Gerry Adams’ brother, Liam, found guilty of raping his daughter

Former IRA commander repeatedly abused Aine Adams when she was aged between 5 and 9

The younger brother of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has been convicted of raping and repeatedly abusing his daughter as a child. Liam Adams, 58, is a former member of Sinn Fein and a one-time IRA commander.

He was found guilty by a jury of 10 offences committed against his daughter Aine, who waived her right to anonymity. She was aged between five and nine at the time of the offences, which date back more than 30 years.

Adams, who was tried in Belfast, will be sentenced later. He had denied all the charges. The revelation of the abuse came as a huge shock and embarrassment to Gerry Adams and his party when it was revealed four years ago. It emerged at the same time that his late father, Gerry Adams senior, had also abused family members.

The Sinn Fein President admitted at the time that he had known of abuses for some years, but said he had confronted his brother and warned his family and youth organisations about the activities of him and his father.

While he was accused of being slow in reporting the abuse, there have since been few signs that his political standing has been damaged. In Northern Ireland Sinn Fein remains the second largest party.

South of the border it has grown to become one of the leading opposition parties, an opinion poll this week placing it only three points behind the largest party in the governing coalition. Mr Adams is the second most popular party leader, within two points of Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Liam Adams was arrested in the Republic and sent north after losing a battle against extradition, arguing that he would not get a fair trial in Belfast. Aine Adams testified she recalled being raped by her father while her mother was in hospital giving birth. She said on another occasion she was raped as her brother slept in bed beside her.

In a statement read outside the court by a police officer, Ms Adams said: “I do not see this verdict as a victory or a celebration, as it has taken its toll and has caused hurt, heartache and anguish for all those involved. I can now begin my life at 40 and lay to rest the memory of the five-year-old girl who was abused.”

Aine Adams (centre): 'I can now begin my life at 40 and lay to rest the memory of the five-year-old girl who was abused' (PA) Aine Adams (centre): 'I can now begin my life at 40 and lay to rest the memory of the five-year-old girl who was abused' (PA)  

The shock of the revelations was particularly great because the Adams family had for generations been regarded as one of the mainstays of Belfast republicanism. In an interview, Gerry Adams said that his father had “carried out physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse.”

He added that after this emerged the family made sure no child was left alone with him until he died. He said his father “ended up dying a very, very lonely old man”.

In the witness box Liam Adams strongly denied all the charges he faced. He initially denied having been confronted by his brother and other family members about abuse, but late changed his story.

He explained in court that his father had always warned him to not to speak about his brother, adding: “You don’t talk about Gerry in the barracks, to the soldiers at the time, to the police, even in social gatherings as you got older. You didn’t talk about Gerry Adams full stop.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most