Adams 'personally horrified' at woman's allegation

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has again rejected Mairia Cahill's claims he met with her over an allegation she was sexually assaulted and raped by a leading republican.

Mairia says she was subjected to a 'Kangaroo Court' by the IRA who interviewed her in a room along with her alleged abuser.

Speaking on RTE Radio, Gerry Adams said: “Allegations of rape and abuse must be treated sensitively and victims must be treated with respect. I speak from experience. I have helped and supported, and will continue to support victims of abuse.

“Some of them have come to me because of own experience with this harrowing and traumatising issue. I will continue to work with victims of abuse.

“With regard to the allegations contained in the BBC Spotlight programme, it should be noted that the allegations of rape and abuse were brought to the court and dealt with."

Mairia says she was subjected to a 'Kangaroo Court' by the IRA who interviewed her in a room along with her alleged abuser.

Mr Adams said: “The allegation of an IRA investigation was subject to a police investigation and court case. Charges were brought against four people and all four were acquitted.

“However, if there was an IRA investigation, as Mairia has alleged, then that was totally wrong.

“I met Mairia in good faith, at the behest of her cousin and my late friend Siobhan O’Hanlon who was concerned for Maria’s welfare. My sole reason to meet her was to help.

“I am personally horrified at the allegation that I would make the comments Mairia has attributed to me.

“That the BBC would broadcast that allegation, without any attempt at balance whatsoever, is reprehensible.

“I would never make such remarks to anyone, much less an alleged victim of abuse.

“When I learned of the allegation of abuse from Siobhan, she told me that Mairia was refusing to go to the RUC.

“Siobhan and I met with Joe Cahill who was Mairia’s uncle. We told Joe of the allegation and asked him to speak to Mairia about reporting this to the RUC. He did so. Mairia did not want to do this at that time.

“When she did make a complaint to the police some time later, I co-operated with the police investigation.

“I am aware that Mairia spoke to a number of her friends and colleagues within Sinn Féin.

“I have spoken to those named by her and I am assured that at all times they sought to support and help Mairia. They advised on counselling, on speaking to her own family or approaching social services or the police.”

This afternoon, Ms Cahill said: "We were living in west Belfast at the time and I'm sure the journalists and the media can go back and look at Gerry's statements in relation to the RUC and the Patton reforms that were taking place around 2000 when he learned of my allegations.

"Is Gerry Adams seriously expecting the media and other people to believe that in 2000 he was advising people to go to the RUC, and particularly one from a republican family?"

In response, Mr Adams said: “Notwithstanding the clear differences between us about what conversations we had, I am happy to meet with Mairia Cahill if she so wishes and if it is of any help to her.”

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