A Belfast woman who claimed to have been raped by an IRA man as a teenager has questioned why she was demonized by former Fleet Street editor Roy Greenslade, who has admitted to being a secret sympathizer of the terrorist group during the riots.
Mairia Cahill said Mr. Greenslade « chose the angle he chose is not surprising, but it’s disgusting ».
In a recent article, Mr Greenslade, a former Daily Mirror editor, said he « came out of hiding » to explain why he believes the IRA bombing campaigns of the 1970s-1990s were justified.
His comments sparked anger among relatives of IRA victims and prompted Mr. Greenslade to resign as an honorary visiting professor of journalism at the City University of London yesterday.
Boris Johnson slammed the remarks too. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, « All I can say is the simple fact that the Prime Minister condemns his comments, as I specifically said about the murder of civilians. »
Ms. Cahill recalled on The Spectator that at the age of 16 she was « repeatedly raped and sexually abused by an IRA man ». She complained to the police in 2010, but the case closed four years later after she withdrew her support to law enforcement.
She wrote: « After renouncing my lifelong right to anonymity, Roy Greenslade decided to throw a cloak of caution around my credibility. »
Ms. Cahill wrote, « In a Guardian article entitled » BBC’s Program on IRA Rape Allegations Flawed by Unbalanced Politics, « Greenslade asked why the program didn’t allow my brief membership in a political dissident group disclosed – 13 years after my abuse.
« ‘Critics claim Spotlights host and producer were too willing to accept Cahill’s story and not point to evidence to the contrary,’ he wrote. ‘That doesn’t mean she wasn’t raped. Nor does she negate her view that the IRA has handled her complaint in a clumsy and insensitive manner. ‘
« After attacking the’ lack of balance ‘in the BBC NI article, he took upon himself to list my political history – some of it inaccurate – which he found extremely relevant when talking about mine brutal experiences of abuse and the IRA discussed and Sinn Fein’s treatment of me as a result. «
She said it was strange » that in the same piece he did not reveal his own secret longstanding support for the IRA « .
« I have appeared on countless live television and radio programs and answered all the questions I was asked. This is more than any of the IRA members involved in my case. Aid to Women, the Rape Crisis Center and countless editorials have all provided public support Instead, Greenslade decided to lament the media treatment of Gerry Adams. «
Belfast Telegraph is a member of the IPSO and subscribes to the editors’ code of conduct
An INM website