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DUP in call for McCann to quit; Sinn Fein MLA is blasted for not reporting IRA sex abuse.

THE DUP last night called for Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann to quit over her knowledge of Mairia Cahill's TURN TO PAGE 8 FROM PAGE ONE treatment by the IRA. It came as MLAs voted for an inquiry into the sex abuse case with the DUP saying Junior Minister Jennifer McCann's position has been left "untenable".

DUP North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley said there must be a "full Assembly investigation into the issues raised by the Mairia Cahill case" which "must consider if Jennifer McCann was in breach of the Ministerial Code by not reporting this abuse to the police".

The motion was tabled by MLA Sammy Wilson and secured cross-party support.

But Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann branded the DUP push for an inquiry a "disgraceful motion" adding she refutes "any inference" she "did anything improper in the actions I took in relation to this case".

COVER-UP She added: "I would not cover up or protect anyone who has been accused of rape or sexual abuse."

The West Belfast MLA said Ms Cahill told her in 2005 "she had been raped when she was 16 years old" while they both worked in the same community organisation.

She added: "It was clear she was quite distressed.

"I was very concerned about her safety and her well-being as she appeared to be very vulnerable.

"I advised Mairia to seek the help of a counsellor and I spoke directly to a close family member of hers to tell them of my concerns and also advised that they should get help for her.

"I was aware her family and others, who were much closer to her than I was, were already aware of it years before Mairia told me.

"So I totally reject the allegations levelled against me that I acted in any improper way at the time."

However, the DUP insisted the Sinn Fein minister "has responsibilities, through her position in the Executive, for policy relating to historical institutional abuse and young people".

The SDLP also voted in favour of the probe with MLA Alban Maginness saying: "Where are the standards in public office?"

CAPTION(S):

VOTE Jennifer McCann

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 5, 2014
Words:357
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