IRA rape probe is opened by Spotlight

Display of arms by the IRA on the Falls Road in 1980
Display of arms by the IRA on the Falls Road in 1980

A new BBC Spotlight programme to be broadcast on Tuesday features a woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted by a member of the IRA.

The programme, at 10.35pm, tells the story of what happened when the IRA learned of her allegations. With the case against her alleged abuser having collapsed earlier this year, Spotlight investigates the wider context of her claims.

Mairia Cahill grew up as republican royalty. But when she said she’d been raped by an IRA man, they subjected her to a kangaroo court.

“One thing that you don’t want to do is come to face to face with the guy who has abused you,” she said. “They told me that they were going to read my body language to see who was telling the truth.”