George Hook, Rape Culture and the Irish Media…

Last week broadcaster George Hook made some comments during his radio show about a recent rape case that have been almost universally condemned. Although he has since apologised, his words ring hollow, not least because he apologised for causing offence rather than retracting his central thesis; that a victim is partially responsible for what happens to them if they are insufficiently careful (1). He has form for this, too, having previously argued, while discussing a case where a man routinely … Read more

The poor have chosen their poverty, only the lazy are poor, work always pays handsomely and that life is predictable if one applies oneself…

As of last Wednesday, new rules for benefits claimants have come into practice, announced back when George Osborne was Chancellor of the Exchequer. They target the most vulnerable – as per standard Conservative Party practice – including the disabled, the long-term ill and the working poor. Also in characteristic Tory fashion, the changes will hurt women and children most via the new cap on the number of children eligible for child tax credits – and there is an extra sting … Read more

The problems around an unbelievable story of rape.

UNBELIEVABLE STORY: Today I read a harrowing article about an “unbelievable story of rape”. In 2008, a young American woman reported having been raped; her foster mother was suspicious that her behaviour wasn’t befitting of someone who had gone through such an ordeal and the discrepancies in her story were noticed by the police. She knew they didn’t believe her so she changed her story. She told them she had made it all up.

“We have repeat offenders who are alive and well, and what is to be done about them?”

So Spotlight brought us another look at how Sinn Fein and the IRA handled (and continue to handle) victims of sexual abusers inside their own organisation. In a sense the witness testimony of Paudie McGahan was far less charged than that of Mairia Cahill, and in some respects less shocking. That’s probably because as the third major ‘witness’ we can now be pretty sure that Sinn Fein has an ongoing problem with the management of victims of child abuse at the hands … Read more

Abortion: a common secret holding women hostage to man-made law

I recently re-watched a documentary called Daughters of the Troubles, a piece of work from the late 1990’s produced and directed by American filmmaker Marcia Rock, and written by late Belfast author Jack Holland (more commonly known to me as Dad.) It tells the story of the Troubles and the working class communities they most affected through the lives of two women, Catholic Geraldine O’Regan, and Protestant May Blood, who not only coped with the violence around them, but actively … Read more

Mairia Cahill honoured with James Larkin award

UPDATED – WITH VIDEO Mairia Cahill was last night presented with the ‘Larkin Thirst for Justice Award’ at the Labour Party’s National Conference in Killarney. The award, named after the trade union leader and founder member of the Labour Party James Larkin, is awarded to a person who, in their personal and/or professional life has made an outstanding contribution in the area of human rights and justice. Speaking at the INEC in Killarney minutes before Joan Burton’s keynote address Ms. … Read more

Maíria Cahill – A statement

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

Sinn Fein’s contradictory stance between moral certitude of the Provisionals and its modern promises to Ireland

In 1997 Ray Burke informed RTE after his hour long session in the Dail that ‘the line is in the sand, from this day on this is D day, I move on’. Within a month he resigned as Minister for Foreign Affairs following an allegation of corruption which led to the setting up of what became the Flood Tribunal. Burke was jailed for tax fraud in 2004. By contrast the retribution of the state seems to hold little fear for Sinn Fein, in the sense … Read more

Mairia Cahill: Uncomfortable truths for Sinn Fein

Tonight we received this EXCLUSIVE STATEMENT from Maíria Cahill: Let us all remind ourselves of what Sinn Fein’s position was when the party spokesperson Pearse Doherty was asked repeatedly outside Leinster house about Micheal Martin’s assertion that the IRA dealt internally with cases of abuse. “Unfounded and untrue, its as clear as I can make it”. That sounds like a denial to me. On Thursday Dessie Ellis, and again tonight, Gerry Adams confirmed that the IRA did indeed internally investigate … Read more

Maíria Cahill: “Issue transcends petty politics to put the safety of children first”

Maíria Cahill who claims she was raped as a teenager by a man believed to be a member of the IRA and later “interrogated” by the IRA about the incident, appeared on RTE Six One News last night to further clarify allegations of a cover up by Sinn Féin and suggested sexual abuse was more widespread than she originally feared. She claimed her situation is not an isolated case and appealed on the show for members of Sinn Féin who … Read more

Cahill demands full disclosure from Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein

If you missed it, it is well worth watching Mairia Cahill on Vincent Browne last night… It’s an extraordinarily well conducted interview by Browne who stays focused the whole way through. Ms Cahill seems to start pretty nervously which provoked a few (mercifully few) Twitter to talk about doubting her story. Other still questioned the timing of these revelations, still measuring this all as a deliberate political attack on an emergent Sinn Fein. On one level the answer is pretty simple. … Read more

#CahillScandal: Are we validating rape as normal pyschosexual behaviour?

Ed Moloney correctly notes that what Mairia Cahill outlined on Tuesday night’s Spotlight was (and remains) a scandal. If you doubt it, ask yourself why up to 13 individuals tried and failed at the High Court to have their names removed from the programme? The picture painted by Cahill is of Sinn Fein corporately acting on the orders of the IRA: that much fabled and little talked about Movement to cover up multiple rape.  Moloney also suggests the possibility that the PSNI colluded with former Provisionals … Read more

Gerry Adams’ ‘delinquent’ story on the Cahill case?

UPDATED Alleged ‘abuse’ victim Maíria Cahill took to Twitter to reject a statement issued by Gerry Adams via the Sinn Féin website. Adams was reacting to allegations made on BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight: In his statement Adams said: In the Spotlight programme, broadcast last night, Mairia Cahill made an accusation relating to a meeting with myself. I totally refute the allegations Mairia made about our conversation. I met Mairia in good faith, at the behest of her cousin and my … Read more

#SpotlightNI: Rape made known to former west Belfast MLA and kept within Sinn Fein

It’s hard to know what to say about tonight’s Spotlight programme, except to recall that the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung who once noted that the possession of secrets acts like a poison which alienates their possessor from the community. It was the public confession of Aine Adams in late 2009 that finally persuaded Mairia Cahill to try unburden herself of a secret she had been carrying since she was just 16 years old. The details are clearly still distressing for her to … Read more

Micheal Martin claims Sinn Fein’s cover up of sexual abuse goes beyond the Adams case

And on the day Liam Adams was sentenced to 16 years for the child rape of his daughter, and Gerry Adams odd insouciance on the matter of what he actually did in response to finding out over 20 years ago, this from Sinn Fein… Ms McDonald is furious (apparently) with Micheal Martin for claiming that: From information we have picked up, and we have talked to other people, this may have been a broader trend in the republican movement. Just … Read more

Gerry Adams relying on some extremely fine distinctions in law to get past the AG?

Gerry Moriarty in the Irish Times yesterday notes the inconsistency of Gerry Adams various stories in relation to what he knew about his brothers abuse of his daughter and when. There are two versions of the truth at play. What Gerry says he knew (and when) and what Aine and her mother say he was told (and when). Here’s some highlights from Moriarty: It emerged during both the collapsed and completed trials that as far back as 1987 Adams was … Read more

“All tender and effeminate notions must be stilled by a cold and single-blooded passion.”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Eilis O’Hanlon has written an impressively controlled piece on how Sinn Fein and its wider Republican movement (the organisation formerly known as the IRA) have managed to subordinate the natural bonds of human feeling to the furtherance of ‘the cause’. A dissenting scion of the Cahill family, she begins with her experience of going to her mother’s funeral last Autumn in the literal and metaphorical heart of Republican west Belfast: Most of those individuals who attended my … Read more

Ms Cahill: “The IRA came to me and forced an investigation…”

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 … Read more