Gerry Adams “had an excellent understanding of how the media works”

Liam Adams appeal against his extradition is continuing in Dublin. Despite a lot of feverish speculation on how the media might have damaged Mr Adams’ chance of a fair trial, it seems it is the words of his brother (which, unlike his later explanations, were almost simultaneously with the UTV Insight Special), the TD for Louth and President of Sinn Fein that forms a core of his assertion that he would not get a fair trial in Northern Ireland.

Mr Adam’s defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC

…quoted from a number of broadcast programmes and newspaper articles, including a Sinn Féin statement where Gerry Adams urged his brother to come forward and “right the wrong that has been done”. Gerry Adams also told the media his father had abused his siblings and said “an injustice had been done” to Áine.

Mr Justice Edwards said these were matters that could be taken up by the trial judge or the jury could be warned. “At the end of the day, you have to persuade me that this is one of the rare cases that requires this court to make a prohibition order.”

Mr O’Higgins said the nature of the publicity was that it was pronounced far and wide that his client was guilty.

He said Gerry Adams, in making his statement, “had an excellent understanding of how the media works.

“He did so knowing it would receive blanket coverage. He knows enough about the law, yet with all that knowledge, he held forth, presumably because he had some competing interest.”

There were people, he added, who had such high regard for people like Gerry Adams it was unlikely they would not believe him. On the other hand, there were people who would hold those from a republican background in such low esteem that they would think that “if even Gerry Adams thinks he’s guilty, he must be”.

If Mr Adams was not, as he claimed at the time, they do appear to be now…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

donate to keep slugger lit