independent

Thursday 30 October 2014

Deputy Adams claims brother admitted abuse 13 years ago

liam adams on trial in belfast on sexual assault charges

Published 24/04/2013 | 05:20

Deputy Gerry Adams denies he made a statement to police to ‘save his political skin’.

LOUTH TD Gerry Adams has claimed that his brother Liam – on trial in Belfast accused of sex offences against his daughter – admitted to him that he had molested Aine Adams, while the pair were walking 'in the rain' in Dundalk in 2000.

The Sinn Fein president denied in court on Monday that he told lies to a television journalist about his brother Liam. He said he 'took exception' to the accusation.

Mr. Adams was giving evidence in Belfast Crown Court in relation to the case of sexual assault charges against 57-year-old Liam Adams from Bernagh Drive in west Belfast. Liam Adams denies ten charges against him involving his daughter Aine.

During Monday's hearing, Gerry Adams said that in 2000 his brother Liam admitted to him that he had molested Aine Adams. This happened during a 'walk in the rain' in Dundalk.

Defence barrister Eilis McDermott put it to the TD that her client never made such an admission. 'I don't accept your submission', said Mr. Adams, insisting his brother had made an admission of guilt.

Mr. Adams also referred to a meeting in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, with his brother in 1987 where he confronted him about the allegations made by Aine Adams. He spoke to him in the company of Aine and her mother Sarah Marie, and he also spoke to him alone.

On both occasions at that meeting Liam Adams denied the allegations. The court has already heard that on that occasion it was alleged that Mr. Adams threatened to hit Liam Adams with a hammer. Mr. Adams said he never made such a threat.

Ms. McDermott then referred to a television interview the Sinn Fein president gave in 2009 where he said that after the 1987 meeting his brother left the country and that Liam Adams thereafter 'was more or less out of his life for the next 15 years'.

Ms. McDermott said both assertions were lies. Mr. Adams said he took exception to this accusation and that he was not lying. Asked where his brother went, Mr. Adams said he went to Canada.

The barrister said that Liam Adams went to Canada for a period in 1983 but apart from occasional holidays in Spain did not leave the country after that. Mr. Adams said he was providing evidence that was to 'the best of his recollection'.

Ms. McDermott then put several photographs up on screen that showed Mr. Adams in the company of Liam Adams on various dates and in various places. The dates included 1991, 1996, 1997 and 1998. She also showed an inscription to Liam Adams that Mr. Adams signed on the flyleaf of one of his books in May 2001.

Ms. McDermott said this demonstrated that far from being out of his life he was in regular contact with Liam Adams. Mr. Adams said he had never denied he had been in contact with his brother

Ms. McDermott suggested Mr. Adams was trying to create distance between him and the defendant. 'That is not the case; I love my brother'.

Under cross examination, he denied a claim by Ms. McDermott that in order to 'save his political skin', he made a statement to police in 2009 about the confession made to him nine years previously.

When Ms. McDermott said that no such admission had been made by Liam Adams, Mr. Adams said: 'I don't accept it but I understand it'.

The Sinn Fein leader said he had been trying to fulfil his responsibility as an uncle to a young woman he was very fond of. He said that was above politics and saving his political skin had no consideration in any of these matters.

The trial continues.

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