Polls consistently show that Sinn Fein is now the most popular of all the political parties in Ireland, with particularly strong support among young people. It has positioned itself as a party of the left that can solve the housing crisis, impose a more equitable tax and health system, and promises a united Ireland.
Mairia Cahill is a refugee from Sinn Fein and the shadowy world of the IRA: her great-uncle Joe was one of the main founders of the Provisional IRA and her grandfather was Gerry Adams's mentor in the republican movement. From an early age she was destined for a glittering career within the increasingly successful political machine of Sinn Fein. But at the age of 16, she was sexually abused by a prominent Belfast IRA man.
The organisation forced her to take part in an inept and insensitive internal 'investigation' and swept his crimes under the carpet. She was subjected to round after round of interrogations by senior IRA men and women, usually in a network of safe houses around Belfast. Doubt was cast on her account of what had been done to her. Her assailant was allowed to confront and denounce her. In chilling scenes, Gerry Adams himself, a man she had known from a very young age, expressed avuncular concern for her welfare despite the grotesque and illegal process conducted by his comrades. Eventually her rapist was permitted to vanish from Belfast while the IRA professed bafflement about his whereabouts.
The leaders of Sinn Fein have consistently been called on by Cahill to acknowledge that she was subjected to IRA 'investigations' into her abuse. The party has refused to do so.
Rough Beast is Mairia Cahill's harrowing story, which she tells here for the first time in detail and with unsparing honesty. It is a story of unimaginable trauma and paramilitary corruption. It brings to life a world of IRA secrecy and parallel laws, of ruthless power wielded by figures who have never been democratically elected, and of ex-gunmen inspiring fear and silence.
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Date of Publication: 25/09/2023