“Now I think he’s acted in the best interests of the party..”

I don’t think the BBC’s Jim Fitzpatrick was there when Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams declared his ignorance about his brother Liam’s membership of Sinn Féin, not to mention his ignorance of Liam Adams being “Chairman of Louth [Sinn Féin] Comhairle Ceantair” as far back as June 1996. But the “skitter” did have Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly in the Stormont Live studio today. Here’s the transcript.

Jim Fitzpatrick] “Of course the DUP isn’t the only party where personal issues have impacted upon politics. Your leader, Gerry Adams, has now said that he had no knowledge that his brother Liam was in fact a member of Sinn Féin. How can that be when he was pictured campaigning with him in the elections in the south?”
[Gerry Kelly] – “Well, I think what he said was that he knew that his brother Liam was about in republican circles, which would not be abnormal in the circumstances. He didn’t know that he was a member of Sinn Féin. He should not have been a member of Sinn Féin, let me emphasise that myself, of course he should not have been a member of Sinn Féin. But… but when…”
[Jim Fitzpatrick] – “Given that, should Martin McGuinness have been opening an office for Sinn Féin with him?”
[Gerry Kelly] – “But when he found out… Well, Martin McGuinness didn’t know anything about it you know.”

Which is interesting

[Gerry Kelly] – “So when Gerry Adams found out that he was putting himself forward for election, he spoke to him and removed him from the ability to do that. Now I think he’s acted in the best interests of the party and, hopefully, in the best interests of the family which is involved in… which has to face all of these difficult issues around child abuse. So, I think he acted with integrity. And, people said to me over the last number of days ‘is Gerry Adams avoiding questions?’ Clearly he hasn’t been. He went out yesterday and did a press conference and asked people to ask whatever questions they wanted to and answered them.”

Really, Gerry? Because the reports suggest that Gerry Adams response to questions was to declare that he “[didn’t] think there are any questions to answer.”

Asked about apparent inconsistencies between what he said in the UTV interview and photographs of his brother and Sinn Féin leading figures in a Dundalk newspaper, Mr Adams said: “I don’t think there are any questions to answer. But if there are, put the questions.

“The fact is that he [Liam] should not have been a member of Sinn Féin and I’m totally certain about that,Ғ he said.

I haven’t seen any other answers reported, other than his declaration of ignorance. Or any other questions put to Gerry Adams then.

But the earlier part of Dan Keenan’s short Irish Times report suggests that Gerry Adams was denying knowledge of Liam Adams’ membership of Sinn Féin at the time of the 1997 general election – when they were photographed campaigning together in Dundalk.

SINN FÉIN president Gerry Adams has denied he knew his brother, who faces allegations of sexual abuse, was a party member in Co Louth around the time of the 1997 election.

“The party in its statement on this acknowledged that Liam was a member of Sinn Féin,” Mr Adams said yesterday. However, he added: “For my part, I did not know that Liam was a member of Sinn Féin. I did know he was in republican circles.”

But we know that he’s already claimed to have acted against Liam before the Sinn Féin Louth selection convention – which was held in October 1996.

Which was five months after Martin McGuinness had been photographed with the then “Chairman of Louth [Sinn Féin] Comhairle Ceantair”

And 13 months before “Liam Adams of Sinn Féin in Co Louth” chaired the 40th anniversary at Edentubber with Sinn Féin national chairman Mitchel McLaughlin.

But if he wants questions, there are some more here.