Northern Ireland news

Police: Members of Sinn Féin 'did not co-operate' with PSNI in Máiría Cahill abuse investigation

Máiría Cahill has previously said that members of Sinn Féin interviewed in connection with an investigation into claims of abuse against her 'did not co-operate' with the PSN. Picture by Hugh Russell
John Monaghan

MEMBERS of Sinn Féin interviewed in connection with the Máiría Cahill abuse investigation 'did not co-operate' with the PSNI, a police officer has said.

The detective is quoted in the Police Ombudsman's inquiry into how Ms Cahill's case was handled by police.

The report, which was published in September, concluded that police had failed Ms Cahill and two other women who said they had been sexually abused by a senior member of the IRA when they were teenagers.

According to The Sunday Business Post, the PSNI detective told the Ombudsman's inquiry that "none of the Sinn Féin members were going to co-operate with police".

Another police officer described an interview with one group of individuals as "difficult and confrontational".

A letter from the Ombudsman to Ms Cahill also shows that a solicitor for former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams told the PSNI that a statement was all that he was prepared to provide on the subject.

In 2014, the current party leader Mary Lou McDonald described accusations by Ms Cahill that Sinn Féin members had refused to co-operate as "a falsehood" and "most unfair".

"It's most unjust to cast a slur such as that against Sinn Féin," she said.

Ms Cahill, a former senator, has called on Ms McDonald to meet her at Leinster House tomorrow when a group photo of female Oireachtas members past and present is due to be taken.

"It shows I was telling the truth... if Mary Lou McDonald wants to demonstrate proper treatment of sexual abuse victims, she will meet me on the same day," she said.

Three PSNI officers were disciplined as a result of the Ombudsman's report, while a fourth who would have faced action had already retired.

At the time of the publication of the report, Ms McDonald apologised to Ms Cahill over the party's handling of the issue when she first reported rape.

"Sinn Féin has robust procedures in place for mandatory reporting of abuse. I deeply regret that these procedures were not in place at the time of Máiría Cahill's disclosure. For this I unreservedly apologise."

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