Maíria Cahill – A statement

The following statement has been given to many news sources including Slugger and we reproduce it here without any commentary.

Maíria Cahill
Maíria Cahill

It is very strange to see myself being described as a dissident republican, when I would not even consider myself a republican anymore.

The Irish Mail On Sunday story correctly states that I was, involved with a group going by the name “Republican Network for Unity”.  The story however, was inaccurate and slanted.  I was indeed the National Secretary of RNU – for a period of a few hours in 2010, until I resigned the position.  This can be confirmed by the former chair, Danny Mc Brearty.  I did continue to attend a series of meetings for a period of a few months.   I was opposed to “outside influences”, in what was a perfectly legal pressure group, and was extremely vocal in this regard.  Indeed, this was the reason that I left.  I am on record consistently as being opposed to illegal armed actions.  I am taking robust legal action against the people who have printed or posted this information in relation to me – it is inaccurate, and based on dubious information at worst, and at best, a mistake on a website.

I have never denied my involvement, even though I have long moved on from involvement in any political activism. I did not hide it from the BBC Spotlight makers, and have been open and upfront about all of my experiences in life.

There was nothing illegal about RNU. It was not involved in any armed action. It was a long time after I left the group, that they were publicly associated with supporting one particular grouping.  My opposition to violence has been consistent throughout my life, even, though some people might find this strange, when I was in Sinn Fein.

For Sinn Fein to attempt to use this story now to smear me as some sort of dangerous dissident is particularly objectionable considering that many of them were long standing supporters of the Provisional IRA campaign which killed most of those who died as a result of the Troubles. Gerry Adams was himself a senior leader of the IRA, and again praised the organisation very strongly in his speech in Belfast at the weekend.

I, by contrast with Mr Adams, have never been a member of any illegal organisation, and I do not support violence in any way, shape or form.

To say that I am opposed to the police in Northern Ireland is equally ridiculous. I completely support the rule of law and order, North and South.  The proof of this is that I made criminal complaints in 2007, and 2009 in relation to two matters concerning me.  I also acted to call police in my role as a community worker in Belfast – and crucially, I attended a meeting with a solicitor and a barrister in 2009 to give information in relation to a suspected republican money laundering operation in West Belfast.  I have continued to work alongside them in matters of community policing.  I did not, as has been suggested by Sinn Fein, leave the party over their stance on policing.  I left the party as a card carrying member in 2001.  I did work on three by elections in years afterwards as a favour to a friend who was within the organisation.  I continued to sit with Sinn Fein members – and with members of other political parties on various community organisations.

I have stated repeatedly that I fully respect anyone’s right to have a political opinion.  I have met every single political party on this island (with the exception of Sinn Fein) in relation to the cover up of sex abuse by Sinn Fein, and my experiences.  I have interacted with them all, and also have friends from all walks of life.  I have conducted myself with dignity, and those parties have all put politics aside in order to try and deal with the wider concerning issue of child protection.  This is the way it should be.

I have a clear, unblemished criminal record.  I have never been involved in violence, of any sort.  In fact, I campaigned alongside IRA victim Ann Travers to bring in the SPAD legislation in the Northern Assembly, which ensures that no one with a criminal record can hold a job advising any member of Government.  I am proud of my involvement in that campaign.

I don’t however support bad policing – I suspect nobody does, and I feel badly let down by the criminal justice system in relation to my recent court cases.  That does not change my stance however – all criminal activity should be reported to the police.  Full stop.

Indeed, the weeks that I was involved with RNU actually coincided with the weeks between my first interview with Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Tribune and the time I finally found the courage to report what had happened to the PSNI.

I believe that this story has been deliberately circulated by people whose only desire is to draw attention away from the fact that, when IRA/SF learned that I had been raped by a senior republican volunteer, they forced me into a brutal investigation against my will before engaging in a systematic cover up to silence me and members of my family.

Sinn Fein and those out to defend their handling of my case – and the many other cases involving the moving around of sex offenders to safe houses in the Republic and elsewhere to abuse again – are trying to paint me as some sort of dangerous Dissident with a capital D who supports criminal organisations such as Real IRA and Continuity IRA in order to tarnish my credibility. I reject all such groups root and branch and will swiftly take legal action should anyone wishing to allege or imply that I have any support for violence. I absolutely do not.

I refer to a piece that I wrote some time ago, and which is available online, in which I heavily criticised armed dissident groups.  In it I wrote, “It’s time for militant dissident republicans to wake up.  They claim to be fighting for a United Ireland, yet they are the diehards, the ones who refuse to accept that support for violence in whatever name, is a thing of the past. People just want to live their lives, and God knows its hard enough in some parts of West Belfast to do so.  They don’t want to be put at risk by a few maniacs who care more about getting a “hit”, than about improving the quality of life of those around them.  People just want to live.  Let them.”

I would not, nor could not lend my support to any illegal organisation.  It is not relevant to my own sexual abuse, nor my forced investigation into that abuse – nor my forced confrontation by the IRA into that either.

It is wrong, I have always been consistent in matters of child abuse and child protection- no person or organisation should internally investigate cases of abuse.  The proper agency for doing that is the police.  People should bring forward whatever information they have.

Likewise, my background in community work, or as a trainee counsellor, a person who worked with adults with learning disabilities, or any other professional job I have held has no bearing on what happened to me either.

Simply.  I was abused.  An illegal internal investigation was conducted into that abuse.  I was forced to attend a confrontation by the IRA as a traumatised 18 year old in a room with my rapist.

That is the issue.  I raised it very publicly, at great personal cost to myself.  I am now homeless and in debt.  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 manner of false rumour and innuendo and completely ludicrous allegations, including the fact that I supposedly had an affair with a male dissident while I was heavily pregnant (not true), enticed my rapist (not true), and had an affair with a female victim of the IRA (not true) have been peddled about.  All of this is designed to increase pressure on me to go away and stop publicly raising the issue of child abuse.

It wont work.  It is very distressing at times, and frustrating, moreso for my family – but I know that the people who matter know the truth.  And if someone wants to peddle libellous information about me, then there is little I can do to stop it being written – but I most certainly will pursue it through my solicitor, and the police.

It says more about the motivation of the peddlers of inaccurate and in most cases completely untruthful information, than it does about me.

And I won’t be silenced because of it.

Finally, I want to again thank the Irish people for the support which has helped to sustain me against the ongoing organised internet smear campaign against me conducted by Sinn Fein supporters – and I call on that party to condemn this campaign.

Maíria Cahill

  • Ulick

    Quite amusing to listen to the choir sing to each other, though the lady does protest too much. Here Firemen if you want grammatical errors pickup the Sindo some weekend, or the Irish News for that matter.

  • Dixie Elliott

    So a group she is no longer a member of tells her to go to the police who they are venomously opposed to in order to smear Gerry and SF?

    Oh and you convenently forget the number of times she says she has cooperated with the PSNI including a money laundering scam….

  • The Firemen

    The statement was emailed from Máiría’s personal email account to us (and others who can doubtless corroborate this) last night (see screenshot). The so-called ‘professionals’ commenting on this thread will doubtless have spotted the grammatical errors that remain in the statement.

    We decided (as stated in the introduction) to publish unedited and with no
    commentary (unlike others who focused in on the ‘dissident’ portion of
    the statement).

    Last week we published another unedited statement from Máiría, unedited and without comment. I know for a fact that the piece was written by Máiría with no outside interference.

    In my experience and in my view there is NO guiding hand at work here, no masterplan and no political agenda.

    The real issue here is one of (alleged) rape, sexual abuse and potential cover-up.

  • Ulick

    Oh you know for a fact and in your experience? Well that has me convinced!

  • Robin Keogh

    Dixie the Cahill saga is starting to die off already with little or no damage done to the shinners, of course we wont know that for sure until after the next election but my gut instinct believes it will just end up another failed attampt to topple GA and the SF.

  • Dixie Elliott

    So Mairia Cahill is out to topple GA and his Cult following called SF Robin?

    You really are as sad as the rest of them. I’ll give you one thing you don’t hide like a coward to abuse the victim of rape at least you use your real name.

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    I didn’t say I had faith in Diplock courts and I note you didn’t argue that evidence has been conveniently overlooked.

  • RSF32

    What a dirty little world West Belfast IRA operates in. Who forces a child through a meeting with their rapist? And tries it’s hardest to cover it up, slander the victim, and blame everyone else (though feint public ‘apoligises’ notwithstanding). Almost like they read the Church’s handbook on it. Take a good hard look at the people you are voting for.

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    It’s known as compromise.

  • Robin Keogh

    Now Dixie you know as well as I do that I am referring to the media and politcal elites who have taken advantage of Mairia’s story and manipulated her for their own selfish ends. I have no problem believing her story regarding her rape but i do have some concerns regarding the story vis a vis her inquisitors. Its a perfectly reasonable position to take and in no way insults Maria. I know from personal experience how traumatic it can be for victims of rape and abuse so don’t try personalise from pseudo moral high ground. You dont know me and I dont know you. Your insults are more reflective of an obtuse charecter flaw rather than a man who wants to engage in persuasive debate, so I suggest you save them for someone who operates down at your level of integrity.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Like what? That the PSNI claimed they had no knowledge of McCullough an ex-prisoner?

    But go ahead tell us about this evidence.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Naw it’s known as doing as you are directed Pat. Thats why McGuinness, despite being filmed by the BBC on two occasions speaking on behalf of the IRA in 1972 only ever served 1 month on remand for an IRA membership charge in Feb 1976. The Crown Prosecutor said he was instructed not to proceed with the prosecution due to insufficient evidence.

    Who instructed the Crown prosecutor in those days of Diplock Courts and Castlereagh?

    His partner in the puppet parliament spent longer inside.

  • Dina Shea

    Kind of a boring reply. There was no court case was there? Ms Cahill withdrew. Seriously, in what rape case does the prosecution NOT get the rape counselor’s notes? Huge red flag there, Pat.

    PS: The Fireman’s video covers this topic thoroughly. It’s here–GU

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed, Comrade, he could sue! This is something deployed by abusers in the media eye in England, to gag attempts to out them. It is even, I’m told anecdotally, used by the children of one recently dead political figure with a lifelong presence in the media to stop his outing, (it would defame them by association) although I find on internet threads that he has had 150 accounts of rape presented to Operation Yewtree.

    But perhaps no-one has offered Gerry the secret of this neat trick as a way out of this particular situation?

  • Jag

    It will be interesting to see the public response to SF’s position on law-and-order in the wake (as far as I can tell, the steam has gone out of the individual story though the wider issues still have momentum) of the Mairia Cahill story.

    Last weekend in the southern city of Waterford, a group/mob of between 60-200 people congregated outside a house in the city centre in which up to 30 Romanians lived. The Romanians were accused of criminality and anti social behaviour. The property was damaged, windows broken. The Gardai arrived and needed backup from neighbouring districts before the situation was brought under control.

    A number of politicians commented on the situation, all condemning the group/mob, a SF councillor and a SF senator from Waterford also commented at the weekend and yesterday. Overnight however, GA himself has issued a statement

    “I am calling on those behind these protests to desist. It is the responsibility of An Garda Siochana to investigate allegations of crime and for the justice system to determine innocence or guilt.”

    Waterford is nowhere near Louth, and as ugly as the confrontation was, nobody was injured, one person was arrested and released. Why is GA getting involved?

    Presumably it’s to try to clarify the SF position. Maybe also to address the “trial by media” aspects of the Mairia Cahill story. Maybe to put clear blue water between the barbarity of the civil war and presentday lives.

    I think SF is now in that uncertain zone and it will be interesting to see the reaction of the public and political rivals to its law-and-order positions in the coming days and weeks.

  • Niall Chapman

    I’m pretty sure being a republican means that you are anti-monarchy, so it should bar him from toasting the head of that particular neighbouring state, however he was of course doing it in the interests of compromise

  • Robin Keogh

    Really? You know that for sure. The old IRA have been accused of plenty of attrocities during their time and given the shocking history of abuse throughout the state in practically every institution and organisation it is hardly likely that they were squeeky clean on that score. But of course there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, and in the absence of evidence then there is no crime i guess.

  • mickfealty

    What an odd question. If I were, you certainly would know about it!! [But thanks for the backhanded compliment just the same.]

  • Peter Mc Evoy

    As I predicted last week,it did not take SF long to call Mairia “an enemy of the peace process”

  • marystreet

    speaking of paedos what about your old mate paddy o carrol dixie,

  • Mirrorballman

    So who knew about the letter to the honourable IRA then?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Another shinner protected by the Provos

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    and your point ?

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    He may believe that Jesus was the son of God….. Can he prove it beyond reasonable doubt ?

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    Compromise…. that’s all that needs to be said or would you prefer another 3000 people to go to an early grave ?

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    MC seems to have considerable support and legal advice…. Are you to have me believe this area was not ‘examined’ prior to bringing a case…. there may be many reasons these notes weren’t brought forward not least that they may well have had a negative impact on her case….. I don’t know but there are many possibilities that were unable to be questioned in the proper forum because the case didn’t make it to court. Here we are 3-4 months after the initial story and it has disappeared into the ether…. MC was used for political point scoring in my opinion and with very poor results.

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    “So it SHOULD bar him”…….. He is a Republican who was in the PIRA so surely he SHOULD live in the Republic…..
    You are trying to make a nonsensical point.

  • Pat Mac Murphy

    Inform yourself with the facts instead of sucking on the teat of SF opponents. There will be cases against some of these in the not too distant future

  • Dixie Elliott

    Not a bit wonder you hide behind a fake name….You are a clown who thinks a paedophile protector is a great leader….Were you on remand for something, its taken you a while to get back. Sheep worrying perhaps?

  • Dazzer Fury


  • Dazzer Fury

    Are you a RNU member too Dixie