A father accused of raping his daughter said he had lied to detectives because it was “drummed” into him never to talk about his brother, Gerry Adams, Belfast Crown Court has been told.
Liam Adams admitted today he had lied during a police interview when he claimed that his eldest brother Gerry hadn’t confronted him about allegations he had sexually abused his daughter Aine.
The confrontation happened in 1987 when Gerry Adams had travelled to his younger brother’s house in Buncrana, Co Donegal, with Aine and her mother, to challenge him about the alleged abuse.
Liam Adams said he had ignored legal advice from his own solicitor to tell police the truth about that meeting because of the way he had been brought up.
“It was drummed into me by my father, you don’t talk about Gerry Adams. You don’t talk about Gerry in the barracks, to the police, to the army, even in social gatherings as you get older. You don’t talk about Gerry Adams full stop,” he said.
Liam Adams (58), of Bearnagh Drive in west Belfast, denies 10 counts of rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, from when she was four years old until she was nine between 1977 and 1983.
Mr Adams said that a few months after his February 2007 police interview, he realised he shouldn’t have lied. Prosecution barrister Ciaran Murphy asked why he hadn’t gone back to detectives and told the truth.
He suggested Mr Adams could have told detectives about the meeting without even referring to his brother. “What harm was it doing to Gerry Adams to say you were confronted by your daughter?” Mr Murphy asked.
“Why not leave Gerry Adams out of it altogether and say your daughter confronted you in Buncrana? This has nothing to do with Gerry Adams, this is covering up the truth.”
“I refute that categorically,” Mr Adams said. He told the court that at the Buncrana confrontation neither his daughter Aine nor her mother Sally had spoken. “She never confronted me. She just happened to be there. Sally never opened her mouth. Gerry Adams opened his mouth and that was it.”
Asked by the prosecution why Aine and her mother had gone to Donegal if they didn’t speak, Mr Adams replied: “I don’t know why they were.” He said he had been “dumbfounded, shocked” when Gerry Adams had told him Aine’s claims: “I said ‘are you mad? I wouldn’t do that.’”
The barrister suggested that Mr Adams had told “lie after lie” to police and had tried to “spin a yarn” about not even living in Donegal in 1987 “to get the police to go away”. Mr Adams strongly denied this.
He told the court he had worked as a youth leader for almost 20 years in West Belfast and Dundalk and there had never been a complaint about him.
When asked by the prosecution if he had ever thought of telling the youth centres that his daughter had claimed he’d sexually abused her, he replied: “Why would I? It wasn’t true.”
When detailed allegations were put to him that he had raped his daughter and forced her to have oral sex with him, he replied: “No that didn’t happen, definitely not.”
The prosecution said that his daughter had made the abuse allegations as a child and “despite her being grown up she’s still here telling (them) with no motivation whatsoever to do so.”
Mr Adams said he didn’t know why his daughter was making the claims. “I never done any of these things to Aine,” he said. The trial continues.