And on Tuesday night Spotlight according to today’s Sunday Independent is on a controversial case of a young woman who makes specific allegations against a named member of the IRA. According to the report a case was prepared against the man concerned but he was acquitted when seemingly at the last minute no evidence was offered at his trial.
We’ll have to watch the programme for the actual detail, but the matter is already a subject of some political controversy:
Last year, after the jailing of Gerry Adams’ brother on child abuse charges, Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin stated publicly that there had been attempts “to deal with other cases of abuse internally in the republican movement”.
Pearse Doherty, SF’s finance spokesman, insisted that this was “unfounded and untrue”, and Gerry Adams himself accused Martin of being “completely out of order” and said his claims were “a new low.”
Intriguing. Not least because this recent case managed to get to trial and then, oddly, sparked out. ‘Spotlight’ is on Tuesday, BBC One Northern Ireland and starts just after Newsline at 10.35pm.
Update from News Letter names the person making the allegation:
The programme, at 10.35pm, tells the story of what happened when the IRA learned of her allegations. With the case against her alleged abuser having collapsed earlier this year, Spotlight investigates the wider context of her claims.
Mairia Cahill grew up as republican royalty. But when she said she’d been raped by an IRA man, they subjected her to a kangaroo court.
“One thing that you don’t want to do is come to face to face with the guy who has abused you,” she said. “They told me that they were going to read my body language to see who was telling the truth.”
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