Gerry Adams rejects ‘cover-up’ claims over suspect brother

Gerry Adams has insisted he has no further questions to answer over his role in the charges of sexual abuse being faced by his brother, Liam.

Voicing “huge sympathy” today for the plight of Peter and Iris Robinson, the Sinn Fein President rejected allegations he had been involved in any cover-up and reiterated he had moved swiftly to prevent his brother becoming a Sinn Fein candidate.

Mr Adams stressed: “I did not know that Liam was a member of Sinn Féin. I did know he was in republican circles. I acknowledged that although we were estranged, I volunteered that I had met him on quite a number of occasions, because I knew that.

“So I don't think there are any questions to answer. If there are, put them. The fact is he should not have been a member of Sinn Féin.”

Writing exclusively for the Belfast Telegraph today, Mr Adams said he would prefer to focus on the widening political ripples from the Robinson crisis but went on: “I have huge sympathy for them at a personal level.

“This is not about the Robinson’s private family matters. Sinn Féin respect their right to privacy,” the West Belfast MP said.

In a separate interview yesterday, Mr Adams described as ‘offensive’ parallels being drawn between his political future and that of First Minister Peter Robinson because of questions over how they dealt with the activities of family members.

Hardline unionist Jim Allister today argued Sinn Fein attempts at a cover-up are still in full swing.

“It betokens the arrogant nerve of Sinn Fein leader, Adams, and his contempt for his own electorate, that he thinks he can duck the persistent questions over his cover-up for Liam Adams by the feeble assertion that he should never have been a member of Sinn Fein,” the Traditional Unionist Voice leader said.

“The fact is that he was a prominent member, Gerry Adams knew it, Gerry Adams is the leader and no one had more opportunity or responsibility to terminate his membership.”

“I suppose expectations should not be high of a party and leader which for decades provided immoral justification for murder, kidnap and mayhem.

“Gerry Adams still expects us to believe he was never in the IRA, so ducking and diving over his brother’s Sinn Fein membership is second nature.

“Adams has still not answered any of the pertinent questions over his knowledge and conscious inactivity concerning Liam Adams. The Sinn Fein cover-up is in full swing,” Mr Allister added.

In today’s article, Mr Adams makes no reference to his own family crisis, which centre on allegations Liam sexually abused his own daughter. Mr Adams is facing ongoing questions over reports he took no action while his suspected paedophile brother was Sinn Fein's most senior official in Co Louth.

Mr Adams argued the considerable lack of public confidence in the Assembly and Executive is a direct result of the DUP’s failure to agree a timetable for the switchover of responsibility for police, prisons and the courts system from Westminster.

“This has been the case for a considerable time before last week’s BBC Spotlight programme. And at the most recent meeting with the DUP on Thursday last, with Martin McGuinness and myself, neither Mr Robinson nor (DUP deputy leader) Nigel Dodds showed any willingness to agree a date for the transfer of powers on policing and justice,” he said.

With Mr McGuinness having warned Stormont would be in “deep trouble” without an agreed date by Christmas, Mr Adams said the two governments needed to act as “guarantors” of the St Andrews Agreement “ as a matter of urgency”.

* Source: Belfast Telegraph