Roy's Rape Kit

This afternoon a blog piece featured in the Guardian under the by line of Roy Greenslade. Chilling might be a mild way of describing the invidious effrontery that posed as commentary. Under the pretext of balance Greenslade sought to question the reliability of Máiría Cahill’s abuse narrative which has seen Sinn Fein squeezed over the past fortnight. Cahill’s account has led to intense media grilling of the party over how both it and the IRA dealt with the question of sexual abuse alleged to have been carried out by members of the Gerry Adams dominated Provisional Movement.

Greenslade attacked BBC Spotlight for not revealing in the course of its hour long documentary that Máiría Cahill had at one time been a member of Republican Network for Unity. He postulated that this was an important point on the grounds that without having access to such information the audience might never get to understand the full range of possible motives behind Cahill’s allegations of rape and of being compelled to attend an IRA internal inquiry: ‘vital information was denied to viewers ... Cahill's political stance should have been explored more fully.’

This is the most sinister of reasoning. What Greenslade is brazenly stating is that central to how the public should judge Cahill's claim to have been raped is her politics. He is further suggesting that Spotlight may have deliberately concealed information about her political affiliation. Nowhere does he allow for the very reasonable supposition on the part of Spotlight that Cahill’s political beliefs had absolutely no bearing on whether she was raped or not.    

If Roy Greenslade believes the BBC guilty of professional malpractice, he does not explain why he left himself open to the same charge by not revealing in his blog piece that he is a former columnist for An Phoblacht/Republican News, writing under the pseudonym George King. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him having performed that role. It was important that journalists did, given the censorious atmosphere of the time. But in the very article in which he sought to cast aspersion on the credibility of Spotlight for not disclosing political affiliation, it might be reasonably expected that some reference to his own political leanings should have been forthcoming. 

If Cahill’s allegations are to be treated with more scepticism than say similar claims from a Sinn Fein member or supporter, on the grounds of motive, why only explore former association with RNU as the motive? Given her outspoken opposition to the use of republican political violence might her motive not have been anger at Sinn Fein leadership figures sitting on the army council of an organisation that shot dead two RUC men as they strolled a Lurgan street the very year she claims to have been raped? Moreover, given that she is a woman with very outspoken views on rape might her motive not have been disgust at the Sinn Fein president traipsing around Louth with a man he believed to be a child rapist and whom he later pretended to have been completely estranged from? 

That such possible motives were not considered by Greenslade, may be more revealing of his own agenda than they are of either Máiría Cahill or Spotlight. He ruled in the possible motives that suited his own political agenda, and ruled out those that did not.

Women’s rights groups and rape crisis centres will surely have something to say about the agenda driven character corrosion flowing from Greenslade’s poison pen. What they are faced with is a professor of journalism writing for one of the most prestigious British outlets, openly proclaiming that if you have one political belief rather than another your claim to have been raped should be treated with less gravitas: basically, support Sinn Fein and your rape claims will be treated more sympathetically than they will be if you oppose Sinn Fein. This is the moral sewer that the processors of peace are content to drag women’s rights into.

Police forces of the world, line up and get your new rape kit from the Guardian’s professor of jaundiced journalism.



    Last night a document was circulated on Twitter by 'Irish Observer' It gave the impression that it was sent by Gerry Adams in 1994. It referred to paedophiles and touts and moving them.

    The problem is that this thing was sent out some years ago and was exposed then as a fake and the original letter then appeared proving it as such. It was in fact a letter sent to a 'Vincent' from Adams. The obvious proof that it was fake was that it was signed so far from the wording on the letter and that something had been removed and replaced by the references to paedophiles and touts.

    Of course the 'Vincent' in the letter is and was widely known to be Vincent McKenna, a rabid anti-republican and convicted paedophile. It was also known he was behind it. And he is widely known to be behind the 'Irish Observer' blog, among others.

    The Shinners are however recycling it as.... "More dirty tricks trying to blacken Sinn Féin & Gerry Adams. "

    However Ronan McLaughlin, the son of Mitchel McLaughlin has gone further in tweeting that it is the work of "MI5/MI6 'journalists' and their continuing nefarious role in Ireland's 'Dirty War' "
    He has also linked it to Máiría Cahill, Ed Moloney and The Boston Project.

    The question I ask myself is: How come the Shinners, including the, so called, Felons' Club, were able to produce the original letter within an hour or so of the fake letter being put on Twitter, given it was sent to McKenna and in his ownership?

    Can it be that someone had retained it from the previous time it was put out; knowing who it originated from, McKenna but decided to use it to smear Máiría, Ed Moloney and the Boston Project instead?

  2. They are throwing everything at Mairia now. I noted that on Slugger one of the bots had said that something big was coming out over the weekend, and that was obviously the RNU connection.

    That he was aware of it last week reveals a coordinated, pre-planned effort to discredit her. It smacks of desperation and will only resonate with their own diehard supporters. The Sinners are badly shaken when they are wheeling out previously closet supporters like Greenslade to put their reputations on the line for the Dear Leader.

  3. Odd that the usual attack dog has been very quiet on this issue. Adams tried hard to deal with this one himself and made a pigs ear of it. Rape is rape no matter about your opinions. The southern media aren't letting Adams or SF away with anything on this issue, maybe that's why Greenslade weighed in with the Guardian?

  4. In any scenario, if one wishes to establish the clearest understanding possible, its useful to widen out the frame and place events in a broader and fuller context.
    Hence, in this specific case, its prudent and legitimate to examine Mairia Cahill's political allegiances over time.

    To achieve the greatest understanding of events one must also include the perceptual referencing points of observers too; from what position is the observer observing from.
    Without argument, Mr Greenslade's observation point is located pretty close in the landscape to that of the PSF leadership.
    He did after all go surety for John Downey when John was charged with crimes relating to the Hyde Park bombing.

    And as such Roy's perceptual position must be considered as tainted by proximity.

  5. Yes there is something big coming out alrite. Wonder how the little pigglets will adopt to it. This time next year, different altogether. Goodbye scum, hello new scum.

  6. just to point out,the media in the south including rte and the indo didn't say anything after the spotlight programme,it was only when the woman came down to the Dail that they started(as if they had no choice now!)to cover the story. I think Adams gets a handy time from the Dublin based media.