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Tuesday 26 March 2019

Ex-hunger striker says Adams could have helped niece

Gerry Adams has been criticised in wake of his brother's conviction
Gerry Adams has been criticised in wake of his brother's conviction

Suzanne Breen

A FORMER IRA hunger-striker has called on Gerry Adams to resign from the Bobby Sands Trust for failing to take adequate action to protect children when he discovered his brother was a paedophile.

Gerard Hodgins from west Belfast, who was on the IRA's 1980 hunger strike in the Maze, said the Liam Adams trial had brought to light "very disturbing information" about the Sinn Fein president's actions relating to "this sordid episode".

The Bobby Sands Trust holds the copyright on all Sands's writings and promotes his memory across the world.

Mr Hodgins, a former Sinn Fein press officer, said Mr Adams's handling of his brother's abuse of his own daughter Aine raised serious questions.

"Gerry Adams must resign from the Bobby Sands Trust due to his role in not doing enough for Aine and because he allowed his paedophile brother to continue as both an active member of Sinn Fein and a youth worker."

Mr Hodgins accused Mr Adams of showing "neither care nor compassion" towards his niece when she told him her father had raped her.

In the harshest criticism the Sinn Fein president has faced from within the republican community over his actions regarding his brother, Mr Hodgins accused him of criminalising the republican movement in both his alleged role in 'disappearing' people – which Mr Adams strongly denies – and in his response to child abuse.


Mr Hodgins said: "Gerry Adams began his career emulating South American military dictators who had a habit of disappearing people and ended his career emulating a cardinal of the Catholic Church protecting child abusers."

Meanwhile, Mr Adams has shown a bizarre lack of sensitivity to his niece Aine by tweeting about his birthday celebrations and printing a poem about triumphantly surviving criticism from opponents.

The Sinn Fein president, whose 65th birthday occurred yesterday, posted on Twitter: "I am delighted 2 become a pensioner. Yeeehaaa! All things considered not bad! x"

The tweet came just four days after his brother Liam was convicted on 10 counts of raping and sexually abusing his daughter.

Mr Adams's playful sentiments on Twitter are at odds with the grave tone he expressed after his brother's conviction last week.

The Sinn Fein president tweeted a poem 'And Still I Rise' against a backdrop of an Easter lily, the traditional symbol of Irish republicanism.

"You may shoot me with your words/You may cut me with your eyes/You may kill me with your hatefulness/But still, like air, I'll rise," states one verse.

Mr Adams posted the poem amid the growing belief on both sides of the Border that he is unfit to hold public office.

He faces criticism over withholding Liam's confession of abuse from police for nine years, taking inadequate steps to protect children in youth centres where his brother worked, and making untrue statements about Liam's role in Sinn Fein.

Aine Dahlstrom has accused the Sinn Fein president of not supporting her.

Irish Independent

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