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Adams refuses to explain nine-year silence on abuse


 Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams

SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has refused to explain why he did not tell police about his brother's sex abuse of his niece for nine years.

As Liam Adams awaits sentencing on November 5 in Belfast for six years of rape attacks on his daughter Aine, the republican leader claimed there was a lot of disinformation about the case.

When challenged about when he was first aware of the assaults on his niece and why he did not report them in 1987, the TD pointed the finger at others.

"The police were aware over 20 years ago and there is a lot of disinformation being flung about in this issue," he said.

"But let me say this, this has been and continues to be a huge ordeal for my family... especially for Aine, but for all members of my family. And I think people need to be given the space to come to terms with all of that.

"And if it was your family, you would want the same respect and space and privacy on these matters."

During the trial, Aine Adams gave graphic details of the abuse, which started when she was aged four.

The first rape she remembers took place while her mother was in hospital giving birth to her brother, Conor, in 1977.

The allegations about Liam Adams were first made public when his daughter took part in a TV documentary in 2009.

A short time later, Gerry Adams revealed his father, Gerry Snr, a veteran IRA man, had physically and sexually abused members of his family.

He was a witness in the first trial which collapsed earlier this year. The Louth TD told Belfast Crown Court he confronted his brother when they met in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in 1987 and that Liam Adams had denied the abuse.

He then revealed his brother later confessed while they were out walking together in the rain in Dundalk, Co Louth, in 2000.

Called on to explain in more detail his knowledge of his niece's abuse and whether he has a relationship with her, he refused to discuss the case further.

He was asked to explain why he did not warn authorities in Co Louth in 2003 that allegations had been made about his brother, who was working with children in Dundalk at the time.

When pressed for a second time about going to the police at an early opportunity, this time in 2000 after his brother confessed, Mr Adams refused to address the issue.

He was forced to answer the questions as he joined colleagues in the Dail yesterday to promote a yes vote in tomorrow's Seanad referendum.