Gerry Adams gives evidence at brother Liam's trial for child sex abuse
Belfast-born David McKittrick has been reporting on Northern Ireland since 1971, He has written for the East Antrim Times, the Irish Times and was The Independent's Irish correspondent for many years. He is the author of several books including Making Sense of the Troubles (2000) and Lost Lives (1999).
Monday 22 April 2013
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams gave evidence in a Belfast court today at the trial of his brother Liam, who is accused of child sex abuse.
He told the court that his brother had admitted sexually abusing his daughter, Aine, 40, who has waived her right to anonymity.
The Sinn Fein president testified he had twice confronted his brother, who denies 10 charges of sexual abuse.
On the first occasion, during a meeting in Buncrana, County Donegal, in 1987, he denied the allegations made by Aine, according to Gerry Adams. But on the second occasion, during a long walk in the rain in Dundalk, County Louth, in 2000, Liam Adams allegedly admitted abuse had taken place, though he maintained it had happened only once.
He testified: “I had a long walk with Liam, we had a number of conversations. During the course of that he acknowledged that he had sexually abused Aine. He said it only happened the once. He was very upset.”
Under cross-examination, Gerry Adams denied a suggestion that the reason he had given a statement to police in 2009 was “to save his political skin” because he knew the question of his withholding information would become a matter of public debate.
Gerry Adams said that if he had been interested in saving his “political skin”, he would not have got involved in the process from the beginning.
Asked what his brother had admitted to him, the Sinn Fein president replied: “To the best of my recollection the terms that he used were that he had molested her, or that he had interfered with her, that he had sexually assaulted her.”
When it was put to Gerry Adams by defence counsel that no such admission had been made, he responded: “I don’t accept that but I understand it.”
He said he had been unaware for years of his niece’s claims that her father had raped her.
Earlier in the trial another daughter of Liam Adams, Sinead Rosbotham, gave evidence that their father admitted carrying out assaults.
The charges against Liam Adams 57, from west Belfast, include rape, incident assault and gross indecency between 1977 and 1983, when his daughter was aged between four and nine.
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