Press Statement from the Attorney General for Northern Ireland

Publication date:

On the 3 November 2014 the Attorney General’s attention was drawn to an article printed on the front page of the Irish News under the heading “Ford and Larkin were told about Cahill accused’s other alleged victims before case collapsed.” The article stated that the Attorney General was “made aware of concerns held by two women who claim that they were sexually abused by the man accused of raping Maria Cahill before the case collapsed.” The article went on to state that “[t]he women’s legal representative, Ciaran Mulholland of Joe Mulholland’s solicitors, last night said that Mr Ford, Mr Larkin and the director of public prosecutions Barra McCrory were ‘fully abreast of those circumstances’.”

A letter was emailed on 3 November 2014 from this office to Joe Mulholland solicitors informing him that “The Attorney General has not been contacted by anyone from your office about this matter” and went on to ask for “a copy of any relevant letter, fax or email”. A substantive response by 5pm on 3 November 2014 was requested.

Following a phone call from the Attorney’s office to Joe Mulholland solicitors on 4 November 2014, a faxed response was received enclosing copies of letters, dated 13 November 2012, which were addressed to the Minister for Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General.

A response was emailed on 4 November 2014 from this office to Joe Mulholland solicitors advising him that his letter of 13 November 2012 had not been received by this office. The response stated that “[t]he letter appears to have been sent by first class post only, whereas the corresponding letters to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Minister for Justice were also sent by fax and email respectively. I also note that you did not follow up your letter to this Office during the intervening period of almost two years notwithstanding that an urgent meeting with your clients was requested. In these circumstances it is a matter of regret that the Press Release issued by you without notice to this Office referred to correspondence to the Attorney General that was neither received by this Office nor followed up by you.