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Shatter takes sideswipe at Sinn Fein leader

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has taken a sideswipe at Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams' failure to immediately report his knowledge of a sex abuse allegation against his brother.

Mr Shatter said he did not want to comment specifically on the Liam Adams case but pointed out he had said many times in the past that people should report sexual abuse allegations.

Liam Adams was convicted earlier this week of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter Aine Dahlstrom over a six-year period between 1977 and 1983.

Gerry Adams yesterday defended his failure to contact the police for nine years about the sexual abuse of his niece.

But Mr Shatter said allegations of sexual abuse should always be reported. "I am on record many times in the past stating that a person, who became aware of a sexual abuse allegation, should report that knowledge to police, irrespective of whether the incident had taken place north or south of the Border," Mr Shatter said.

The allegation should then be investigated by the relevant police force and that person should co-operate fully with the police inquiries, he added.

Mr Adams was told by his brother Liam back in 2000 about the fact that he was molesting his daughter Aine – but he did not report this to the PSNI until 2009.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also said anyone who has any information about cases of child sex abuse should go to the Garda, but would not comment on specific cases.

"I don't want to comment on the personal circumstances of any family. I've read the reports no more than anybody else about this. Clearly the issue of paedophilia is something of such sensitivity and importance that if information about these things is known, it should be made known to the authorities at once," he said.

But Gerry Adams defended his actions at Sinn Fein's final news conference to push for a Yes vote in the Seanad referendum.

"First of all, the police were aware over 20 years ago and there's a lot of disinformation being flung around on this issue," he said. "But let me say this, this has been and continues to be a huge ordeal for my family."

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