Another IRA victim speaks out about sexual abuse

Spotlight reporter, Jennifer O'Leary interviewing Paudie McGahon
Spotlight reporter, Jennifer O'Leary interviewing Paudie McGahon

A man has come forward to claim he was raped by an IRA member, and that his abuser was allegedly exiled.

The allegations, to be aired as part of a BBC Spotlight programme on Tuesday night, bear a striking similarity to the claims of Mairia Cahill, a former Sinn Fein member.

Paudie McGahon from Co Louth will tell the show he was 17 when he was allegedly raped.

He recounted that the man allegedly told him: “Listen to me, if you ever open your mouth about this to anybody you’ll be found on the border roads”.

He said that he felt unable to reveal what had happened to a doctor or to Gardai, but in 2002 he said a local Sinn Fein representative was informed.

The IRA then conducted an internal investigation, and the show was told this resulted in the man admitting to the abuse (and to abusing others), with the IRA offering to shoot him as a result.

It is claimed that instead he was exiled to England.

On Tuesday, Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd told the BBC: “Anyone with information in relation to that matter should bring it to the guards, and if the guards have enough information, they should bring guilty parties before the courts”.

The case has strong echoes of Mairia Cahill’s claims that she was abused by an IRA man while in her teens, and that the IRA then subjected her to an internal investigation.

She had waived her right to anonymity last year to air the allegations. Her alleged rapist had earlier been cleared in court. No-one has been convicted in relation to any of the claims she raised.

The show will be broadcast BBC One Northern Ireland at 10.45pm.