Mairia Cahill, the woman at the center of the IRA rape and cover-up allegation, was a member of a dissident IRA group which opposes the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process by whatever methods possible, the Irish Mail on Sunday newspaper has revealed.

The paper revealed that Cahill, 33, was a member of the Republican Network for Unity (RNU), which was formed in 2007 in opposition to Sinn Fein’s support of the new policing body the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Cahill claims a leading IRA figure abused her for a year when she was 16 and that the case was handled internally by a “kangaroo court”. Sinn Fein accepts she was abused but is adamant there was no cover-up as Cahill claims.

In a statement, Cahill admitted her membership but said she opposed violence.

“The Irish Mail On Sunday story correctly states that I was, involved with a group going by the name “Republican Network for Unity.” The story, however, was inaccurate and slanted. I was indeed the National Secretary of RNU – for a period of a few hours in 2010, until I resigned the position. This can be confirmed by the former chair Danny McBrearty. I did continue to attend a series of meetings for a period of a few months...”

Cahill tweeted the article was a “smear” and said she had contacted her lawyers.

She was listed as national secretary of the group and a member of its Ard Chomhairle or governing body, the newspaper asserts.

On its current website RNU says it is dedicated to rebuilding the Republican struggle and is "determined to design our own contribution to the struggle for Irish freedom using whatever tactics are required to ensure the social and economic liberation of the Irish people."

RNU describes itself as a “revolutionary Irish Republican party, committed to building a capable left-wing alternative to the failed politics of constitutional nationalism and helping to provide for a new political, economic and social vision for Ireland.”

The revelation raises questions about a separate political agenda behind the push to force the resignation of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

It also begs the question: Did Irish political leaders who met her to discuss her rape allegation knew her political background? Meetings with IRA dissidents whose organizations support violence are usually off the table.

The RNU is a smaller dissident group. They call the peace process a failed venture and vow any means of struggle available to bring it down.

The group says it was “originally formed as a pressure group of Ex Republican POWs opposed to the promotion of the British PSNI.”

The ‘Peace Process,’ they say, is “inherently sectarian, inherently partitionist and inherently capitalist, promoting ultimately communal division, a continuation of British rule and the dominance of a greedy capitalist class who care little for the economic well being or welfare of the Irish people north or south. We on the other hand, intend to propose a program of Revolutionary Republicanism, the encouragement of the Irish working class to pursue a Free Socialist Republic, via all available means of struggle.”