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Yes Gerry, you were an IRA member... because my g randfather recruited you

GERRY Adams' claims that he was never a member of the IRA were ridiculed today by brave abuse victim Mairia Cahill.

Ms Cahill alleged that the Sinn Fein leader was recruited to the IRA by her grandfather and laughed off Mr Adams' constant denials that he was never involved in the terrorist organisation.

Mr Adams' future as Sinn Fein leader is under serious pressure following an extraordinary u-turn by Sinn Fein figures on the party's knowledge of the staging of 'kangaroo court' investigations into sex abuse allegations.

Both Mr Adams and Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald have been forced to admit such IRA probes took place days after the issue was highlighted by Ms Cahill.


Ms Cahill, who claims to have been raped by an IRA figure when she was aged just 16, today called on Mr Adams to step down.

"I think he is repeatedly traumatising me, he is repeatedly traumatising other victims," she said.

Ms Cahill's claims of IRA sex abuse courts were initally raised last week but were only confirmed for the first time by Mr Adams last night.

Ms McDonald even said she had been aware of IRA interference into abuse cases.

"I was aware of the background as Gerry has set it out," the Dublin TD revealed today.

But the focus has now switched back to Mr Adams' connections with the IRA after Ms Cahill alleged he was recruited to the criminal organisation by her grandfather.

"I know Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA. My grandfather recruited him into what was termed the community organisation," Ms Cahill told Newstalk this morning.

"I have family members who were also in the IRA and they laugh now when he comes on the radio and he consistently denies it," she said.

Mr Adams has repeatedly denied being a member of the terrorist organisation - despite accusations from senior politicians, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Speaking this morning, his deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald again backed Mr Adams in his claims that he was not in the IRA.

Ms Cahill strongly condemned Ms McDonald for defending Mr Adams.

"Mary Lou grew up in middle-class Dublin a world away from the IRA, and even she knows, I would imagine, the answer to that question but is still quite happy to publicly come out and defend him and say she believes him absolutely and her credibility then is tainted by default," she said.


Sinn Fein did not respond to queries by the Herald this morning.

Mr Adams has been repeatedly challenged for his constant denials of IRA leadership.

Along with senior politicians from most of the mainstream parties, Mr Adams has been accused of playing a senior role in the terrorist organisation by a raft of former Provos.

Last year, he was accused of "hiding in the Dail" to dodge questions about the IRA's murder of missing mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

Former IRA bomber Dolours Price had alleged that Mr Adams ordered her to ferry hostages, including Ms McConville, across the border to be murdered.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also challenged Mr Adams over the claims in recent weeks.

"I would love to hear you speak the truth about some elements of your past," he said in the Dail last year. "You might some day tell the truth about the tragedy and the remorse and about the compassion that should have been shown for Jean McConville.

"Maybe you might do that, Deputy Adams," he added.

The claims by Ms Cahill of Mr Adams' recruitment come just months after the TD was arrested as part of the police investigation into the murder of Jean McConville.

His arrest in May triggered a bitter political row at Stormont, with Sinn Fein accusing an "anti-peace process rump" within the police of orchestrating the detention of Adams with the aim of damaging the party.

After his release from custody, pending a report being sent to prosecutors, Mr Adams again rejected allegations made by former republican colleagues that he ordered the abduction and killing of the Belfast mother-of-ten in 1972.

Mr Adams said the allegations made against him in relation to the killing of Mrs McConville are "based almost exclusively on hearsay from unnamed alleged Boston College interviewees but mostly from Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes".


Mr Adams's arrest in connection with the Jean McConville murder came just months after he was strongly criticised over remarks he made about the murders of RUC officers Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.

Mr Adams sparked fury after he accused the two men of displaying a "laissez faire disregard" for their safety.

He further claimed that the deceased officers "seemed to think that they were immune to attack by the IRA" prior to their murders in Armagh in 1989.

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were gunned down on March 20, 1989, in south Armagh, shortly after a meeting with senior gardai in Dundalk, Co Louth.

The Smithwick report which found that there was collusion between gardai and the IRA in their deaths.