Serial rapist Simon McGinley, responsible for the rape of a child that led to the infamous C case in 1997, is suspected of raping one of his own relatives in Antrim two years ago, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

Two years ago, McGinley, of Latlorcan Court, Monaghan, but originally from Dundalk, was accused of raping one of his relatives in Lisburn, Co Antrim, according to a senior garda source.

The young woman's family contacted gardaí despite the fact the alleged rape took place in Northern Ireland, but the woman refused to give a formal statement so it could not be pursued.

"Some of the young woman's relatives got in touch with us and said the young woman had been raped by him. But she refused to make a formal statement about it so there was nothing we could do," said the source.

"It's just one in a long list of rapes we believe he has carried out in the Travelling community that gardaí were informed about but the women didn't want to make statements about."

McGinley (36) a member of the Travelling community, was sentenced to 21 years in jail two weeks ago for the rape of an elderly woman in Co Monaghan. In 1997, McGinley was convicted of the rape of his 13-year-old babysitter. The young victim became pregnant as a result of the rape and was taken into care. She went to the courts, winning approval to have an abortion in Britain against the wishes of her parents. The case became known as the C case.

Last week, this newspaper revealed that McGinley was wanted for another rape, of a wheelchair-bound elderly woman in Belfast, while he was on the run in 1997 for the crime that led to the C case.

Shortly after he was taken into custody in 1997, the PSNI contacted gardaí about the rape of the wheelchair-bound woman. However, the elderly woman was so distraught that police did not believe she would be able to give evidence, so the case was not pursued.