Gerry Adams confronted his brother Liam Adams over niece’s rape claims
Published 19/09/2013 | 04:00
FORMER West Belfast MP Gerry Adams confronted his younger brother Liam about allegations that he had raped his daughter, Belfast Crown Court has heard.
The court was told that Aine Dahlstrom, along with her mother and her uncle Gerry – then Westminster MP – put the claims to her father in 1987 in Buncrana where he was living with his new family. He denied any wrong-doing.
Liam Adams (58), of Bearnagh Drive in west Belfast, denies 10 counts of rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his daughter from when she was four years old until she was nine.
The alleged abuse occurred between 1977 and 1983.
A jury of nine men and three women were told Liam Adams allegedly raped and indecently assaulted his daughter "as often as he could manage".
In a recorded interview with police played to the court, Ms Dahlstrom claimed her father had abused her when she was four and her mother was in hospital giving birth to her baby brother Conor.
The jury heard that the abuse allegedly happened in three homes in which the family lived in west Belfast and later in her father's north Belfast flat.
Ms Dahlstrom, now aged 40, said she remembered her father telling her "that one day we would run away to Kerry together but not to tell anybody".
In her evidence, she claimed her father had forced her to perform oral sex: "He would push you down to make sure you did what he wanted you to."
The court heard Ms Dahlstrom had told her mother Sarah about the alleged abuse at Christmas 1986. In early 1987, Ms Dahlstrom reported the alleged abuse to the RUC.
However, she said that she later retracted that statement because the family felt the police were more interested in learning information about Gerry Adams than the abuse.
Defence barrister Eilis McDermott questioned why Ms Dahlstrom told police in 1987 that the abuse had begun in 1979, when she later said it had begun two years earlier in 1977.
Ms Dahlstrom told the court she had been only 13 when she reported the alleged abuse, was immature, and had tried to protect her mother by withholding certain alleged incidents.
The trial continues.