Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

I won’t get fair trial in Belfast, Liam Adams tells Dublin court

Liam Adams

The brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams yesterday vowed to fight his extradition from the Republic on charges of sexually abusing his daughter.

Liam Dominic Adams (54) faces a possible life sentence on the charges, including alleged rape.

Yesterday he was granted bail by Dublin High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, who was told by Liam Adams that he had fled Northern Ireland after an article appeared about him in the Sunday World newspaper. He was remanded last night in custody at Cloverhill Prison in the Republic pending the completion of paperwork relating to his bail.

Mr Adams, who says he will plead not guilty, appeared in court on a European Extradition Warrant in relation to five counts of rape, seven of indecent assault and six of gross indecency against his daughter Aine Tyrell. She waived her right to anonymity in a television documentary. Under cross-examination, Mr Adams said he feared he would not receive a fair trial in Northern Ireland as a result of the publicity about the allegations.

Yesterday another daughter, Clare Smith, and a friend, Sean Rooney, took to the witness stand and offered independent sureties of €7,500 to the High Court.

Mr Rooney, who works at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, told the court that he trusted Mr Adams “absolutely”, adding: “He's not going anywhere.”

Mrs Smith was willing to put up her Belfast house as a surety in the event of any flight by her father, but could not do so as her home was outside the jurisdiction.

In the extradition warrant it is claimed that the alleged offences occurred at various addresses in Belfast between March 1977 and March 1983, when the victim was aged between four and 10 years.

Judge Kearns granted bail to Mr Adams on the grounds that the allegations are said to have occurred some time ago and because he had made arrangements to meet with gardai twice before.

Mr Adams, who is unemployed, is to sign on daily with the gardai and reside at an address not disclosed in court, but within the Republic.

The judge also said Mr Adams had to surrender his passport and undertake to carry his mobile phone at all times in case gardai need to contact him. He was remanded to appear again next Wednesday.

Mr Adams, with an address at Bernagh Drive, Belfast, told the court he and his family were treated “disgracefully by the media”.

The court heard gardai had concerns about the seriousness of the allegations but did not object to bail.

After he was told of the dates of the alleged offences, Mr Adams said: “I just want to say that I am not guilty of that.”

In the extradition warrant, it is claimed that Mr Adams was interviewed by the PSNI in 2007 and denied the allegations.

It is claimed that the alleged sexual abuse occurred at various locations in Belfast, on occasions when the girl's mother was out of the house. On one occasion the girl claims she was abused while her mother was in hospital giving birth. On another occasion, another relative was sick.

It is also claimed that incidents occurred at a flat Mr Adams moved into after leaving the family home. It is further claimed that the incidents occurred when Mr Adams was drunk. It is claimed the girl decided to make a formal complaint in 2007 after hearing that Mr Adams was working with young people.

The alleged victim complained to her mother in 1986, who in turn made a complaint to the RUC in January 1987. A month later the RUC was told the complainant did not wish to proceed.

An investigation file was submitted to the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland. A decision was taken not to prosecute.

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