From 1 November 2014: Máiría Cahill went public with her allegations of IRA child sexual abuse and cover-up. This video and caption appeared in the Irish Independent on this date and can be seen here.
Sinn Féin deputy president Mary Lou McDonald has complained that Mairia Cahill’s child sex abuse allegations have overshadowed the suffering of other victims of her alleged abuser.
Mary Lou McDonald, then Vice President of Sinn Féin, makes comments to reporters about the Máiría Cahill case. Irish Independent’s Jason Kennedy filed this video. (begins)
Reporter: Do you believe Máiría Cahill was interrogated by the IRA about what happened to her?
McDonald: That is her stated position and I know that that is very, very vigourously contested and beyond that, beyond that, given that these matters went to court – and more to the point are subject now for review by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), John, that’s not for me to call. My main concern as regards to the allegations that have been made is that there has been an assertion that Sinn Féin is party to the cover-up of child sexual abuse – and Máiría Cahill has made that statement – she has stated that Sinn Féin is withholding information and cooperation with the police – that is absolutely untrue. Those allegations are absolutely untrue.
Reporter: Why would Máiría Cahill make up these stories?
McDonald: Listen: I don’t know and neither do you. And you’re asking me: Do I believe Máiría? Do you believe Máiría? Who believes Máiría? At the end of the day I’m not sure that that’s terribly helpful and I’m also not sure that is terribly appropriate given the fact that there is a review of these cases. In the final analysis, actually this issue isn’t about Sinn Féin. It is about, in the case of Máiría Cahill, her establishing, to her satisfaction, that she has, in fact, achieved justice. There’s a review by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in The North. There’s also an investigation by the Ombudsman, the policing Ombudsman, in The North. All of that is entirely as it should be. That’s why you have oversight mechanisms. The only place where the particular issues that Máiría raises could be decided fairly, impartially and in a way that was with the focus on justice is in a court of law. That’s the reality. And it was never appropriate. And I have to say, throughout the last number of weeks, as a woman and as a mother and as a human being I have been really, really uncomfortable and really, really alarmed to see a case such as this seized on in this manner. Bear in mind also in the specific case and allegations made against the alleged rapist of Máiría Cahill there are other complainants, other victims, of that alleged rapist and I think that there was very little consideration for them. And I also – just to say to you in terms of public response – my own phone has been very busy with people contacting me who have been victims of sexual violence and abuse – many of them very upset and many of them very angry because they don’t like politics being played with this issue. (ends)