Gerry Adans should leave politics and attend to his shattered family

If Gerry Adams thinks the scandal of the alleged abuse of his niece has gone away, he can think again. Thomas Gagen a former leader writer for the Boston Globe argues that what he did in trying to keep the scandal quiet was akin to what the Catholic Church did in visiting Irish priests it suspected of being child abusers upon the US and then had them moved from parish to parish…

Like the bishops, Adams kept quiet about his brother to protect the institution and cause he served, and like the bishops, he should face the consequences.

Gerry Adams, so skillful at political manipulation, ought to have been able to find a way to bring Liam to account, but he wasn’t willing to risk scandal. Despite knowing of the alleged abuse, he was photographed in 1997 canvassing with Liam for a Sinn Fein candidate in the Irish Republic. More disturbing, Liam Adams was able to get a job working with young people in West Belfast, Gerry Adams’s political domain. Gerry Adams allowed Liam to escape a reckoning and move about Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, much like Catholic bishops allowed priest-abusers to be transferred from one parish to another in the United States and Ireland.

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  • sluggisht

    Boston the dumping ground for Irish peophile priests when they had run out of room in Ireland to prey.

    “Bishops [in Ireland], just like bishops here, have been moving accused priests around, even though they know they are dangerous,’’ said Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org. “Unfortunately the places where they put them include our own backyard. So the Irish crisis, basically, has become our crisis, too.’’

    Standing before the Cathedral of the Holy Cross yesterday, members and supporters of the group said the Irish scandal is deeply linked to the US abuse crisis because priests trained in Irish seminaries are systematically sent to serve in America, including clergy with long histories of abuse.

    They also called on Prime Minister Brian Cowen of Ireland to recognize his country’s responsibility to inform the American public of all child-molesting clergy from Irish dioceses and religious orders who have immigrated to US dioceses.

    Adams’ cover up of his brother will not go down well even in such a traditional heartland as Boston.

    It will go down even worse if it comes to light any Provos were also dumped in Boston the same way pedophile priests were.

    Better for Adams to step down and come clean now before this gets any worse. Which it will anyway.

    This is the sentiment he is facing in Boston:

    At yesterday’s press conference, Helen L. McGonigle, a lawyer from Connecticut, held a picture of herself at age 6, her sharply cut bangs above a child’s innocent eyes and smile. McGonigle said she was 6 when she was abused by a priest named Brendan Smyth, who left a trail of abuse in Britain and Ireland before he came to work in East Greenwich, R.I.

    Smyth died in an Irish prison in 1997, shortly after pleading guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing 20 Irish boys and girls between 1958-1993.

    “We know it was problem in the Diocese of Providence having this Irish priest who was a known pedophile,’’ said McGonigle, now 48.

    “This is a classic example of an organization that doesn’t give a hoot about protecting children,’’ she said.

    Jeffrey Thomas said yesterday that he also had been abused by Smyth.

    Thomas filed suit in Providence Superior Court against the Diocese of Providence and others, alleging that he had been abused by Smyth at an East Greenwich, R.I., parish school.

    “I am a survivor of clergy abuse,’’ he said outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. “The bigger crime to me is that [Smyth’s] superiors knew about his appetite and his sexual desires and still put him in populations with small children to reoffend.’’

    Substitute Helen McGonigle above for Aine Tyrell, Boston for Clonard, Beechmount and Dundalk and Donegal.

    Mr Adams needs to come clean, and stop the cover up.

  • disgusted poleglass housewife

    the man is a liar and also he has shown how spineless his colleagues in s.f are,he and those t,d, senators who have been caught out lying should be booted out of the party unceremoniously

  • sluggisht

    Fionnuala O’Connor in today’s Irish Times

    The drip feed of toxic waste from the IRA years will not go away. Honesty is the only answer. If Northern political leaders learn nothing else from the past, they might look at what denial and cover-up has done for Ireland’s spiritual mentors.

  • Mr Crowley

    Arthur Morgan still unavailable for comment. High standards of integrity in the professional liars party.

  • lorraine

    adams had more to worry about than his despicable behaviour towards his niece and her situation, alone.

    over the years the provisional leadership has been quite self-preserving when it comes to embarrassing issues like child abuse (even drug abuse): the ordinary proletariat get a few bullets for such misdemeanors, but the relatives and favourite pets of the provisional leadership were afforded much more enlightened and humane treatments: relocation to a new area (much like the bishops moving the paedo priests around parishes)

    there are other cases of predatory padeophiles from within the ranks of the great and the good of provisionalism, cases which were brushed under the carpet at the time but hang now like ominous swords of damocles waiting to fall.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Perhaps the only surprise here is that there is some genuine outrage in the Nationalist/Republican communities that Gerry is less than lily-white.

    Despite apparently never having been a PIRA member, he has been an unashamed apologist for some of the most gruesome and depraved acts of violence carried out in their name.

    Can a man who has endorsed and excused countless murders really be expected to put the safety of west Belfast children above his party interests?

    Unlike the catholic bishops or Iris, Gerry won’t be resigning over this issue. The only event likely to oust him is a good kicking at the next election.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “Unlike the catholic bishops or Iris, Gerry won’t be resigning over this issue. The only event likely to oust him is a good kicking at the next election.”

    Indeed, folk should run him in the next election. Adams is useless. He serves no purpose, just like his side kick Mary Lou in the south.

    greagoir o frainclin

  • Paddy

    To be fiar to Gerry, with the family he has, he probably want to stay as far away from them as possible. Let’s hope he keeps them away from the kiddies of Belfast.

    Joe Hendron said the only job Gerry ever brought to West Belfast was his own MP one.

    I had heard that at one time the IRA considered killing Hendron to ensure Gerry’s triumph.

  • It is unfair to say that Gerry Adams is the same as the Catholic Church. His family are victims of abuse.

    I am detecting some attempts at vengeance here.

    If it is true that members of his family were abused by their father and if it is true that Liam Adams abused his daughter, that is bad enough. His would not be the first family to try to conceal sexual abuse from public knowledge. This is his family not his congregation, and so far as we know at the moment no one outside the family was involved.

    If there is more to be found, if child abusers were protected by the IRA because of their position within that organisation, then that would be a different matter.

    To be honest I think it is time we cut the sectarian crap from this some things are more important.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Can’t speak for other posters pippakin but in my case there are no ‘sectarian’ overtones here.

    I’ve given Iris an equally tough time on another thread but at least she has had the decency to resign, albeit obliquely.

    As Mick has stated, no other party leader would be likely to, or would even expect to, weather such a storm involving not only lies and errors of judgement but potential danger to children in his own constituency.

    Sexual abuse inside families is all too common — the important factor is how it is dealt with.

    Far better and more honourable for Gerry to step down ‘to spend more time with his family’ than attempt to brazen this sad story out any longer.

  • KateMcC

    Having an affair is a totally private matter to be resolved within a relationship, it is not a crime.The way the media salivate over Peter and Iris’s marital problems was nauseating, particularly so when compared with the kidglove treatment afforded to Adams, who did commit a crime by withholding information regarding the committing of one.
    Child abuse is a crime, Adams has admitted he was aware an alleged crime took place, in fact he says he belived it took place. Yet he did nothing but allowed the alleged criminal/abuser to move freely amongst the most vulnerable. Protecting child abusers was and is something the IRA did, everyone in nationalist areas knows it.
    There are many community workers in place despite the authorities being aware they are unfit. All part of instiutionalising of former paramilitaries into the peace. This is the reality!
    Unfortunately Áine’s story is not an isolated one but thankfully she had the courage to speak up. These people depend on silence and in Ireland there are many willing to comply.
    Many victims of child abuse say the cover up, if we were talking about murder would we contextuallise it as a ‘family affair’, sex with children is not ‘a private matter’, it’s a crime.

  • tacapall

    Protecting child abusers was and is something the IRA did, everyone in nationalist areas knows it.

    No insult intended Kate, but that is utter rubbish. Pure innuendo, back up what you say, there are plenty of men in The Republican Movement with integrity who would not stand for that no matter who was involved.

  • Paul

    Adams’ cover up of his brother will not go down well even in such a traditional heartland as Boston.

    It will go down even worse if it comes to light any Provos were also dumped in Boston the same way pedophile priests were.

    Better for Adams to step down and come clean now before this gets any worse. Which it will anyway.

    Mr Adams needs to come clean, and stop the cover up.

    Posted by sluggisht on Jan 07, 2010 @ 11:37 AM

    I totally agree Adams position is clealy untenable he should resign.It will only get worse for him and SF if he dosnt.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Boston has suffered greatly at the hands of priest who have sexually abused children.

    Boston has suffered greatly at the hands of the church bishops who transfered and covered up the sex abusing priest.

    Boston has suffered greatly with Church closings to sell off the property to pay for the court costs these crimes have incured.

    Boston is a place sinn fein gets lots of money….and the people are digusted by sinn fein and the bishops…both are dirty and disgusting.

    Lets see if the love of money will have sinn fein kick Gerry out…because with the liability of gerry and keeping him in the party and as president…they kiss their support and big bucks down the toilet.

    as a side note…one of the biggest sex offending priest in boston was sent to jail…and his cell mate put a mattress over him…and jumped on him until the priest died….People on the whole don’t like adults who rape and sexually victimize children…and sinn fein silence…is disgusting

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Interesting account Kathy — whilst few could condone what happened to the priest in prison, how was this dealt with and percieved in Boston? It’s difficult to imagine such a thing happening here in Ireland.

    Was there a public outcry and investigation into the circumstances surrounding this man’s death? Were questions asked as to why a paedophile was presumably not segregated? What did the church have to say about this incident?

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi Gerry,
    you can read the account here—-

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/08/24/geoghan/index.htm

    I do recall that they did speak of the cell mate jumping on him with a mattress. I don’t recall anyone sad except the church that made nice comments to the priest family.

    your words had me think…. why a paedophile was not segregated in prison…made me ask…why gerry adams didn’t have his paedophile brother segregated instead of posing with him and campaigning with him…interesting thoughts.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi again Gerry,

    the link doesn’t work–bummer. do a search on

    sex offending priest killed in MA or

    Fr. geoghan death

    it’s in the cnn files but didn’t link up-sorry. It’s an interesting story

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Thanks Kathy I googled the story as you suggested and now have most of the facts.

    Mixed feelings — although many would say with some justification that this priest deserved no less, such a case could be used as a precedent for dioceses NOT reporting sex abuse — ‘this is the type of justice priests can expect’ etc.
    Likely better that all sex offenders serve their full sentences and in the case of priests never be allowed to work with children again.

    As regards Adams, whilst no-one is suggesting that he did anything illegal in this case, his judgement and ability to tell the truth are very much in question and he would be well advised to stand down at the earliest opportunity, both for the sake of his party and the wider community.

    Great tribute must be paid to his niece who has waived her anonimity in order that her abuser be brought to justice. This case, like so many others, demands that abuse victims of all ages be believed and given priority over their tormentors. This type of sickening crime will likely always be with us but despite rather than with the ‘help’ given by individuals such as Adams, it’s numbers can be greatly reduced.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi Gerry,

    You are correct–a great tribute must be paid to his niece…such courage.

    I have asked on this site but with no definate response…is what Gerry Adams did illegal? Especially if he states he believed her and then campaigned with the man he considered to be a rapist…aka law breaker? I don’t know?

  • Halfer

    Tacapall wrote

    “Protecting child abusers was and is something the IRA did, everyone in nationalist areas knows it.

    No insult intended Kate, but that is utter rubbish. Pure innuendo, back up what you say, there are plenty of men in The Republican Movement with integrity who would not stand for that no matter who was involved.

    I can assure you quite confidently of two pedophiles from within the provisional movement who were discovered in West Belfast and spirited out with kneecaps intact.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    This isnt like the bishops for two obvious reasons:
    1) the bishops in question pro-actively move paedophiles to where they would do more damange
    at most Gerry didnt actively stop his brother moving himself. Although as the brother wasnt convicted i’m not sure what he could say – especially not without compromising the daughters anonymity

    2) The bishops stopped the authorities being alerted. Here we know the authorities were alerted, and reacted (according to the mother) by trying to gain informers out of the situation

    In my mind Gerry has serious questions to answer around Suzanne Breen’s stuff – in particular timing. If he thought/knew his brother was a paedo in 87 – why was he even seen in the same photo as him in the 90s.
    OK Liam’s position may not have been that senior (I dont know enough about SF struture either way to comment), but he was in SF for a reasonable amount of time it appears. As well as the moral implications of this, the lack of political judgement allowing this man to stay in the party is incredible.

    However, its nothing like the long -running, wide ranging and institutional cover-up by the church.

    And Gerry should go – he’s a aliability, for reasons that include, but are not limited to, this whole sorry episode.

  • tacapall

    I can assure you quite confidently of two pedophiles from within the provisional movement who were discovered in West Belfast and spirited out with kneecaps intact.
    Posted by Halfer on Jan 07, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

    Well if they are two pedophiles why are you protecting them ? Back up what you say and name them !

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “Back up what you say and name them !”

    Are you making that request on Mick’s behalf or do you have your own site?