Alleged abuse victim brands Sinn Fein leader’s apology ‘woeful’

Mairia Cahill. Pic by Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Mairia Cahill. Pic by Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A woman who was allegedly subjected to sexual abuse by a republican has slammed an apology from Sinn Fein leader Mary-Lou McDonald as “woeful”.

Mairia Cahill had demanded the apology from Mrs McDonald in the wake of a damning police watchdog probe into how her case was handled.

As well as delivering a scathing critique into police failings, Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire noted that Sinn Fein did not act when Ms Cahill originally made her allegations to senior party figures in 1997, instead waiting for three years to suspend her alleged attacker.

Ms Cahill had alleged the republican movement’s response to her claims was to subject her to an IRA interrogation.

No-one has been convicted in relation to any of the allegations.

She also accused Sinn Fein of engaging in a cover-up and waging a campaign to question her integrity ever since she waived her right to anonymity.

In response, Mrs McDonald said Sinn Fein now had “robust procedures in place” for mandatory reporting of abuse allegations.

“I deeply regret that these procedures were not in place at the time of Mairia Cahill’s disclosure,” she said.

“For this I unreservedly apologise.

“I wish Mairia Cahill every best wish for the future.”

However, writing on her Twitter account, Ms Cahill said: “The apology from MaryLou McDonald is woefully inadequate.”

She added: “It fails to : A) Admit IRA investigation; B) Admit SF cover up of abuse; C) Apologise for her and her party’s treatment of me in public.”