint to the Gardai.'

'All of this is designed to increase pressure on me to go away and stop publicly raising the issue of child abuse.'

Meanwhile the Director of Public Prosecutions in the north confirmed he will review the three court cases linked to Ms Cahill's claims. She has welcomed the move.

The issue of IRA men suspected of abusing children in the North and were 'sent' to the South also made the headlines after it was revealed that two brothers in County Louth were sexually abused by an IRA man who was using their family home as a safe house.

The brothers alleged that they spoke to Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough about their allegations and claim they were interrogated by an IRA kangaroo court in 2002, after bringing their allegations to the attention of Cllr. McGeough. The Mid-Louth councillor has denied this was the case and said he is available to speak to Gardai at any time.