“I just knew.. this is not about my child”

We have had several requests in the comments for a separate blog on this topic – afaik we have not had any material, links or suggested content submitted to the blog team so apologies if this does not cover everything some want raised.

In the Insight interview with Aine Tyrell and her mother Sally on allegations of child abuse by Liam Adams there are questions for the RUC/PSNI. Sally alleges the police were more interested in using her to obtain information (7:10) than investigating the abuse claims. Social Services were aware of the allegations at this stage.

Aine confirms (10:40) she later informed the police she did not want to proceed with a case while not retracting her evidence.

ADDS: Pete’s earlier entry also addressed some of the questions being directed at the police and social services.

  • John O’Connell

    UTV Insight interview

  • Mark McGregor

    Thanks John. Amended

  • John O’Connell

    This was a time when Adams was talking to the British Government through interlocutors. For God’s sake, he controlled the cops on a certain level and could have got a conviction if he truly wanted it.

    Therefore going to the cops means nothing. A word to British intelligence from Gerry Adams and LIam would have been prosecuted. Why didn’t he insist on it instead of suggesting that the matter be dropped after her mother was approached by Special Branch?

  • Pete Baker


    More information has come to light since that intial report.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “A word to British intelligence from Gerry Adams and LIam would have been prosecuted. Why didn’t he insist on it…”

    Because he wanted to save Liam’s life? How much does Liam know? I don’t know, but I can imagine that the more Liam knows, the more likely it is that he is killed by his own people if they discover that he is an (alleged) child rapist, since as (alleged) child rapist, he stands subject to being blackmailed/turned. One also doesn’t word to get out since word getting out would allow the opposition to paint one’s movement as morally degenerate (they are all a bunch of child rapists).

    And then there is Gerry giving a false reason to his people. False reasons can be investigated, as they were on other occasions, and with discovery of the allegations being false, there might be that internecine feud that gets people killed.

    There is also the notion that once Gerry learns of the allegation of child rape, all Liam does is cut ribbons and canvass, as he is a liability to the movement. He doesn’t come close to anything sensitive (as it were).

    You and some others might try grasping a simple notion, to wit, revolutionary movements are singularly unsuited to administer justice (so he’s scarred for life with that kneecapping because we don’t have a jail to put him in, the habitual petty thief, and it isn’t like we are going to cooperate with the police power of the state that we are making war on).

    Lastly, when war is over for most, do you something then? Probably not, since you give the CIRA and RIRA the talking point: Gerry sold out the revolution in order to save self, brother, niece, whoever). Singularly bad time to admit to anything when some are otherwise relating that while you were some talking with the enemy that they knew nothing about, you were asking them to risk a brutal and violent death. Why would Gerry do that? Some played the, your brother raped his daughter, repeatedly, card?

    Almost forgot, but if the reporters here understood the dynamic, they’d be asking Gerry: Gerry, when you found out that your brother was alleged to have…did you instruct the cadre to change the site of all arms depots, new safe houses, etc.? Those are the things, assuming Liam might know of them, that would be changed if Gerry was trying to limit the damage to the movement that Liam could cause if he turned informer in order to save himself from criminal prosecution.

    Does that answer your question?

  • Alias

    So the Security Service in NI don’t recruit informers who have been compromised via their sexual irregularities? If they didn’t, they’d be the only major security service in the world that overlooked blackmail as a part of MICE. However, the Kincora affiar shows that the security services are well aware of the potential of using sexual perversion via a “honeytrap” as a means of recruiting agents, and that they have used these means in an organised manner in NI before and therefore may well have been using them an organised manner NI in regard to the Shinners.

    My theory is that this is what was occurring here. Why do I think this? Well, adjusting my tin-foil hat and checking underneath my mug for listening devices, I think the evidence points in this direction.

    Now we know that PIRA had a policy of not acting to remove members from their ranks who were vulnerable to being compromised by the security services as a result of practices involving the sexual abuse of children (ranging from ages 4 to 16 in the three recent examples). There are only two reasons why PIRA would operate this policy: (a) they were unaware that such members presented a serious security risk to the organisation, or (b) they were aware that such members presented a serious security risk to the organisation. If the former, then PIRA was managed by people who had an intellectual disability. If the latter, then PIRA was managed by people who were colluding with the security services by facilitating a membership that could be easily controlled by the security services.

    MI5 has a very rigorous vetting system for its members called “Developed Vetting” that is designed to detect via an extensive series of checks transgressions or character flaws that could lead to blackmail or otherwise compromise an agent. This is an organisation, remember, that refused to employ known homosexuals before 1995 lest they be vulnerable to compromise. Now days, however, homosexuality is not something that is regarded as a disgrace (Iris Robinson notwithstanding) and unless the agent is still in the closet and determined to stay there, it is not something that he can be blackmailed about. Even minor vulnerable points such as drug use and marital infidelity are offences under DV. Now contrast this MI5’s meticulous inspection of members for compromising details with PIRA’s approach and ask yourself why it is that the leadership of PIRA were so cavalier about their members VPs.

    This dovetails with PIRA’s cavalier approach to its counter-intelligence unit, the Internal Security Unit (ISU). In any secret organisation, it is vital to have a means of detecting enemy infiltration of that organisation. The standard procedure here is to rotate the leadership of the counter-intelligence unit so as to avoid long-term infiltration of it by the enemy. Here again not only did the leadership of PIRA (Gerry and Martin) allow the ISU to be infiltrated by British agents, they actually appointed these British agents to leadership roles within the ISU and kept them in place until one died and the other retired, failing to rotate these positions. That meant that PIRA had absolutely no means of detecting British agents within its ranks. It means simply that British agents operate at every level within the Shinners, and that such was the policy of the leadership.

    So just as we saw the leadership of the PIRA use their positions to ensure that British agents could not be detected within the ranks, it is consistent that they also used their positions in leadership to ensure that those with vulnerabilities such as sexual perversions would not be expelled from the ranks and that the security services would therefore have a means of controlling these people. Telling their own community not to report these offences to the police allows enables this secret world, since the victims would approach the Shinners who would then pass the information on to their handlers as a VP to be exploited for recruitment purposes. If the sex offender was already an agent, then the Shinners would simply provide cover for him.

    So it is very likely that there is a much bigger picture here about the state using sexual offences to recruit informers and the leadership of the Shinners colluding in that practice.

  • Alias

    To focus on the difference between reporting sexual abuse to the police and reporting it to the Shinners:

    If the victim reports her (or, indeed, his) sexual abuse by a Shinner to the police then the police have an opportunity to use that information to coerce the Shinner into becoming an informer. However, they also have a victim who is prepared to use the state as a means of securing justice. This makes it much harder for the police to deny justice to the victim as the price for securing the services of the abuser. It doesn’t make it impossible but it does make it much more difficult. They would have to convince the victim that there is a legitimate reason why the abuser cannot be prosecuted lest the victim (and those state services that support the victim) come to the unwelcome conclusion that there is an undisclosed reason why the abuser is not to be prosecuted. If the victim makes this deduction, then there is a likelihood that the victim’s preparedness to use the state to secure justice will not stop at the closed door of the police department.

    If, however, the victim of sexual abuse did not intend to use the state to secure justice because, for example, the Shinners had a policy of discouraging members of his or her community from reporting sexual abuse to the police and reporting it to them instead, then the handlers of the Shinners could be informed of the details and the security services would then be aware of a VP vulnerable point (VP) that could be used to recruit the abuser as an informer. The security services would simply threaten to prosecute the alleged abuser or to disclose the details of the abuse to others. Since the victim does not intend to secure justice via the state, there will be no suspicion on his or her part about why the abuser was not prosecuted.

    Therefore it is a much better policy for the handlers of the Shinners to get them to warn their community against reporting sexual abuse than it is not to foster this secret world. It is quite ironic that the Shinners would tell their community not to report sexual abuse to the police because it would be used to recruit informers when the reality is that it makes it less likely that informers can be recruited when the state is invited by the victim to become involved in the justice process and more likely that informers can be recruited when the state is by-passed and the abuse reported to the Shinners instead. It, however, shows that the Shinners were well aware that sexual abuse would be used to recruit informers. Why then didn’t they act to remove sexual abusers from their ranks when they knew that? Because they are puppets of the security services.

    The problem for the Shinners now is that the victims in these ‘private prosecutions’ weren’t supposed to ‘go public’ with their stories but they did so because Gerry Adams got fed up managing their cases now that he no longer sees a need to expediently manage them on behalf of his handlers. The best laid plans of MICE and men…

  • Scaramoosh

    Why doesn’t somebody provide a timeline of the evolution of the peace process against the Liam story?

  • Eileen Calder

    One of the first clients I dealt with at the Rape Crisis Centre was gang-raped by loyalist paramilitaries at gun-point. She reported to the police the officers who dealt with her appeared to be genuinely concerned and the perpetrators arrested and questioned 3 weeks later several houses in the estate they live in were raided and ammunition was found. No rape prosecution ever took place. this type of situation happened many times and it is a matter of public record that our centre brought this to public attention many times.

  • John Joe

    I think it is a bit misleading to claim that some of the blogs on here have addressed some of the questions being directed at the security forces (as far as I know only the RUC have actually been named) and social services.
    Given the extent of the allegations and the considerable effort that has been put in to secure comment from various members of Sinn Fein, I think it is still fair, given the seriousness of the subject matter, to have expected similar examination of the social services and RUC in the same systematic manner. Presumably neither Sinn Fein nor the IRA have much of a paper trial over these matters making their investigation all the more difficult.
    Holding an illegal organisation and its political wing to account for the action and inaction of some of its members is one thing. But that still cannot be at the expense of scrutinising the role of the authorities, who on suspicion or following reports, had a primary duty of care (the social services) or the lead role in investigating such claims (the RUC). Both are public organisations with documentary records and archives and are, to some extent anyway, straightforward to investigate.
    It’s becoming clear, from the responses to various blogs over the last few days, that people are beginning to merge the known facts of Aine Tyrell’s case, the X case and Ms Cahill’s case since the lines of anonymity and the absence of detail are making the individual stories difficult to follow (and seems to have made moderation of the legality/appropriateness of the comments a nightmare).
    I’m sure Eileen Calder (see post 9 @08:44) and others have access to statistics or can point to publications which paint an even sadder picture of under-reporting of child abuse and rape across society in Northern Ireland during the years of the troubles. Sadly, it seems that anyone who suggests that this may be worth a little more attention than it is being accorded in this debate is (subtlely) being dismissed as defending Sinn Fein. It is possible to tackle both aspects of this at the same time. It would be sickening if concern over this issue fizzles out if the immediate Sinn Fein story dies, which it is likely to if there are no moves by the PPS to move proceedings towards prosecutions.

  • Blair
  • The police and social services have a great many questions to answer.

    In the case of the police, they may well have been more interested in any information they could gain, and any activist they could ‘turn’.

    In the case of social services, there were obvious connections with the police. Having said that, the record of social services dealing with child abuse, anywhere in Britain, is not exactly praiseworthy.

    In the case of one or two of the paramilitary groups, there seems to have been no need for their members to worry about being caught as a child abuser or rapist, they would simply be moved on to another area, where there were no doubt more victims to molest, and they could simply slither back when the ‘fuss’ had died down.

  • granni trixie

    I have made this point before and do not understand why others do not think it significant or relevant in that it broadens out understanding of the cultural context:

    Why be surprised at stories coming out suggesting how badly child abuse was dealt with,when the ‘punishment’ of largely juveniles has been tolerated (beatings,exiling etc)?

  • Rory Carr

    “This [MI5]is an organisation, remember, that refused to employ known homosexuals before 1995 lest they be vulnerable to compromise.

    Pity then (or,”Good job” if you’re a wee bit Red) that its sister organisation MI6 was less discriminating:

    Guy Burgess KGB Agent within MI6 – Homosexual

    Anthony Blunt KGB Agent within MI6 – Homosexual

    Donald MacLean KGB Agent within MI6 – Bisexual

    Kim Philby KGB Agent within MI6 – Promiscuous

  • Danny Boy

    Good point, granni – the ‘toleration’ for all these acts is related.

  • Jimmy_Sands


    My thoughts entirely. The mentality that says murdering or maiming children is ok but rape crosses the line is something I don’t get. These incidents strike me as an inevitable symptom of gangster culture, rather than the aberration they would like to portray it as.

  • John Joe

    Sadly, Blair, I think you just made my point.