IRA rape victim calls for an inquiry into claim Shame Féin tried to cover up abuse

The victims of a Belfast IRA man who raped them as children have urged a full investigation into claims that members of Sinn Fein and the IRA tried to prevent the crimes being reported to gardai.

Survivor: Paudie McGahon has called on other IRA rape victims to come forward. Photo: Owen Breslin

Paudie McGahon (44) said he has decided to waive his anonymity to speak out. This month, alleged IRA man Seamus Marley was jailed for seven years for raping two teenage boys at a “republican safe house” two decades ago.

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Mr McGahon was one of the boys and told of how an IRA kangaroo court was convened in 2002 after the men first brought their abuse allegations to the attention of Louth Sinn Fein councillor Pearce McGeough.

Co Louth, Sinn Féin councillor Pearce McGeough has denied involvement in the Kangaroo court.

The second victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, has authorised Mr McGahon to speak publicly.

Marley (45) is a member of a prominent Belfast republican family.

A jury in Dublin’s Central Criminal Court found him guilty on eight counts of sexually assaulting and raping Mr McGahon and the second man when they were boys.

The men claim that the kangaroo court was organised by Mr McGeough, a close family friend of Mr McGahon’s father, and chaired by a prominent Belfast republican Padraig Wilson.

At a subsequent “hearing” the men allege that Wilson informed them that their allegations had been proven correct and offered them three alternative punishments for Marley: have him shot by the IRA; they could beat him up or, he could be exiled.

Mr McGahon said they opted for the least violent option.

“We didn’t know any better at the time, we had been reared in the republican culture and there was a climate of intimidation so going to the police was just not on because you knew what could happen to you,” Mr McGahon said last night.

“It was only years later we began to realise what was really going on. Sinn Fein and the IRA were keeping us quiet.”

However last week the victims discovered that Marley was never exiled by the IRA and for two years after the “investigation”, Marley had been working with children in Dublin.

“When we discovered that Marley had not even been exiled at the time and that he was left working with children after all that, we were sick and it just convinced us even further that we are determined this conspiracy to silence us and pervert the course of justice is fully investigated,” Mr McGahon said.

When the two men made an official complaint to gardai in 2014 detectives launched two separate investigations, one focusing on the rape allegations, which were given priority, and the other on an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

It is understood the second investigation file is still open.

During Marley’s trial, Mr McGeough was referred to on a number of occasions by witnesses as the person who brought the terrorist to Mr McGahon’s home in the early 1990’s.

In his victim impact statement, which he read out to the court after Marley’s conviction, the second man described how he had called Mr McGeough to ask for help, but that after the call he knew he was on his own.

Mr McGeough has denied that he was involved in the kangaroo court and has said that he had advised Mr McGahon and the second victim to go to the gardai.

Padraig Wilson has also denied the allegations

Previously he said he had never met Mr McGahon and described the allegations against him as “completely baseless and untrue”.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Paul Williams for the original story

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‘She was Bobby Sand’s mother, but few knew the real woman’

Bobby Sands’ sisters Marcella and Bernadette beside the coffin of their mother Rosaleen (95) at the funeral in St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan

SHE was one of the most famous mothers in the world, but none who depicted Rosaleen Sands in scores of films, documentaries and books knew the real woman, mourners at her funeral heard yesterday.

Mrs Sands, the mother of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, died last week aged 95, surrounded by her family.

Bobby’s former cellmate ‘Tomboy’ Loudon was among those who travelled from across Ireland to pay their last respects at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church at Blackrock, Co Louth.

Other mourners included former Newry Sinn Féin councillor Pat McGinn although there were no senior party members present.

His son Gerard, who maintains a low public profile, helped his uncle John and cousins carry Mrs Sands’s coffin to the church.

Her daughter Bernadette Sands-McKevitt said they “were an ordinary family, whose life was reshaped by extraordinary events”.

She was supported by her husband Michael McKevitt, who was released from prison in 2016 after completing a sentence for directing terrorism.

Gardai maintained a low-key presence outside the church.

“Many claimed to know Rosaleen Sands (and she) figured in many books, films and documentaries that were written and produced by people who never met her,” Mrs Sands-McKevitt said.

She told how her mother was born in the Markets area of south Belfast in 1922 and her father died when she was just 12 years old.

“She was a working class girl from a working class area and my mother never forgot her roots.

“She was a principled person who had times of trouble.”

The young Rosaleen Kelly was set to emigrate to New Zealand, with a job lined up at the other end of the long journey, when she met her husband John Sands.

The couple would go on to marry and raise four children.

None of the children were allowed to “leave the house without first saying our prayers blessing ourselves with holy water”.

When their son Bobby was jailed, “my parents never missed a visit” and when the hunger strikes began “set about doing all in their power to highlight” the protest.

“They suddenly found themselves thrown onto the world stage as they desperately tried to save their son.

“Heartbroken she pleaded with Bobby. He made one simple request to her – to stand with him and not against him.

A young boy carrys a picture of Bobby Sands at the funneral of Rosaleen Sands mother of Bobby Sands at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan

“It was a choice that no mother could contemplate, but it was one that she had to make.

“She left his life in God’s hands and placed her trust in others to bury her son.”

Mrs Sands-McKevitt, a founding member of the dissident republican 32 County Sovereignty Movement, then denounced her brother’s former comrades from the pulpit.

“It was a trust that was breached. We found out years later (through documents) that Bobby’s final burial wishes, which were not known to us at the time, were not followed.”

She said, that in the years that followed Mrs Sands “continued to support prisoners and their families” and was always there “when each of her children suffered”.

Bobby Sands’ sisters Marcella and Bernadette beside the coffin of their mother Rosaleen (95) at the funeral in St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan

“She was an inspiration to us all and set a fine example to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

She finished by reading a poem written by Bobby Sands for his mother; among the lines:

How you found strength I do not know

How you managed I’ll never know,

Struggling and striving without a break

Always there and never late.

You prayed for me and loved me more

How could I ask for anymore

And reared me up to be like you

But I haven’t a heart as kind as you.

Mrs Sands was buried privately afterwards at Belfast City Cemetery.

Mrs Sands is survived by her children Marcella, Bernadette and John.

The fuberal of Rosaleen Sands the mother of Bobby Sands at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan
Former Sinn Féin councillor and Mayor Pat McGinn (right) at the funneral of Rosealeen Sands the mother of Bobby Sands at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan
A wreath from the Republican prisoners in Portlaoise Prison at the funeral of Rosaleen Sands the mother of Bobby Sands takes place at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan
Michael McKevitt at the funeral of his mother-in-law Rosaleen Sands mother of Bobby Sands takes place at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan
The funeral of Rosaleen Sands the mother of Bobby Sands takes place at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan
Michael McKevitt at the funeral of his mother-in-law Rosaleen Sands mother of Bobby Sands takes place at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan
The funeral of Rosaleen Sands the mother of Bobby Sands takes place at St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, Co Louth. Picture by Mal McCan

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story.

INLA men’s murders reconstruction

THE murder of two INLA men in Co Louth more than 30 years ago has featured in an RTÉ reconstruction broadcast.

SHOT: Thomas ‘Ta’ Power (left) FEUD: Hugh Torney (right)

Thomas ‘Ta’ Power (33) and then INLA ‘chief of staff’ John GerardO’Reilly (26) were gunned down as they sat in the Rossnaree Hotel, near Drogheda, in January 1987 by members of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO). The INLA men had been in the hotel to try and settle an internal dispute about the direction of the group and were due to meet other members. However, the potential peace summit ended up in bloodshed when gunmen wearing false beards burst into the hotel and opened fire as their victims drank tea.

Two other men were injured during the ambush including Peter Stewart and Hugh ‘cueball’ Torney, who was himself killed in another feud in 1996. Leading IPLO man Gerard Steenson has been linked to the double killing, although others claim he was not involved.

He and another man were shot dead weeks later in March 1987 by the INLA faction in west Belfast. It is understood that the renewed appeal for information comes after relatives of Power, who was from the Markets area of south Belfast, met gardaí recently.

Campaign group Relatives for Justice recently wrote to the Republic’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Garda commisioner Nóirín O’Sullivan on behalf of the Power family asking for a review of the case. It is beleived that at that meeting family members learned for the first time that three men were questioned after the ambush but later released. No-one has ever been convicted. Gardaí failed to respond to a series of questions put to them by The Irish News about the case.

A reconstruction of the attack was featured on RTÉ’s Crime Call programme on Monday. The broadcaster declined to release any details of the programme in advance. Mike Ritchie from Relatives for Justice said: “Families who have lost loved ones below the border face a difficult situation because they were not able to benefit from the Historical Enquires Team information and review,” he said. “It’s important that the Garda reviews these cases themselves.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News.

Liam Campbell cannot get a fair trial in Lithuania

Stop the extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuaina

Liam Campbell, an alleged Real IRA leader, will argue that he cannot receive a fair trial in Lithuania because his brother’s terrorism conviction was found to have been based on entrapment.

Campbell, 54, of Upper Faughart in north Louth, who was found liable for the 1998 Omagh bomb in a civil action eight years ago, appeared in the High Court in Dublin yesterday to contest his extradition to Lithuania, where he is accused of a Real IRA plot to buy large quantities of explosives and weapons.

Brian Gageby, his barrister, told the court that he wanted an adjournment while he sought an English translation of Michael Campbell’s trial and appeal in Vilnius. Mr Gageby is preparing to argue that Liam Campbell cannot receive a fair trial, which is required under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Campbell’s brother was convicted in Lithuania in 2011 of conspiracy to buy weapons and explosives, following a joint MI5-Lithuanian police operation. Michael Campbell was jailed for twelve years but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2013 on the grounds that he was entrapped by MI5. Liam Campbell is now seeking a transcript of that appeal to use in his case.

Since Michael Campbell returned to Ireland the highest court in Lithuania overturned the appeal, finding that the appeal court erred in putting too much weight on entrapment defence. As a result Michael Campbell may also be extradited back to Lithuania.

Judge Aileen Donnelly agreed to adjourn Liam Campbell’s case for a month yesterday to allow the state and the defence to prepare documents.

Campbell is receiving free legal aid to fight extradition, claiming that he will not get a fair trial and also that prison conditions in Lithuania are so bad that they violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article prohibits extradition if there is a “substantial risk” that the person will undergo inhumane or degrading treatment.

He won on Article 3 grounds when Lithuania sought to extradite him from Northern Ireland, after which he was released by the High Court in Belfast and was rearrested in the Republic. Campbell’s co-accused, Brendan McGuigan, 36, of Omeath, Co Louth, was previously released by the High Court in Dublin, also because prison conditions in Lithuania would be a violation of his rights under Article 3.

Both men are wanted in Lithuania for allegedly organising a Real IRA explosives and weapons importation scheme. A Lithuanian arrest warrant read in court states that Campbell “made arrangements for illegal possession of a considerable amount of powerful firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and substances” to be exported from Lithuania to Ireland for use by a “terrorist grouping”.

The cargo was allegedly to include sniper rifles, rocket launchers, RPG-7 rockets, hand-grenades and Semtex explosives.

Campbell was allegedly a senior Real IRA member when the offences were committed in late 2006 and early 2007 and is alleged to have met with a British intelligence officer posing as an east European arms dealer.

with many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News.

Armed British Incursions

North Louth Csm

Derry Sceal

North Louth 32csm would like to bring to the attention the most recent British Crown force armed incursion into Omeath, Co. Louth, today, Friday 30th August.

The occupation forces which included both RUC/PSNI and British Customs/ Immigration were met at the border and escorted to Omeath by Armed Gardai to take part in an raid on a local restaurant.

This obviously took place with the blessing of the Croppy government headed up by Enda Kenny ,ever eager to curry favour with David Cameronand has been the second raid on these premises in a matter of weeks by British forces.

As they carried out their raid, armed Gardaí stood outside the premises, shadowing and protecting their British counterparts.

The North Louth 32csm call on all right minded people to condemn the actions of the Gardai and the Free state government, who enable and encourage a historically brutal, invasive and murderous force and grant them free reign to once again torture the citizens of the Free State as they do their Countrymen and women in the occupied 6 counties. —

32csm condemn British crown forces Incursions into Co.Louth · Friday at 23:20 ·

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