Arrest warrants, judicial process and the presumption of innocence….

First, a thought for the defence. Liam Adams is accused by his daughter of serious sexual assault from a young age. He is further suspected of such by his older brother Gerry. But like anyone else, he must be presumed innocent until such times as he is conclusively proven guilty.

It may be that he deliberately crossed the border to surrender to the Guards because of a residual distrust of the PSNI. In fact it should also be noted in mitigation of the Adams family’s behaviour that it is only in the last 15 to 20 years that the police have developed the resources to deal with what was widely known in policing circles at the time of the alleged abuse ‘a domestic’…

The received wisdom within the RUC (and most other forces) at the time the alleged abuse was taking place was, ‘stay out of it and keep your distance’… To that extent, whilst the Adams story may read implausibly to a contemporary audience there is a legitimate historic context to this story (ie, that families dealt with such problems privately) which should not be forgotten.Second, the Sinn Fein press office was furious last night that at Liam Adams presentation to the Guards in Sligo a European arrest warrant had not already been issued. The PSNI say that would take weeks to assemble, although both the UK and Ireland are signed up to the electronic Schengen Alerts system that presumably (meaning, I am not exactly sure) would have given the Guards a means to detain Liam Adams immediately.

That suggests that the PSNI had not actually intended to arrest Mr Adams in any case. In fact it is not clear what the usual protocol for dealing with the kind of accusation put into the public domain by Liam Adams last Friday evening. Or whether indeed the police actually have a protocol as such. I think we might presume that until last Friday evening the case was less than top priority.

And in the terms in which the details of this story is unfolding, what, if anything (except the public controversy), has changed since then?

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  • Paul

    Yet again there are so many questions about this whole scandal that need answering that havt yet come out.Its not surprising that the Sinn fein press office and Adams frantictly spinning. the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth must come out in all of this.

  • Paul

    I smell a cover up in all of this.

  • Paul

    The truth will come out as yet Gerry Adams account in all of this simply dosnt add up.

  • Seamus

    Paul you are correct.
    Gerry is all out of sacrifacial lambs with this one.
    Not even the cops or the social services are out on the limb like him.
    They had before them an aledgation that was not being persued when Gerry was already convinced of his brother being a child rapist and for whatever reason failed to act as any responsable individual would have.

  • Seamus

    Now Gerry wants to know why no one is asking questions of any other parties involved, making himself look a victim yet again.
    Gerry welcome to the real world outside the PRM where you answer your questions and every one else answers theirs.
    Not so quick with plausable rebuttals when there`s no spin machine to hide behind.
    Now we see the real gerry with all his courage and vision.

  • Paul

    #

    Now Gerry wants to know why no one is asking questions of any other parties involved, making himself look a victim yet again.
    Gerry welcome to the real world outside the PRM where you answer your questions and every one else answers theirs.
    Not so quick with plausable rebuttals when there`s no spin machine to hide behind.
    Now we see the real gerry with all his courage and vision.
    Posted by Seamus on Dec 23, 2009 @ 01:13 PM

    thats what adams is trying to do play the innocent well it wont wash.No amount of spinning will get him off the hook in my view this scandal is now an uncontrolable monster because one adams accounts in this scandal simply dont add up the questions which are going to have to be answered havnt yet being answered.Now the position his brother had in west belfast adams said he went to them and told them his brother was a child abuser yet his brothers employers said they never had any such records of gerry adams going to them.So whos lieing i know who i beleive

  • Paul

    And just to add if Adams had told them his brothers employers surely it would of being all over north and west belfast the media etc about his brother and it would of being in the nespapers radio etc not just in NI but right across the globe.Yet nothing only now do we know it seems to me this has only come out because gerry adams neice went public a few days ago.Thats is how we now al now know i smell a cover up.

  • tacapall

    Second, the Sinn Fein press office was furious last night that at Liam Adams presentation to the Guards in Sligo a European arrest warrant had not already been issued. The PSNI say that would take weeks to assemble, although both the UK and Ireland are signed up to the electronic Schengen Alerts system that presumably (meaning, I am not exactly sure) would have given the Guards a means to detain Liam Adams immediately.

    That suggests that the PSNI had not actually intended to arrest Mr Adams in any case. In fact it is not clear what the usual protocol for dealing with the kind of accusation put into the public domain by Liam Adams last Friday evening. Or whether indeed the police actually have a protocol as such. I think we might presume that until last Friday evening the case was less than top priority.

    Finally someone is questioning the powers that be as to why this man was allowed to go free, Why, if Liam Adams was on the run for a year not arrested when he handed himself in. Why has the police not acted proactivly in trying to have this man arrested. There is a cover up but not from Gerry Adams or his family, it is the police and social services, who for whatever reason decided not to act in the fashion that the law demands of them.

  • “That suggests that the PSNI had not actually intended to arrest Mr Adams in any case”

    This might be a ‘reserved’ matter, tacapall. It’s unlikely that police forces across these islands would be permitted to involve themselves in politically sensitive cases without political clearance.

  • tacapall

    This might be a ‘reserved’ matter, tacapall. It’s unlikely that police forces across these islands would be permitted to involve themselves in politically sensitive cases without political clearance.

    It might be politically sensitive but nevertheless a 4 years old child was alledgely raped, this is not something you can stay out of for politically sensitive reasons. As for political clearence the peace process has survived other politically sensitive incidents and will continue to survive more. The questions that need to be answered is why the police and social services acted as they did, after all they are the people tasked by society to act in these circumstances.

  • Paul

    tacapall has arrived bless him frantic and spinning into overdrive.get real adams has questions to answer his accounts simply dont add up and this now this scandal I beleive is going to turn into a much wider scandal.such is the seriousness of it and the complete failure of gerry adams accounts

  • tacapall

    Paul I have to say sometimes your’e funny but your constant repeating of the same line is really frustrating. If people dont agree with you, try and convince them otherwise and not try to resort to personal insults. Other people have to answer serious questions as well on this matter but like I said before you turn a blind eye to that.

  • Paul

    #

    Paul I have to say sometimes your’e funny but your constant repeating of the same line is really frustrating. If people dont agree with you, try and convince them otherwise and not try to resort to personal insults. Other people have to answer serious questions as well on this matter but like I said before you turn a blind eye to that.
    Posted by tacapall on Dec 23, 2009 @ 02:10 PM

    i am sorry you find my line funny.This is a very serious matter a child was abused and a man has being walking the streets for years with gerry adams knowing about it.this has only come out because the victim has gone public if she hadnt i doubt we would ever have known what does that tell you.?????

  • tacapall

    i am sorry you find my line funny.This is a very serious matter a child was abused and a man has being walking the streets for years with gerry adams knowing about it.this has only come out because the victim has gone public if she hadnt i doubt we would ever have known what does that tell you.?????

    Thats the point I am making, you for whatever reason are focussing on Gerry Adams alone, even though it is fact that the police and the social services were informed at the same time as Gerry Adams and never acted on it, but in your eyes this never took place, your like something out of the dark ages the witchfinder general comes to mind.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Regarding the PSNI, when did Aine request that the case be reopened again ?

    Nevin:

    It’s unlikely that police forces across these islands would be permitted to involve themselves in politically sensitive cases without political clearance.

    I don’t think that’s how it works, otherwise would we have seen the MET questioning Tony Blair over the honours probe ? I’m sure the police tread carefully when they are dealing with political cases, but we don’t live in a police state where the police are subject to outwardly political control.

  • Paul

    Gerry Adams said he went to his brothers employers to tell them his brother was a child abuser.His brothers employers said they have never had no such records of or being contacted by gerry adams ever contacting them concerning that.So whos telling the truth and who is lieing.?Hey and theres more to come

  • Seamus

    Thats the point I am making, you for whatever reason are focussing on Gerry Adams alone, even though it is fact that the police and the social services were informed at the same time as Gerry Adams and never acted on it, but in your eyes this never took place, your like something out of the dark ages the witchfinder general comes to mind.

    Pass the buck is not suffice in this case.
    Again the cops and social services were merely dealing with an acusation that was not being persued.
    By gerry now posing the question of their shortfall through their inactivity to persue any factor of the issue, he calls his own actions in to question even more.
    He can hardly claim ignorance of proceedure.
    Therefore why has he not questioned the cops and social services contributions until now.
    Should he not have been raising this very issue with the relevent authorities (psni and social services) when he first became aware that his brother had not only got employment with a youth facility but that he had in fact passed a screening process carried out by both groups.
    Only now when under pressure he wants a fall guy.
    Time to stand up and be counted for your own actions Gerry

  • Comrade Stalin, I think you’ll find that when it comes to Northern Ireland there is political direction, sometimes conjointly with Dublin. It’s been that way since at least 1985.

  • “this is not something you can stay out of for politically sensitive reasons”

    You’d like to think so, tacapall, but it’s my understanding that state officials have at times been unable to do their duty as you’ve described without seeking political clearance. It was part and parcel of the so called peace process and probably predated it.

  • Paddy

    No one here is tryin to do a kangaroo court on Liam Adams, who is due his day in court.

    The focus here is on a major political leader who, it is alleged, has much blood on his hands and who, it is alleged, was in charge of an illegal, armed outfit that committed some heinous acts.

    We ask: Can the Provo leopard change its spots? Is there a hierarchy of victims or, as Gerry says, are raped four year old girls guilty for leading the perpetrators on? And yes, the Adams line seems to be the one favoursed by pedophiles: blame the seductive Lolita child.

    If this was any other politician, he would be gone.

    Of course, the demise of Adams will mean the demise of the crew he led.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    hi paddy – can you quote me where gerry says the things you say? Otherwise you are guilty of a pretty heavy libel.

    Your second paragraph I wouldnt have a problem with.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    hi paddy – can you quote me where gerry says the things you say? Otherwise you are guilty of a pretty heavy libel.

    Your second paragraph I wouldnt have a problem with.

  • joeCanuck

    No one here is tryin to do a kangaroo court on Liam Adams,

    I have noticed that Seamus. The same cannot be said about his brother. One poster in particular who has contributed almost half the posts on this thread alone seems to be almost salivating as he calls for Gerry Adams’ head.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    hi paddy – can you quote me where gerry says the things you say? Otherwise you are guilty of a pretty heavy libel.

    Your second paragraph I wouldnt have a problem with.

  • Some of the folk have been expressing such glee over this families misfortune, remind me of those old crones who supposedly sat knitting whilst some poor sod had his head chopped off by the Guillotine blade.

    Some of the cod psychology, class hatred and sectarianism expressed here on slugger makes one want to puke. Although there is a common thread emerging, those who most wish to pour excreta over Gerry Adams, for what his brothers daughter endured, have little or nothing to say about the disgraceful behaviour of the north of Ireland police and the British security services.(who would have been told about this the minute the young woman and her mother walked into the police station)

    If Liam Adams returns to the north to face these charges in a British court of law, how the police treated this young woman and members of her family when they went to them for help will become central to the case. Yet few seem to be interested in this, whether on slugger or in the mainstream media. It all it was Gerry whot dunit.

    I wonder why that could be?

  • joeCanuck

    Well said, Mickhall.
    Unfortunately you will shortly be accused of being a S.F. spinner trying desperately to save your great leader.

  • Mark McGregor

    MickH,

    While that may be the agenda of some it is not the agenda of all. I’m happy to see where the cards fall in this one – indeed I directed Mick towards Schengen while not really understanding it myself. The PSNI clearly have questions to answer.

    However, I always expect them to do the worst by people and always serve the interests of the British state first. Therefore, for me this case really presents an opportunity to address some of the unaddressed tragedy in Republicanism that stretches far beyond this instance and to the fact the Provisional movement, the PIRA in particular, seemed willing to move sidewards, ignore or cover sexual abuse by volunteers.

    This is not the only case I’m aware of. I hope the walls of silence come tumbling down as a result of the high profile nature of it though.

  • Mark

    I understand the disquiet and anger within the ranks of a section of republicanism, but I feel it would be ‘as’ wrong to use this particular case to attempt to right past wrongs, as it would be for Mr Adams to use his niece’s tragedy and current predicament to attempt to dig himself out of a hole.(Just to be clear I am not saying that is what he has attempted to do)

    For once I believe Republicans should be circling their wagons and they should be circled around the young woman who is at the centre of this storm. One of the virtues which has given Irish republicanism its longevity is patience, there will be time enough in the future to deal with the issues you have mentioned above.

    Best regards

  • joeCanuck

    Although I’m not a supporter of S.F. and have no particular regard for Gerry Adams as is the case for most of N.I.’s party leaders, I think Adams is being unfairly pilloried over this. As Mick refers to in this blog, Adams’ actions when he became aware of the alleged abuse were totally consistent with the norms that applied at that time and he perhaps even went further than many others would have done. Times have changed, thankfully, but we should be wary of judging others unfairly.

  • querulus

    I hope Aine finds some peace and the justice she seeks by the time all this is over, and I hope she does not read or hear how the web is dealing with it. From what I have read, and I have not read it in great detail, she was unhappy with the police response, her uncle’s response and possibly the priest’s response. Her father of course had mistreated her most. When she initially disclosed her abuse her interests were minimised and more powerful interests prevailed. Now she has gathered the courage to face it again, few seem to view it from her perspective, but as before, her abuse is grasped as a means to promote other interests such as attacking G Adams, police, Social Services, the role of Father Troy and to discuss whether it is a widespread problem in certain communities. The issue is what Liam Adams did to his daughter. Everything else to Aine is secondary, but we seem determined to set her aside to make other things the primary issue. Would it not be fairer to her to wait for the trial and hope for justice? Then, when she has hopefully survived the pressure of the trial and can move on with life, we can start the examination of all the secondary issues.

  • Clanky

    “Some of the folk have been expressing such glee over this families misfortune, remind me of those old crones who supposedly sat knitting whilst some poor sod had his head chopped off by the Guillotine blade.”

    It would seem that everyone is so caught up in seeing this as a way to forward there various political agendas that no-one has stopped to think how turning this whole sorry affair into a political circus will affect the young woman at the centre of all of these allegations.

    Adams himself, SF and all the various political opponents of SF as well as the media and other commentators would be better letting the whole mess be sorted out and then dealing with the political fallout of it all afterwards, unfortunately all everyone seems to see is an opportunity for spin.

  • Paddy

    Gerry Adams has continually wriggled out of holes by claiming everyone is a victim and that there should be no hierarchy of victims. The IRA hid their crimes with a flag, the last reguge of the scoundrel.

    Gerry has been putting it out that his siblings – and Liam is the sibling in the spotlight – are victims too of his dead, gun toting IRA pop.

    If we follow Gerry’s logic, the young girl raped is no more deserving of our sympathy than the perpetrator as there is no hierarchy of victims.

  • joeCanuck

    Glad to see that some saner voices are at last appearing.

    Paddy,
    you are jumping from the specific to the general and assuming facts not in evidence.
    Wait and all will hopefully be revealed.

  • John O’Connell

    Well said, Paddy.

    If we follow Gerry’s logic, the young girl raped is no more deserving of our sympathy than the perpetrator as there is no hierarchy of victims.

    There are a lot of republicans trying to rely on the abuse of Gerry Adams’ father for the abuse of his niece. It is always done on us and we never did it on anybody else. We’re the victims and we never inflicted any pain on anybody else that they didn’t deserve. We have the whole Troubles played out in one weekend at the house of Adams.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    With respect I don’t see time being on the side of anyone in this case. Unless Aine seems to get some form of ‘result’ for her brave move, those living with the unresolved abuse they suffered will be less likely to come forward and claim the justice they deserve.

    It will either be a tsunami or nothing. Circling wagons is what the Catholic establishment tried.

    This is an all or nothing moment. SF and the provos need to decide on going the failed route they say with the Catholic church or letting it all come out and ensuring justice is finally done.

  • Paul

    Oh gawd lol the sinners/trolls/spinners still at it trying in vain with there spinning acts trying to get gerry adams off the hook.Well boys you have failed miserably Adams accounts simply dosnt add up theres questions to be answered and wether you. like it or not.

  • Seamus

    It would seem that everyone is so caught up in seeing this as a way to forward there various political agendas that no-one has stopped to think how turning this whole sorry affair into a political circus will affect the young woman at the centre of all of these allegations.

    Adams himself, SF and all the various political opponents of SF as well as the media and other commentators would be better letting the whole mess be sorted out and then dealing with the political fallout of it all afterwards, unfortunately all everyone seems to see is an opportunity for spin.

    Posted by Clanky on Dec 23, 2009 @ 06:34 PM

    Has the whole issue not been suppressed as a result of politic interferance, be it indirectly to save an individuals career or directly to save a partys image.

  • “Has the whole issue not been suppressed as a result of politic interferance,”

    Seamus,

    Yes it has, but now that the brother has turned himself in, even if he has taken the cowardly route by going south to do so. The ball is now in the court of the PSNI and the crown prosecution service.

    As the aim of the victim was, quite understandably to gain her day in court, it is only correct that this should now happen. If she does not, then by god we will all have to revisit these matter again.