Below the fold you can read the statement by Ms Cahill that was sent to the BBC last Wednesday in response to their carrying a denial of her story in the Sunday Tribune. I’ve been reluctant to post the whole thing entirely because of potential legal complications (unlike the BBC we are not indemnified against such action).
But we believe this previously unpublished account of what passed between herself and the two IRA volunteers who dealt with her be made public adds important context to a clear understanding of precisely how the IRA dealt with her and her case against one of their paramilitary colleagues. Direct reference to the names of IRA volunteers have been removed.
Ms Cahill’s Response to the BBC Story “Sinn Fein rejects mishandling of abuse claims.”
Ms Cahill has moved to both detail and reiterate how Sinn Fein and the IRA not only mishandled their forced investigation into the abuse she suffered, but also forcibly caused her further trauma by certain actions which they took, one of which was to put her into a room with the perpetrator.
‘Z’ was a direct representative from the Army Council briefed to speak to me at the time. He never on any occasion told me or my family to go to social services. [He] was the person who also directly apologised for the way in which he and others mishandled the case at the time, while at the same time making it very clear, as reported in the Sunday Tribune, that the IRA would not be running around after me.
‘Y’, who was Belfast Adjutant at the time of the case, has asserted that at no time did I wish to involve the RUC in the matter. That is not only untrue, it is defamatory. ‘Y” sat with myself and family members and instructed me that if I went to the RUC, the IRA would release the perpetrator from house arrest and that I could “bump into him at any time”.
There was a clear meaning behind this comment. ‘Y’ has also asserted that he did his best in this very serious matter. If that translates into leaving a victim severely traumatised and suicidal, after a year of enforced IRA contact with her, I would hate to see his worst efforts.
I would also like to make it clear, at no time did I voluntarily go either to the IRA or Sinn Fein seeking them to handle my abuse case. The IRA came to me and forced an investigation after a private conversation I had with another female.
I was 18 then and already traumatised by the abuse. The IRA, and members of Sinn Fein added to that trauma. One of the victims in this case was still minor when the IRA investigation re-opened. At no stage did any members of Sinn Fein or the IRA report this matter to the relevant authorities. They chose themselves to deal with the situation “in-house”.
I had no option but to provide an account to them. I wasn’t given the choice.
There were many details which I didn’t put in the public domain, because they make for horrific reading. After consultation, and yesterday’s inadequate statement from Sinn Fein who commented, I am now putting these details into the hands of my solicitor and seeking legal advice.
Rather than Sinn Fein and the IRA releasing a statement to the media rewriting history, they would do better to admit that they seriously mishandled and traumatised victims of sexual abuse, and worse, allowed perpetrators free reign to have access to other children. They owe them, and the children of Ireland that much.
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.”
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