Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams tried to prevent the public finding out that his brother sexually abused his niece, it has emerged.
Adams’s niece Aine Dahlstrom, 40, has said he asked her to help bring a court ban on the reporting of her father’s sexual abuse. However Dahlstrom rejected her uncle’s attempts.
Last Tuesday, Liam Adams, 58, was convicted of raping and abusing his daughter over a six-year period. The abuse began when she was just four years old in 1977 and lasted until 1983.
Speaking after the conviction, Dahlstrom said the Sinn Fein leader was always terrified the story of his brother's crimes would be revealed. She explained that in 2007 a local newspaper planned to cover it.
"He frantically phoned me about 20 times," she said.
"He wanted to obtain a court injunction with my help to stop the story. He said he needed to make sure it didn't get into the press to protect me. Looking back, he was buttering me up. It was all about PR and his own image."
She first revealed her abuse in UTV’s 2009 documentary and says Adams, once again, told her not to speak to the media.
"He advised me against talking to journalists," she said. "'You've no experience dealing with the press,' he said."
Last April Gerry Adams revealed that in 2000 his brother admitted to him that he had abused his daughter.
On Monday a spokesperson from the North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS), said Attorney General John Larkin would now examine Gerry Adams involvement in the case, the Irish Times reports.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory QC, recognises that there has been considerable public interest surrounding the decision not to prosecute Mr Gerry Adams in October 2011 in relation to an allegation that he withheld information in connection with the Liam Adams case.
“While the director has confidence in the evidential decision taken by the PPS prior to his appointment, he has asked the Attorney General to independently review the matter.
“The Attorney General will be given full access to all materials that he considers necessary in order to complete this review.”
Adams has defended his handling of the sexual abuse case, saying he “co-operated fully” with the authorities in the North.
“With hindsight there are things I could have done differently, but I’m not on trial here,” he said. “ My brother was on trial. Áine has been vindicated. There is a lot of healing that needs to be done.”
He added: “I have never hidden away from these issues, I’m a public figure.”
Liam Adams is due to be sentenced next month.
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