“I’m also a very busy activist. A lot of this happened at a time of intense, hyper activity.”

On the Politics Show today, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly made an interesting point in response to a question about the credibility of party president Gerry Adams’ latest declaration of ignorance – of his brother Liam’s involvement in a party branch in Andersonstown in recent years

“Let’s be logical about this. If Gerry Adams went in Louth and spoke to his brother and told him to leave, why would he not do it in Andersonstown?”

And it’s a good question, “If Gerry Adams went in Louth and spoke to his brother and told him to leave”. Because, despite previous statements by Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin spokesmen, the story now is that Liam Adams was not “dumped out of Sinn Féin”, nor was he “expelled”. Instead, we are told, Gerry “spoke to his brother” and he “later left the party”. But did he? Because if Liam Adams had, in fact, not been “told to leave” the party in Louth it would have been perfectly natural [and logical] for him to join the local cumann in Andersonstown when he was working in west Belfast as a youth worker between 1998 and 2006. One other point to note about Gerry Adams’ claimed intervention ahead of the Louth selection convention – which was held in October 1996.

Asked by the Sunday Tribune if it was appropriate that he went canvassing with Liam in the June 1997 Dáil election campaign

[Gerry Adams] didn’t answer the question about the appropriateness of his own behaviour.

Instead, he replied he “did not think it was appropriate” for Liam to have been canvassing “and I told him so afterwards”.

And yet, in November 1997 Liam Adams chaired the 40th anniversary commemoration at Edentubber where he introduced the main speaker, Sinn Féin national chairman Mitchel McLaughlin, to a reported crowd of 1000 republicans.

Back to west Belfast.

We are also informed by today’s Sunday Tribune, that Liam Adams was “an active and founder member of the Lower Andersonstown Sinn Féin cumann by the name of ‘Cumann Mheon na Fuiseoige’ that met on a weekly basis in the Felon’s Club in Lower Andersonstown.” The republican source who contacted the paper about this “stated that Liam Adams canvassed for Sinn Féin in Belfast and was involved in many fundraising events in the city for the party.”

In addition to the chairmanship of the cumann, as acknowledged by Friday’s Sinn Féin statement, Liam Adams was a treasurer for the party in west Belfast and “joint signatory” on the cumann cheque book.

We can also add more information to the existing Liam Adams Timeline

Whilst the Sinn Féin statement placed Liam Adams’ involvement in the Andersonstown cumann “From 2000 and for a number of years”.

The Sunday Tribune notes that

In a clear damage limitation exercise, Sinn Féin stated on Friday that Liam held several positions, including chairman, of an Andersonstown cumann “before the cumann dissolved”.

A death notice placed by the cumann in the Irish News shows it was still active in 2004.

We also have the later photographs published by the Andersonstown News – also noted in the Timeline

In April 2006, Liam Adams was photographed smiling with Sinn Féin Assembly member Fra McCann and former party chairman Tom Hartley on the Falls Road. He was surrounded by children from the Beechmount Community Project where he worked [from 2004 to 2006]. There is no suggestion that McCann or Hartley knew Liam Adams was a suspected paedophile. The previous year, Liam was photographed with children at Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day parade.

According to Gerry Adams’ latest comments on the credibility of his declaration of ignorance

The BBC’s Gareth Gordon asked: “How could you not have known? You’re the MP for West Belfast, that’s your power base?

Mr Adams replied: “Well, I can only tell you I don’t know every member of the party in west Belfast. I’m also a very busy activist. A lot of this happened at a time of intense, hyper activity.

“But I didn’t know. That’s it. People will make up their own mind on that and decide on their own position.”

But, as detailed in the Timeline, Gerry Adams has claimed to have been in contact with Liam during this time.

According to the UTV Insight programme, around Christmas 2003 Liam Adams sent a small amount of money to his daughter Áine.

Gerry Adams told the same programme that “from 2002 to 2007” he had “tried to create a circumstance where Liam would come forward” to meet his daughter, Áine.

And from a previous post

Gerry Adams has stated that “When I heard that [Liam] 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 [Clonard].”

And in this Irish Times report

When I discovered in the Belfast situation that he was working in a youth facility I went to those who had responsibility for that facility and told them of the allegation.

“He also had RUC or PSNI clearance to work in those facilities. I also pressed Liam to come out of it and in the second case he did what I demanded of him. I’m not suggesting that I handled this perfectly. I now know much, much more about how you handle these issues than I did at the time.”

Liam Adams was working at Clonard Youth Centre between 1998 and 2003. Between 2004 and 2006 he was a youth worker with the Beechmont Community Project. Neither group have any record of anyone raising any concerns about Liam Adams.

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  • Paddy

    Gerry Pinnochio does not ring true at all. Gerry would not have whispered a word into Liam’s ear. He would have words with stalwarts like Bobby Storey to ensure Liam was not allowed into Sinn Fein or was not allowed to remain in it. He would have worked through Sinn Fein, not through Liam to lock Liam out. More porkies.

  • Stewart

    I don’t understand how the police and statutory social service organisations took no action when they were informed.

    Not sure about the protocol for all this, but if the police are informed about a serious allegation of abuse, is it normal for them to take no action, especially when the accused person is working in a youth club.

  • Paul

    The whole scandal and Gerry Adams /sinn feins cover up of it stinks.

  • UlsterWatcher

    Stewart, you hit the nail on the head, son.

    It seems that Gerry Adams is expected to be a lawyer, forensic scientist, counsellor, policeman, social worker as well as a politician.

    What were the police and social services doing throughout all of this?

    Well?

  • UW, Gerry Adams and some of his associates have been a ‘protected species’ for quite a long time so the state agencies would require political clearance before they could intervene. Ditto some of their loyalist counterparts.

  • Paddy

    UlsterWaxxer wants us to believe Gerry is the victim. talk about playing to stereotypes.

    [keep it civil – edited moderator]

  • Paddy

    “I’m also a very busy activist. A lot of this happened at a time of intense, hyper activity.”

    or

    The dog ate my homework.

  • TellMeMa

    UlsterWatcher: “It seems that Gerry Adams is expected to be a lawyer, forensic scientist, counsellor, policeman, social worker as well as a politician.”

    At last some sensible commenting.

    If you believe some of the input on Slugger these last few days, Gerry Adams is super human with “total control” over nearly everything, and absolute control over Sinn Fein and the IRA. As well he is responsible for the alleged* sins of others. Shame. Boo. Hiss.

    What a burden this superman has. I don’t think his detractors intended it… but haven’t they made him somewhat Christlike?

    Whatever, I’m sure they’d like to be preparing the crucifix.

    _____

    *alleged because PSNI/RUC has effectively done nothing about the claims, thus they have not gone through due process.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    I’d try arguing black is white… that has more chance than suggesting that Gerry hasn’t repeatedly lied over this affair.

    C’mon folks this is SF we’re talking about here, are you seriously suggesting ‘I was a bit busy for 10 years to notice my alleged paedo brother was working in my constituency/party’ is any form of believable defence.

    No matter what you think the appropriate response should be, like the Peter Robinson’s defence of ‘I tried to tell her to do the right thing’ it is equally risable.

    Only in Northern Ireland could you even attempt to bluff your way out of being caught repeatedly, and so blatantly lying.

  • ranger1640

    More shifting stories on the Liam Adams departure form Sinn Fein, in the latest BBC NI news Gerry said that he got Liam to leave Sinn Fein.

    However, that is a shift form his first statement when he said, he moved immediately to get him dumped out of Sinn Fein without telling people why, he went on to say he moved very, very quickly.

    So Gerry what is it, did he go or was he pushed.

    Another interesting aspect to this is, if Gerry got Liam to leave there must have been some type of conversation as to why he was being asked to leave Sinn Fein. During that conversation, we can only assume that Gerry told Liam that it was because he believed what Liam’s daughter had told him about the sexual abuse allegations.

    Why then did Liam feel the time was right to rejoin Sinn Fein again in Gerry’s own west Belfast constituency???

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Liam was in
    “Andersonstown when he was working in west Belfast as a youth worker between 1998 and 2006.”

    that’s 8 years liam had access to children other than his daughter.

    and during this time
    ” Gerry Adams told the same programme that “from 2002 to 2007” he had “tried to create a circumstance where Liam would come forward” to meet his daughter, Áine.”

    so gerry was in contact with his brother between 2002 to 2007 the same time liam was in gerry’s neighborhood working around children but gerry says he didn’t know where or what his brother was doing…doesn’t wash.

  • Cynic2

    So for 8 years

    1 Gerry was in contact with his ‘estranged’ brother
    2 Said briotehr was chariing a Cumann 2 streets away from Gerry’s hiome
    3 His brother was regularly meeting other prominent SF members in West Belfast and being photographed with them
    4 Presumably Gerry was in contact with other members of his extended family who were in touch with Liam
    5 Despite all of this he simply didn’t notice what Liam was doing, no-one ever said ‘I met Liam the other day’, ‘He’s doing great job in the Cumann’ or ‘Isn’t it great to see he’s got fixed up with that job with children’

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    cynic2…I agree with ya. In all those years…someone had to say…I saw your brother, liam.
    Anyway…during this time gerr says he didn’t know the whereabout of his brother but at the same time says he was trying to work at getting a meeting between liam and the daughter

    [See commenting policy – edited moderator]

  • Pete Baker

    Kathy and Cynic

    Part of the claimed contact during that time involved Gerry ‘pressing’ Liam to stop working as a youth worker in west Belfast.

    So he’s claimed to have known about that.

    Despite being too terribly busy to have been aware that Liam was running his local Sinn Féin cumann in Andersonstown…