Mary Lou McDonald & Máiría Cahill

Sinn Fein Vice President Mary Lou McDonald has difficulty believing Máiría Cahill's account of her meeting with Gerry Adams ­where she raised the matter of her rape at the hands of an IRA member. Mary Lou, it would seem, is ready to buy into the suggestion that Gerry only met with Máiría so that he could introduce her to his toys. Despite the very demanding schedule imposed on him by the imperatives of the peace process, meeting world leaders and such like, he found time to bring Máiría, Tom, Ted and Rubber Ducky together for a run around the mulberry bush.

In the same breath McDonald has no difficulty in believing Gerry Adams’ account of never having been a member of the IRA. This much at least was confirmed by the interview she gave to Ivan Yeats this morning on Newstalk. Yeats knew he had nailed her, collected his bookies winnings and left, not before stating that for such an intelligent, articulate woman, McDonald was given to a large amount of blind faith. Gerry Adams, old lady killer that he is, certainly has worked his considerable charm on her.

Máiría Cahill is now the second woman rape victim to have accused Adams of gross impropriety in the handling of rape cases, the first being his own niece Aine Tyrell. Yeats put it to McDonald that in her attempt to buttress the narrative of her party leader she was in fact demonising Cahill. 

As a woman with an ostensibly strong feminist inclination Mary Lou McDonald might be expected to show empathy with another woman who she believes was raped by a member of the IRA. Instead she is reinforcing the brazen dissembling of the man who was on the army council of the IRA at the time Máiría Cahill was raped by one of his subordinates. As a member of the army council the individual finger print of Gerry Adams formed an integral part of the collective hand of the army council which specified the terms of reference governing how IRA justice was both processed and administered. The imprimatur of the army council was on the IRA’s internal adjudication of the rape claim made by Cahill. What McDonald goes into denial about is that Adams cannot plausibly castigate the IRA as behaving wrongly in its handling of the Cahill case without explaining that the IRA merely handled it within the guidelines set out by Adams and the army council.

That army council might well be a thing of the past given that the IRA’s war is long over, but the organisational methodology of war is still at play including the observation of the rule of war that the first casualty must be truth. Despite its influx of post-war activists Sinn Fein seeks to continue to function as the totalitarian entity it was during the war years when much of its authoritarianism could be explained away on the grounds of military exigency. Mary Lou McDonald has acquiesced in this, apparently guided by the ethos of unquestioning obedience to the leader, no matter how unsustainable his assertions.

By allowing herself to be incorporated into the organised lying of the party, the subliminal message being transmitted by McDonald to Irish society is this: a party that lies so much in its pursuit of office will surely lie just as much to retain office. Any government with Sinn Fein as an integral component would become an impenetrable fog where every means would be used to curb media scrutiny much like Gerry Adams has sought to curb the Independent News Group who looked too closely at Mr Adams’ record in regards to allegations of covering up child rape. 

Mary Lou McDonald has a duty of care to rape victims and a duty of candour to society. But she has waived her obligations out of a duty of deception to her party leader Gerry Adams. If she continues in the same track she really will affirm the definition of a demagogue as a person who preaches what he knows is untrue to women he suspects of being idiots, capable of ingesting any old mush.


  1. The reality is that there was so many dark dirty goings on that happened involving those in the republican movement - bullying, grooming and murder amongst them...... they attempted to control and dominate an entire populace for generations under the auspice of defending them .....
    It however does not and will never surprise me the level to which Adams and all his sycophantic followers will go to in their desperate need to revise history.

    and finally thon fucking imbecile marylou - well i am not going to put into print what i would like to do ....... let's just say shitting teeth may be involved. So much for female solidarity or even empathy .....

  2. Was this woman's acclaimed rapist found not guilty of being a rapist? There's more than one pig rolling around in this muck but Adams in this case has most of it stuck to him...but not to seem to defend the wretch, I think there is an unprecedented media attention, no doubt spurred on by the political parties in the South as they are so close to the general election. Also, seeing as the Dark Hughes knew about Mrs McConville, I'm sure our modern day deity was fully aware of the actions of his co volunteers and yet I can't for the life of me recall his protestations...

  3. Good to se you are still your usual grumpy self Niall! Missed your take here. Were you hibernating on us?

  4. Anthony,

    'In the same breath McDonald has no difficulty in believing Gerry Adams’ account of never having been a member of the IRA.'

    It occured to me that Ronald isn't the only McDonald in a clown outfit being utilised by a private enterprise to sell goods that are less than wholesome.

  5. I commented on the Cahill case in yesterday's Irish News letters - horrific was the main word I used.

  6. Barry, while I agree with much of your letter to the Irish News I wondered about your use of the word Omertá. It is usually employed by Unionists and anti-Republicans as a cheap jibe at the IRA to equate them with the criminal Italian Mafia.

    Another nit to pick was the emphasis on cover-up. Do you refer to not going to the police as cover-up or to something more sinister like facilitating a rapist, protecting him from investigation and allowing a crime to go unpunished?

    I feel Republicans can't morally argue against the premise that victims of non-political crimes should be encouraged and should have been encouraged to go to the police and any perpetrators of such crimes should bear the bulk of responsibility for any arrests related to political offences flowing from that.

    I understand Republicans on the other hand feared the police would use the victims to thwart politically inspired individuals and actions.

    Aine Tyrrell explained how when she originally went to the police they were more interested in the IRA than her case itself. Today we see the alleged rapist in the Cahill case not being pursued but the alleged Republican investigators being prosecuted. I am not saying that the prosecutions are wrong but it demonstrates where the authorities' interests lie.

    During the Troubles the RUC were involved in collusion, shoot to kill and were using plastic bullets on children. To suggest they were less partial than those of today is an understatement. That gap in relationship led to the policy of not going to the police.

    This particular incident happened during a period of change in Republicanism and although I agree that it was "horrific" the best police forces in the world make awful mistakes and the internal investigations by an organisation unskilled, unprepared and untrained was always going to give rise to bigger mistakes.

    To understand the enormity of the mess victims find themselves in we have to remember that people don't magically stop having the potential to sexually abuse once they join the IRA so proportionately there must be similar percentages of that organisation as there are sex offenders in wider society. Extrapolate that and the investigations that may or may not even have taken place you can see the enormity of the problem.

    The Troubles was a lonely, horrific, unjust place for the victim of abuse.

    You can't solve that problem by tackling a few individuals. There needs to be a greater, balanced, fairer and all encompassing solution. A truth commission is the way to go.

  7. @ Niall charges were dropped against the alleged rapist because The victim withdrew her evidence ( this happens a lot in sexual and domestic abuse victims ).
    I can only imagine the pressures she was placed under.

  8. Barry,

    if you wish we can republish your letter.


    nice to see you commenting.


    I am not sure your comment on omerta is right in that it is only used to compare the IRA with the mafia in the way that godfathers was once used. I think omerta conjures an image of a powerful hierarchically imposed and fear induced silence. In my view the omerta code was being pressed home by SF in the wake of the Adams arrest.

  9. AM, I have seen the word Omerá used many times always by Unionists and anti-Republicans. This is the first time I have seen it been used by Republicans. Twice in one day so maybe a precedent has been set.

    "I think omerta conjures an image of a powerful hierarchically imposed and fear induced silence."

    Your description of Omertá demonstrates it's use for an emotionally charged effect just like the term Godfathers although that was originally a Mario Puzo term (I think) rather than a term traditionally used in Italy. So in this sense Omertá is a term more directly linked with Mafiosi.

    Godfathers is still being used today although more so by the fringes of Unionism and the odd columnist.

  10. Simon,

    this I think will demonstrate that it is not a term recently employed by republicans in respect of SF. I am sure I could find more if I went on the hunt but I guess you will accept my point.

  11. AM, I accept your point that it has been used before, I wasn't aware of that. However, I remain unconvinced that it has only been used to attack Sinn Fein. It was an IRA investigation Barry was referring to.

    I also remain unconvinced that it is not being used to liken Republicans of whatever hue to the Mafia. Why use a name almost entirely associated with the Mafia?

    If it is down purely to the definition then you could argue "godfathers" is just as correct a term.

    Do you have any examples of Republicans using the term "Omertá" pre-ceasefire or pre-Good Friday Agreement? I am not trying to nit-pick I am genuinely interested.

  12. Simon,
    I appreciate your comments. My use of the word omertà was definitely not used in the criminality context or comparison to which you refer to. I am not anti-republican and certainly not a unionist. My opinions are based on what I see as a very mishandled case and the abandonment of sensitivities to protect other senior people and a political organisation. The code of silence relates to those who are loyal to the powers that be. I believe that in this particular case core republican principles which I also referred to were abandoned. Gerry Adams or Mairia Cahill are contemptible liars - we will have to wait and see what happens. I didn't have another term that I could use at the time - one of those things - but then again I am not an expert on spin and doublespeak. I sincerely hope that justice prevails

  13. Simon,

    I know you are genuinely interested.

    Offhand I can't think of when its usage started. But it does seem to me to be a very apt term to describe the type of silence that was being imposed and is not necessarily suggestive of the mafia although I am sure it has been used for that. Post 98 the Provos were being referred to as the raffia in some quarters because of the involvement in money but no war. In that context omerta would have a more mafia inflexion.

    But it has been used to describe the behaviour of the Catholic church in respect of child abuse. It does not mean it has a mafia context. I think it is meant to convey a culture of silence similar to the wall of silence erected by the RUC when they tried investigating them at the start of the conflict. Micheal Martin I think used it in the Dail the other day which prompted me to draft a short piece on why I think there is case to be made for its existence. Haven't done much on it but will put it out when I get a chance.

    My view is that there is very much an omerta type culture. Not one woman or man in the movement has spoken out against what the party leader did in respect of Liam Adams, who he knew to be a child rapist. If that is not omerta what is?

  14. AM, Barry, Thanks for getting back to me.

    Omertá would by definition be correct in your context in that it means "a code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to the police." However up until relatively recently it was used exclusively with reference to the Italian Mafia and my interest in such things coloured my understanding of it's use.

    In fact my dictionary is a little old but describes Omertá by using the definition above but goes on to say "as practised by the Mafia".

    The IRA had a code of silence but so too has the British (The Official Secrets Act for example) and every other government and major insurgency group in the world. Otherwise loose talk and spies would bring the entities crashing down.

    I tend to avoid using terms like Mafia, Godfathers or Omertá as it traditionally belongs to people traffickers, brothel owners, drug traffickers, murderers and other selfish criminals.

    However although I disagree with it's use I can see where you and Barry are coming from.

    I thought Barry's letter was good but Republicans operated that way for decades so either the IRA from year dot were all not true Republicans for that reason or it doesn't change their status at all.

    It was a terrible situation as many such victims undoubtedly suffered the same process but how did the process compare with going to the police? Was it the safer option? As I said before it was a despicable situation where Republicanism found itself but it was a fait accompli delivered by the conflict.

    The case in question was during a transition from conflict to a period of non-violence so maybe the victim deserved better in this case.

  15. I don't know aout the Provisional's and omerta, mafia analogies etc... but dress it up anyway you want Gerry Adams has more teflon suits than John Gotti ever had...

  16. Frankie, I doubt that statement is analogically or literally correct.

  17. Simon all I know is everyone (From former comrades, friends and foes) have tried to label Gerry Adams with everything from membership, involvement in Jean McConville death right up to Mairia Cahill cover up... And 'no charge'.. he's been questioned over events and walks away a free man..The only reason I used Gotti was he was called the 'Teflon Don' by the media until his down fall..Until they got charges that would stick..And like Teflon nothing sticks to Gerry...

  18. I could be wrong but I have serious problems believing the story about alleged second victim in the Irish Independent as it clearly impies that the IRA offered to disappear a sexual offender in the 1990s. How else can you read the offer, which was "he could be executed and buried".

    Why include the word "buried" if they meant he would have a regular funeral? It obviously points to the IRA doing the burying.

    Firstly, the act of disappearing people was something firmly in the IRA's past. (1981 was the time of the last incident). Secondly, was sexual abuse a crime that warranted "disappearing" even in it's time.

    I know it isn't journalists role to report crimes but if the Irish Independent newspaper feels so strongly about the subject and they have also seen "correspondence between the alleged sex abuse victim and Sinn Fein officials which corroborates his claims" surely they should go straight to the police? Or since the story has been published surely the police should go to them.

    Of course, the IRA may have made such an offer but it may not have been a genuine one.

    Linking the two subjects of "sexual crime" and the "disappeared" reminds me of another story linking Jimmy Saville to the IRA.

    Although the fact that no connections between the IRA and Saville were published before his vile sexual offences came to light and the implausibilty of the story and it's presentation other connections were actually published beforehand.

    Hopefully sensationalism will not get in the way of the truth coming out and justice for the victims.

  19. Simon,

    a piece from an article by Ed Moloney. It does not make you wrong but at least allows for a different interpretation. Paste it in if you want the source.

    "And so poor Caroline Moreland was given the thumbs down by those seven men in a room. There was a brief discussion on how to handle her killing. One person suggested that she be disappeared, that is killed, her body dumped in a secret grave and lies told to her family about what had really happened. Who came up with the idea? Well, put it this way, it wasn’t Gerry Adams."

  20. Simon,

    one problem confronting any journalist is the conditions under which the info was obtained. If they were shown it or told it in confidence rather than discovering it they can't breach that, or at least they should not.

    That said, it is good that you are raising questions. I do not subscribe to the view that anyone should be automatically believed or that their account should not be subject to serious probing. What an abuse of power that would lead to. And because the police cannot be trusted to do the honourable thing in any society, the way in which they would abuse that power to frame people they want rid of would be greatly enhanced.

  21. I read in Ken Wharton's book "A Long Long War" 'Voices from the British Army in Northern Ireland 1969-1998 that a "female member of the IRA who had been 'turned' by our Int boys but they had discovered this and then tortured and killed her before tossing the body on the side of the road...What a mess; the bastards had cut off both her breasts and dumped them next to her, she had been tortured with lit cigarette ends and worst of all, her body was burnt raw by a hot steam iron and the unmistakable shapes of the iron had been burned into her back in quite a few places."

    People may possibly argue about the use of the death penalty for informers. I guess it wasn't the most unpopular thing Republicans did if you consider how informers were looked upon traditionally but torture and mutilation should never be contemplated no matter what your views on execution would be.

    I don't know the veracity of the story as it appears under the heading 1995. But the only death close enough to that date and which matches the circumstances was Caroline Moreland's.

    Torture and mutilation are despicable practices.

  22. AM, Robert Fisk in his excellent book "The Age of the Warrior" which I would thoroughly and enthusiastically recommend has a well argued chapter on journalists giving evidence particularly with regards to the International Criminal Court.

    His stance is that journalists are there purely to observe and report. They are not there to police or to take sides as inevitably the loser of a conflict is the one taken to the Hague. He states that if the Hague dealt with Israel and other favourites of the international community rather than just the unpopular states he would maybe consider. However it would place journalists in a dangerous situation if war lords knew that after the war was over those same reporters were going to give evidence against them in a court.

    However in this case even if the journalists of the Irish Independent don't volunteer the information surely the police should proactively seek it.

  23. Simon,

    I would agree with that: the police should be trying to get it. I think they only move if s crime has been reported. But if the journalists got it in confidence they should never hand it over to the police.

  24. Simon,

    the problem with Ken Wharton's books are that his interviewees often talked pure crap easily demonstrated as such. I was unimpressed with the quality.

  25. AM, I thought as much regarding Ken's books as although that story was the only one I read I had immediate doubts and not because it was listed under the wrong year.

    It seemed that he was so prolific and that there was so much material that a certain amount of bullshit was inevitable. Knowing the obvious bullshit is one thing but not knowing the rest of the bullshit from the truth kind of makes his many books redundant from a historical point of view.

    I am a little disappointed not because I paid good money for three or four of his books but because I wanted to read a reliable, well researched book written from the Brit's point of view.

    To go back to your earlier point about questioning things I believe we should question everything including ourselves and that we should seek out opinions that conflict with our own. This can make you unpopular or even a pariah but it gives a sharpness to your opinions and opens your mind freeing it from bigotry.

    So it's a shame Ken's books aren't what they could have been.