Sinn Féin under fire as fresh IRA abuse claims emerge
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Sinn Féin under fire as fresh IRA abuse claims emerge

SINN Féin leader Gerry Adams has come under fire after a second alleged victim of sexual abuse at the hands of the IRA has come forward.

Co. Louth man Paudie McGahon appeared on a BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight special earlier this week, claiming he was raped by a member of the IRA in the early 1990s, while aged just 17.

The Sinn Féin president admitted finding out about the allegations in 2009 - but admits he did not go to the gardaí.

Mr McGahon, 40, eventually told his story to a Sinn Féin councillor in 2002, which elicited an IRA “kangaroo court” - a meeting which took place in the very room where he claims he suffered the abuse.

Sinn Féin’s Pearce McGeogh, who Mr McGahon says arranged the meeting, denies it took place.

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The accused IRA member was “from a well-known Republican family” and a few years older than him at that time, according to Mr McGahon.

While Mr Adams has said that he believes Mr McGahon’s claims, he has also confirmed that he did not report it to authorities when he found out. In an interview with RTÉ Radio the party leader claimed he was informed of the alleged assault in 2009, by former Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan.

“This adult who was a victim, in my opinion, of abuse didn't want to go to the gardaí,” he said.

Speaking of his ordeal, Mr McGahon told Spotlight: “He says 'listen to me, if you ever open your mouth about this to anybody you'll be found on the border roads'."

He added: “Many's a person asks me 'why didn't you go to a doctor? Why didn't you go to this? This isn't stuff that you walk into a doctor and say, 'your man raped me last night'."

His claims follow those of Maíria Cahill, a Belfast woman who last year alleged that she had been raped by an IRA member.

Ms Cahill came forward in October 2014 claiming she had been raped as a teenager by a suspected IRA member and then ordered to remain silent after a similar "kangaroo court" experience.

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Mr McGahon confirmed this week that a garda investigation is underway concerning his abuse allegation.

Meanwhile, Mr Adams has denied any knowledge of the alleged perpetrator’s current whereabouts.