Gerry Adams replies to Sunday Tribune on latest cover-up charges

In the interests of fairness and to show we’re not beating up on the hard pressed President, here in full is Gerry Adams ‘s reply to the Sunday Tribune allegations, Not through a proxy or spokesperson, but in his own words.

What Suzanne Breen failed to say was that neither she nor the Sunday Tribune had asked me any questions. Neither did they ask me for an interview and no attempts were made to contact me. Neither Suzanne Breen nor any other Sunday Tribune journalist bothered to turn up at any of the press events I hosted.

Continues below the fold.Gerry Adams continues..

The PSNI letter explicitly advises me to refrain from speaking to the media about the case as it could possibly prejudice any future trial.

With this advice in mind I showed the questions from the Sunday Tribune to my solicitor Seamus Collins of PJ McGrory & Co. His advice is that he agrees with the contents of the letter from the PSNI that I should refrain from commenting further about these matters and he has advised me in the strongest terms not to respond to these questions.

Nothwithstanding this, it is my intention and with my solicitors advice in mind, to deal with the matters you raise on the basis that what follows is already in the public domain.

…professional advice and experience convinced me that my role was to support the victims, protect the victim’s right to anonymity

I did not tell anyone in Sinn Féin of the allegations. There has been no cover up by Sinn Féin. The party did not know of the allegations against Liam Adams.

Neither was there any cover-up by me. The facts are straightforward: when Áine made her allegations against her father it was one of my family members who accompanied her and her mother to the Social Services. The RUC were also informed. The statutory bodies with responsibility for dealing with child sexual abuse know of these allegations. The manner in which they then dealt with this requires scrutiny. The Sunday Tribune has conducted no such scrutiny. The RUC received a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor. What did it do?

I only became aware on one occasion of his membership of the party. That was in 1997 when I heard that he was thinking of putting his name forward as a candidate. I blocked that and moved to get him to withdraw from the party.

I was not aware that he later involved himself with Sinn Féin in Lower Andersonstown .

When he worked in the Clonard Youth Club I tried to get him to leave and when he wouldn’t I ensured that the authorities in Clonard were made aware of the allegation. It has also since transpired that the RUC cleared him to work in this project despite being aware of the allegation.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London