The unvarnished truth is that the testimony of the leader of one of the largest political parties in Ireland was so strewn with contradictions and lies that neither side would take the risk of having Mr Adams appear in order to put their case.
Yesterday he was hiding behind the obvious distress of his own niece in order to evade the southern press’s searching questions about his own role in her long ordeal to obtain justice.
So what do we know?
We know that he actively obstructed and delayed her attempts to seek even limited justice, until as she put it she realised, “he was buttering me up. In the end I realised it was all about PR and protecting his own image.”
We also know he had full knowledge of Liam’s move from Belfast/Donegal to Dundalk, and then back to Belfast. And we only have Gerry’s word that he mentioned anything to Fr McGoran in Clonard any allegations.
And he only came up with that deceased witness in the first trial earlier this year – previously he said he had told the authorities at Clonard. No-one, at Clonard or anywhere else, has any record of any concerns being raised.
As Gerry Moriarty reported in the Irish Times even in the mid 90s, Adams was unequivocal in denying his niece, or any one else, the option of going to the police:
…in January 1995 he said people should not report alleged cases of child or drug abuse to the RUC. This was during the first IRA ceasefire, when Sinn Féin still refused to accept the legitimacy of the RUC.
Liam Adams worked with children in Dundalk and later at Beechmount and Clonard from 1998 to 2006, again in the full knowledge of his MP brother. In allowing it to happen, Gerry Adams put hundreds of children at risk of abuse by not disclosing the matter to anyone.
As for the answer to the Irish Daily Mail’s urgent front page question yesterday, with all the opportunities Mr Adams has had to put the record straight, there can be only one obvious conclusion: there is zero evidence that he did anything until the UTV documentary very publicly forced his hand.
Adds: The original documentary, only available in the UK and for six says only…
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