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Gerry Adams’ brother hunted over child abuse claims

By Lisa Smyth

The niece of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has made shocking allegations of years of rape and sexual abuse at the hands of her father — a brother of one of Northern Ireland’s top politicians.

Waiving her right to anonymity, Aine Tyrell appeared on television last night and detailed a series of damning allegations about her father Liam Adams, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Mr Adams, who is facing 23 charges of rape and abuse against his daughter between 1978 and 1983, has been missing since November last year. A warrant for his arrest was issued after he failed to attend a court hearing relating to the charges.

In an interview with UTV’s Insight programme last night, Mrs Tyrell said: “My first memory of it, I know it wasn’t the first time it had happened so I don’t know what age I was, but I think the first time I do remember it happening was when I was four.”

She said many of the attacks happened after Mr Adams had attacked her mother, Sally Campbell, in a drunken rage.

“Oh I knew it was gonna happen, every time. I just did, it was just an instinct or because it had happened so many times that you just knew,” she said.

Mrs Tyrell said the abuse ended after eight painful years.

She did not see her father for three years but following the death of her maternal grandmother before Christmas 1985, Mrs Tyrell and her siblings faced a stay with their estranged father at his Donegal home.

It was at this time she discovered he had remarried and begun a new family.

She said: “When I got there and realised that there was a new child in the house, a wee girl in the house, living there permanently, I was devastated, absolutely devastated.

“I couldn’t motivate myself to go to school. I couldn’t motivate myself for anything, youth clubs, I mean it all stopped.

“I didn’t go out, I didn’t eat, everything was a fight. I had the school board coming to the door to see why I wasn’t going, and my mummy was like: ‘She’s grieving over her Granny, she hasn’t ate in weeks. I had her to the doctors, she’s went down to six stone, she’s just loads of things’ and all that’.”

The situation came to a head after an argument between mother and daughter and it was at this stage that Mrs Tyrell spoke out for the first time.

Mrs Campbell said: “Next thing I heard somebody at my living room door and there was a wee letter, was an envelope pushed underneath the door, and I heard the wee feet running back up the stairs again.

“And I bent down and picked up the envelope. It says: ‘Dear mummy, and this is why I’m like this, my daddy made me sleep with him’. That’s the day my world sort of ended.”

Her daughter added: “That’s exactly what I says. That he was making me sleep with him.”

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