Think of Liam Adams, the brother of the Sinn Fein president. Liam has not been tried and is entitled to the presumption of innocence in the sex-abuse charges against him, but consider how the allegations were handled. He was moved about the country and for a time lived in America without those he was staying with being told that he was under suspicion. Gerry Adams, who says he believed the allegations when they were first made to him in 1987, did not inform other members of Sinn Fein or the authorities. The result was that McGuinness was photographed opening a Sinn Fein office in Dundalk alongside Liam Adams, who worked on youth projects there and in west Belfast.
Gerry attended Liams second wedding and was photographed canvassing with him. To any onlooker, or anyone following Liams career through the press, there was no hint of suspicion. What is more, Gerry told a meeting in north Belfast in 1995 that child abuse should not be reported to the police because “the RUC are not acceptable”. This was 20 years after Fr Brady, as he then was, and his superiors failed to report child-abuse allegations to the gardai.