|Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams speaking to the press outside Ireland's parliament|
Aine Adams, niece to Gerry Adams, was horrifically abused by Liam Adams, brother to Gerry Adams, when she was still a toddler.
Liam Adams was found guilty of the abuse by a court in Northern Ireland last week.
The media focus since then has been on Gerry Adams and what his role in his brother’s attempt to cover up his crime was.
The issue has become highly politicized and Adams yesterday accused his political opponents of trying to make capital out of it. He called them a “despicable lobby”.
He is right.
A young woman showed great courage in exposing her father’s crimes years after they occurred. In the first trial that collapsed Gerry Adams gave evidence against his brother. He was not called in the second trial.
There can be few moments as horrific as finding out that incestuous sex abuse is running rampant in your family. Gerry Adams discovered it about his own father and later of his own brother. In both cases there is no question but that he acted correctly.
In his brother’s case his niece went to the police in 1987 to report the charge of incest. They allegedly instead tried to turn her informer against Adams and other members of her family. She withdrew her case.
In March 1987, Aine, Sally, Aine’s mother, and Gerry Adams went to Buncrana, Co Donegal, to confront Liam over what he had had done, but Liam denied raping Aine.
Liam Adams later admitted a single incident in 2000. Because of the earlier experience, going to the police was simply not an option. Adams tried to sort it out within the family.
What had also come up was his father’s abuse of his children. As Gerry Adams stated, "I immediately brought all my siblings together and we tried to deal with that as a collective. And then I went and spoke to my father about it. I confronted him", he said before adding, "It was physical, it was psychological, it was emotional and it was sexual. And for me one of the big questions is why didn't I notice it."
Referring to the abuse issue he stated, "Hindsight is a great person to have at any meeting. All I know is that my concern was to make sure that no one else was being abused; to ensure that those who were abused had every assistance and support.
"And as they were adults dealing with historic crimes that they had the right - it wasn't up to me to decide what course of action they had to take - that they had the right to take their own decisions," he added.
Aine Adams has now been vindicated in a court of law and Liam Adams is going to jail. The Adams family has to deal with the dreadful aftermath of all that. Trying to scapegoat Gerry Adams for the sins of his brother is a pathetic attempt to politicize a dreadful family tragedy.