As pressure mounts on Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams over an allegation that he withheld information that his brother Liam was a sex-abuser for several years, Adams has complained about a witch-hunt by “cynical” elements of the media.
He said he rejects “unconditionally” claims he committed an offense in relation to how he dealt with Liam’s sexual abuse of Liam’s daughter Aine.
Adams also protested about how the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had been dealing with the fallout from his brother’s conviction for the abuse of his daughter.
“I am a public figure and subject to scrutiny and that is fair enough. But the despicable manner in which this issue is being dealt with by the DUP and others, and by some cynical elements of the media, has become trial by media and a witch-hunt,” Adams said.
In the North, the Attorney General John Larkin and the Police Ombudsman Dr. Michael Maguire were reported to be separately reviewing or investigating why Adams was not prosecuted over an allegation he withheld information about his child sex abuser brother.
Adams said, “For me this has always been a family matter. It was quite rightly brought to the RUC and social services in 1987. So accusations of cover-up are patently cynical and untrue.”
He said the police and social services had full information and detail of Aine Adams’ allegations from 1987.
When Aine, who is now 40, raised her abuse by her father with her uncle again years later, he regarded her as an adult capable and entitled to make her own decisions on how she wanted to proceed.
When Liam failed to acknowledge he had sexually abused her, Aine went to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). Adams said he cooperated fully with the PSNI and he made statements in support of Aine.
The Sunday Independent claimed that Adams did not tell the authorities about the sexual abuse of his niece until 2009, nine years after his brother Liam had finally confessed it to him.
The paper also reported that official records show that Gerry Adams reported to the social services in January 1986 that Liam Adams’ children were “dirty and had lice in their hair.”
When he met a social worker assigned to the family 14 months later he didn’t mention sex abuse, although it was just a day after he first tackled Liam about sexual abuse – which his brother at that stage denied.
Liam Adams, 58, was convicted on 10 counts of raping and sexually abusing his daughter as a child. He is to be sentenced in two weeks.