Maíria Cahill gives gardaí more names of alleged abusers

Up to 30 names of alleged IRA sex offenders have now been given to gardaí, Ms Cahill claims

Maíria Cahill has said more than 30 names of alleged IRA sex offenders have now been given to gardaí.

Ms Cahill, who claims the IRA covered up and failed to report her alleged rape and sexual assault by a leading republican, said over the last five weeks many more people had contacted her with relevant information about alleged sexual abuse by members of the IRA.

In relation to the number of alleged abusers who details have been given to police, Ms Cahill said: “This week I spent quite a number of hours with the gardaí passing on information which I had received, for the second time in a month.

"We are looking at probably around four times the number of names now, that Regina Doherty said in the Dáil, that she had passed on eight names to the gardaí".


Ms Cahill said she had been contacted by other victims immediately after the BBC spotlight programme broadcast her allegations. She said it was "horrendous" people had been only confident enough to contact her on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, "but also very good that those victims did come forward" and she had "signposted them on" to both the PSNI and the gardaí and agencies could help them.

She said these were people who had similar experiences to her own “through IRA internal investigations into their sexual abuse”.

She also said some people who were not victims had come forward with information in relation to the alleged abusers.

Asked on RTE’s Saturday Night Show if she believed the abuse was “endemic”, Ms Cahill replied a lot of new information had come out about alleged IRA abuse in the last five weeks.

She compared this to the allegations of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church, where it "was ten years before the full extent was realised."

Speaking about her experience Ms Cahill said the abuse and the difficulty in being brought before the IRA inquiry affected her entrance to university.

“Something had to give. Unfortunately for me the thing that gave was university. She said she began taking sleeping pills and when one woman who had been part of the IRA inquiry apologised to her for what had happened, it had been “beyond traumatic”.

She said being an abuse victim was like being somebody’s rag doll and the IRA investigation was a similar lack of control.

Ms Cahill said she went into psychiatric care for week, and was released but ultimately attempted an overdose in 2007, which she said was “rock bottom” and had to do something particularly because she was “haunted” that other children might be at risk.

“I didn’t want other people to have to go through that”. She said she didn’t regret for a second speaking out about what had happened.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist