Questions remain about Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ actions during the 22 years since he was told of the allegations of child abuse by his brother Liam – allegations he told UTV Insight Special that he believed on hearing them from his niece Aine in 1987.
The Sunday Tribune report on Liam Adams’ attempt to secure the Sinn Féin Dáil nomination for Co Louth in 1997 has a photograph of Gerry Adams at Liam Adams’ second marriage, taken sometime after the allegations were made, and notes that Liam Adams was described as a “‘project worker’ on a youth scheme” in a Dundalk newspaper in 2004.
In the comments zone of Mick’s post on that Dáil nomination, Mark points to a short notice in An Phoblacht in 1997 of a pamphlet written by Liam Adams on “Our children, drugs, alcohol and solvents” produced by “Dundalk-based Muirhevnamor Community Youth Project”.
The Tribune report also indicated this New York Times article from 1998 where Liam Adams, who “came to Dundalk 10 years ago”, is referred to as “the chairman of the community council”. On RTÉ’s This Week Tommie Gorman asked Gerry Adams [10min 27sec in]-
“But I’m talking about you as a public person, as the leader of a party. Your brother continued to be a member of Sinn Féin. You knew about these accusations about him, you actually believed these accusations..”
[Gerry Adams] “Well I moved when I heard that my brother, my brother moved out of my life and moved out of all of our lives when he went abroad for a while. And then he come back and although I saw him occasionally during that period, maybe a period of 15 years, when I learnt that he was a member of Sinn Féin it was I who moved to get him dumped out of Sinn Féin.
When I heard that he was working in youth facilities again I pressed him to leave and with one of the facilities I reported it to the authorities which were responsible for that facility. All I can tell you is that we now know much more about child abuse and how to deal with it than we did as I was developing my knowledge about it all.”
The Sunday Tribune report, and I believe the UTV Insight Special, note that the facility Gerry Adams intervened in was in his constituency of West Belfast
At one stage Liam Adams worked for youth groups in West Belfast. Gerry Adams claims he had no knowledge of this and stopped it when he found out. Gerry Adams also said that he took his niece, then aged 14, to confront her father when he heard of the allegations.
His behaviour has been criticised by those who deal with sexual abuse. Eileen Calder of the North’s Rape Crisis Centre, said: “Gerry Adams has an awful lot of explaining to do about the way he handled the situation. He is so well-educated and politically astute, how did he mishandle it so badly?