From the court records, I think this is worth a thread on its own. It’s pretty much how Gerry Adams reported the news that his brother Liam was abusing his own daughter to the Social Services in Belfast. Well, no. That’s not what Gerry did. This is what the leader (then as now) of Sinn Fein actually did the day after he heard the news:
Q. Well may I suggest to you that you, as the Member of Parliament for this area, reporting your own family to the Health Visitor , because of concerns about hygiene and lice, is surely something that would stick in your mind?
A. Well I can’t give you the answer; other than the answer that I have given you.
Q. Well do you dispute that you did make the complaint?
A. Well if I brought anything to the attention of Health Visitors (or anyone else) it wasn’t as a complaint; it was to try and help in the situation. But I ……I don’t have a recollection. This is in ’87 and ’86, so I don’t have a recollection. I do have a recollection of meeting with a Health Visitor in the house. My memory of that was almost that it was accidental, that I was either in the house and she came in, or she was in the house when I went into it.
Q. Well now that’s another occasion, Mr Adams. It wasn’t the Health Visitor you met on that occasion, it was the Social Worker.
Q. …called Sheila Brannigan.
Q. And that was on the 10th of March of 1987, the day after the meeting in Buncrana. You told police, in your interview ……or in your statement, rather, to them in June of 2007 that you recalled neither meeting Miss or Mrs Brannigan, but had no reason to dispute that it happened. Nor did you remember making the complaint to the Health Visitor, or report to the Health Visitor but, again, you’d no reason to dispute that it…that it happened. Now you recall, no doubt, coming to this Court on last Thursday? […]
I have nothing more to add. Just be careful and measured in how respond…
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