“neither honest nor transparent”

In addition to the interview with Áine Tyrell in the Sunday Tribune, Suzanne Breen spelt out the detail of something I mentioned in the Liam Adams Timeline. Despite Gerry Adams’ claims of consistency and his party’s vice-President’s claimed commitment to revealing the “full facts”. From the Sunday Tribune article

Gerry Adams appeared on [UTV’s Insight Special] saying he had believed Áine from the moment in 1987 that she told him what his brother had done. He had always supported her, he said. Tyrell’s interpretation differed. She insisted he had failed her. But it wasn’t Tyrell’s words that meant this story was far from over. It was what Gerry Adams did and didn’t tell reporter Chris Moore that would lead to claims of a huge cover-up by the Sinn Féin president.


Adams told Moore that, after hearing Tyrell’s allegations, he’d been estranged from his brother for 15 years. Two days later, the Sunday Tribune proved that was far from true. We published photographs of the Sinn Féin president at Liam’s wedding to his second wife almost 10 years after he had been told Liam was a paedophile.

To attend a family funeral, where Liam might also have been present, would have been understandable. But to attend Liam’s wedding – to stand smiling and relaxed with him at the reception wearing a green Saoirse ribbon for IRA prisoners – was another matter. Gerry Adams obviously had a very odd understanding of the word ‘estrangement’.

But that wasn’t all we revealed. Gerry Adams never told UTV’s Chris Moore – on tape or in any pre-recording conversations – that his brother Liam had been in Sinn Féin. His account to Moore was neither honest nor transparent.

It’s worth emphasising, despite what subsequent UTV reports suggest, that there was no mention of Liam Adams’ membership of Sinn Féin in the UTV Insight programme and Slugger understands that Chris Moore has confirmed that there was no mention of that membership, nor of the prospect of Liam Adams becoming a Dáil candidate in County Louth in 1997, in any of the conversations he had with Gerry Adams.

As the Sunday Tribune article adds

Two days later, the Sunday Tribune revealed that Liam Adams had been a high-profile Sinn Féin member in Dundalk in the 1990s. So senior was Liam Adams in Sinn Féin that he had sought the nomination to be the party’s Co Louth candidate in the 1997 Dáil election, but had failed. The nomination was secured by local veteran republican Owenie Hanratty at a selection convention in the Imperial Hotel in October 1996.

And we exposed something else. UTV had reported that Liam Adams had worked for youth projects in Belfast. The Sunday Tribune revealed he’d also worked for a youth project in the Muirhevnamor estate in Dundalk.

Hours after our revelations, RTE broadcast an interview Gerry Adams gave to RTÉ’s Tommie Gorman. Gerry Adams admitted Liam had been in Sinn Féin. He also told Gorman how his own father, Gerry senior, had been a paedophile and had abused family members. This revelation successfully diverted attention away from questions the Sinn Féin president would have had to answer about his own behaviour.

The media focused on Gerry Adams, the victim. It was strange that Adams had never once mentioned – on tape or in pre-recording meetings – his father’s paedophilia to Chris Moore in the UTV programme when it would have been entirely relevant. To reveal it in a broadcast later smacked of news management and damage limitation.

The day after the Gorman interview, Adams told RTÉ that, on hearing Liam was in Sinn Féin, he “moved immediately” to stop his Dáil nomination and “to get him dumped out of Sinn Féin… I moved very, very quickly”.

The following Sunday we printed material that proved that he was lying. We published photographs of Gerry Adams canvassing in June in the 1997 Dáil election campaign with the brother he believed was a paedophile and from whom he was allegedly estranged. This canvass occurred eight months after Gerry Adams said Liam had been “dumped” from the party.

Another point worth noting about the version of events given to the UTV Insight programme is that, as Áine Tyrell revealed in the Sunday Tribune interview, she had “heard Liam was working in youth projects in west Belfast but not which ones. I repeatedly raised this with Gerry.”

But as she also revealed,

“I didn’t know Liam was in Sinn Féin but had Gerry bothered to tell me, I would have waived my anonymity without hesitation. I’d have accompanied Gerry to meet his colleagues in Sinn Féin, to talk to the ard chomhairle about what Liam had done to me so they could expel him from the party. But Gerry never gave me that option.”

And in today’s Belfast Telegraph Suzanne Breen relates Áine Tyrell’s contradiction of another of Gerry Adams’ claims

On Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show yesterday Gerry Adams said that during meetings: “I told Aine that if she wanted to go public on these issues I would sit on a platform with her. I told her that if she wanted to go to the police, I’d go to the police with her. These matters were reported to social services and the RUC at the time.”

However, this account is directly contradicted by Aine. “Gerry never said he would sit on a public platform with me. It wasn’t Gerry who went to the RUC or to the PSNI about Liam, it was myself and my mother who went to the RUC in 1987, and myself who in 2006 asked the PSNI to re-open the case.”

Then there are the ongoing questions about Liam Adams’ continued involvement in Sinn Féin after Gerry Adams, as the new version of events has it, “spoke to his brother and told him to leave” – “there is no record whatsoever”

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that the European Arrest Warrant is on its way to Dublin, via London.

donate to keep slugger lit