In addition to the statements from Madden and Finucane and the Sunday Tribune, Eileen Calder has passed on this statement from the Rape Crisis Centre on accusations by Sinn Fein against the Sunday Tribune. Comments are open initially, but given the legal sensibilities around this case they may be suspended without notice at our discretion. So be careful what you say!
PRESS RELEASE – STATEMENT FROM RAPE CRISIS CENTRE RE- SINN FEIN RESPONSE TO THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE.
The Rape Crisis And Sexual Abuse Centre is making the statement following allegations that Suzanne Breen and the Sunday Tribune have manipulated victims of sexual abuse.
The Rape Crisis Centre has known Suzanne Breen for over twenty years and can vouch for her honesty sincerity and courage as an investigative reporter.
She has done tremendous work in allowing survivors of rape and sexual abuse to tell their stories and has exposed cover-ups by those in power. She has always been sensitive professional and caring in her dealings with victims.
We have no reason whatsoever to believe that either Suzanne or the Sunday Tribune has manipulated any survivor of abuse.
We have spoken with Ms Cahill, grand niece of Joe Cahill (who has requested that her first name does not be printed) She is an intelligent professional woman, and she has given us her absolute assurance that it was she who contacted Suzanne Breen to bring her abuse, and the failure of the Republican Movement to deal with it appropriately to public attention.
Ms Cahill has asked us to provide her statement below, to clarify the issue.
Over the last number of weeks, I watched Aine Tyrell give a very brave and very moving account of the alleged abuse she suffered. I also watched a number of media interviews with members of Sinn Fein afterwards. I was horrified.
I thought long and hard about telling my story. It wasnt an easy decision. I had every right to do so. I was most certainly not manipulated into giving any interview. I approached the Northern Editor, Suzanne Breen, of my own accord. I wanted other victims to know they were not on their own in cases like this, and I wanted them to know it is possible to recover. I know from the response that I received subsequently from other victims, that it was the right thing to do.
During the interview, Suzanne Breen helped me feel comfortable, spent considerable time with me, and respected and supported me. She acted in a truly ethical and moral fashion. The article printed was an accurate and truthful account of what happened me.
Sinn Fein has stated that Gerry Adams refutes the allegations I made. Gerry Adams first spoke to me about my case in August 2000. I had meetings with him at which I expressed my feelings on the way I was being treated until 2006. I have no interest in attacking Gerry Adams, I have been fond of him at times in my life, he was sympathetic at times. However, I stand by my assertion that my meetings with him were pointless, because there was no resolution
Unbeknownst to the IRA and Sinn Fein, I attended counselling during a good part of their investigation, which I arranged with a counsellor who I knew to be free from republican control. Thankfully that counsellor kept notes. Those notes authenticate my account. Medical records also verify parts of the story.
Sinn Fein has said it is considering suing the Sunday Tribune. If Sinn Fein is challenging the truth of my story, let them sue me. I thank the Sunday Tribune for interviewing me in a highly sensitive way and for the support I received afterwards. To date, since my story was printed, no-one from Sinn Fein has contacted me to offer the same.
My surname is not important. It does not define me, but it does show that there was no hierarchy of victims. There seems to be however, a hierarchy when it came to perpetrators of abuse.
Ms ******* Cahill.
The Rape Crisis Centre would also like to add that we have seen copies of documents held by The Sunday Tribune and can verify that no other victim of abuse was manipulated. It would appear to the Rape Crisis Centre that survivors of rape and abuse are being manipulated, as are most of the Northern Press however, Suzanne Breen and the Sunday Tribune are not the culprits.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty