In an online, but unembeddable, BBC clip Sinn Féin TD for Louth, Arthur Morgan, has repeated his assertion that “It transpires that Liam Adams did, in fact, chair the Comhairle Centair for two meetings, after which he resigned.” He also told the Irish News that “What I completely overlooked was that he had been chair of the [district executive] for two months.” When asked by BBC NI Dublin corrrespondent Shane Harrison, “But he was obviously a prominent member of Sinn Féin. There are photographs of him with Gerry Adams. He’s there opening the Sinn Féin office with Martin McGuinness. He was at the Edentubber commemoration as well. He obviously was a senior figure in Sinn Féin?”
[Arthur Morgan] “Well, he did chair the party in Louth for two, for two meetings. So I suppose, yes, that gives some level of seniority. But he did resign after those two meeting.”
But Arthur, as I pointed out here, we have archived evidence that Liam Adams was Chairman of the Louth Comhairle Centair at the start of June 1996 when he was photographed opening the new Sinn Féin office in Dundalk with Martin McGuinness. He chaired the 40th anniversary commemoration at Edentubber in November 1997. That’s 18 months later. Between those dates Liam Adams is one of two names under consideration at a selection convention, advertised in October 1996, for the 1997 Dáil election. And he’s posing for Sinn Féin’s election publicity shots with Gerry Adams in June 1997 while canvassing in Dundalk. Update Spotted by Garza in the comments, “Sinn Fein clarify Liam Adams role”
Sinn Fein has revealed Liam Adams was chairing local party meetings in Belfast, more than three years after formally leaving the party over child sex abuse allegations. The party said Gerry Adams told them he was not aware his brother was involved with the party at this time. They added Liam Adams was doing party work despite not having reapplied to join Sinn Fein after leaving some time around 1997.
And the Sinn Féin statement
We have also established that Liam Adams was Chair of the Louth Comhairle Ceantair for two and a half months in 1996. He held the position of secretary for one month before this time. He was also nominated as Education Officer but he did not take up this position.
Gerry Adams has stated he became aware in 1997 that Liam Adams was a member of Sinn Féin when he heard that his name might be going forward as a potential election candidate. The party President moved to ensure that Liam Adams did not go forward as a candidate and that he later left the party. Gerry Adams did this without involving the party locally or nationally.
Except that we have the Louth selection convention, with candidates Owen Hanratty and Liam Adams, being advertised for October 1996.
And, as well as placing his time as Chairman in Louth in June 1996, we have Liam Adams chairing the 40th anniversary commemoration at Edentubber in November 1997.
They do admit, however,
The fact is that information from this period in the 1990s is not complete.
After this time Liam Adams continued to mix in republican circles and attend some republican events. From 2000 and for a number of years he involved himself in localised party work in Belfast. Liam Adams did not re-apply to join the party as would be required by party procedures. He held a number of positions in a cumann in Lower Andersonstown, including chair for a short period before the cumann dissolved. [added emphasis]
The local organisation was unaware of the allegation against Liam Adams and the circumstances of his departure from Sinn Féin in Louth. Clearly his admission to the party in Belfast should have been avoided. Gerry Adams has informed the party that he was not aware of Liam Adams involvement in party work at this time.
Adds But if Gerry Adams had Liam “dumped out of Sinn Féin”, as he has claimed, why was Liam Adams re-involving himself in the party in his brother’s own constituency?
And if, as a Sinn Féin spokesman previously claimed – as noted here
“[Liam Adams] had lived abroad and when he returned around 1993/94 he started mixing in republican circles in Dundalk. “When Gerry found out he had become a member, he expelled him and that was around 1999.” [added emphasis]
That would mean Liam moved seamlessly from being “expelled” by Gerry Adams from Sinn Féin in Louth, to Sinn Féin activity in west Belfast.
Update It’s worth noting that rather than having Liam “dumped out of Sinn Féin”, Gerry Adams now has a slightly different version of events
“I learned yesterday that my brother Liam Adams became a member of a cumann in Lower Andersonstown after I got him to leave Sinn Féin in County Louth.”
He’s still vague about the actual dates.
But, in 1998 Liam Adams started working in west Belfast at Clonard Youth Centre.
And Liam Adams was still working in west Belfast as a youth worker until 2006.
It would seem entirely natural that, by at least 2000, a former party chairman in Louth would have joined the local cumann.
If he had no reason to believe that would be a problem…