Tuesday 23 December 2014

SF councillor urges Adams to talk about abuse report delay

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Published 05/10/2013 | 05:00

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams is facing demands from one of his own councillors to make a statement over claims he failed to report the abuse of his niece for nine years.

The call was made by Sinn Fein North Tipperary county councillor Seamus Morris, who ran for the Dail in the last general election, during an interview on his local radio station.

He is the first known member of Sinn Fein to publicly put pressure on his own leader – with the party generally maintaining strict discipline when it comes to internal criticism.

Mr Adams's brother Liam was convicted earlier this week of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, over a six-year period between 1977 and 1983. She was four years old when the abuse began and is now aged 40. She waived her right to anonymity during the case.

Gerry Adams has so far declined to respond to claims that he took nine years to contact police about the abuse. He had been told about the abuse back in 2000 by his brother Liam but only made a complaint to the PSNI in 2009.

Police are currently reviewing Gerry Adams's handling of events to determine whether or not they consider he committed any criminal offences.

EVIDENCE

Officers are studying the evidence he gave to his brother's first trial, which was aborted earlier this year. But the PSNI said this week that they consulted with the Public Prosecution Service in 2010 and were told there should be no prosecution of Gerry Adams.

Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris told the Policing Board meeting in Belfast: "We will re-examine the transcripts (of the recent court case) but all the facts in our knowledge in 2010 have not been moved on materially since the recent trial."

During the 'Tipp Today' show on Tipp FM, Mr Morris was pressed about whether Gerry Adams should make a statement about his actions in the case. "Of course he should, absolutely," he said.

Gerry Adams has confirmed that he was first told about the abuse back in 1987 by Aine Dahlstrom – and that he went to confront his brother Liam about it at the time.

Mr Morris defended Gerry Adams's actions at that time, saying that he was probably "public enemy number one" with the authorities.

"Republicans didn't go to the police in the six counties. Most things were dealt with internally. They just didn't trust the police up there. That's just the way it was," he said.

The court heard that in 1987, Ms Dahlstrom and her mother had reported the sex abuse to the RUC – now the PSNI.

But they later retracted the accusations when detectives tried to exploit them for intelligence on Gerry Adams's role in the IRA.

Irish Independent

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