Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

A daughter of Liam Adams confronted her father about abuse allegations, court hears

Liam Adams, brother of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, pictured arriving at Laganside Crown Court, Belfast where he was appearing in relation to his sexual abuse case involving his daughter Aine
Liam Adams, brother of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, pictured arriving at Laganside Crown Court, Belfast where he was appearing in relation to his sexual abuse case involving his daughter Aine

A niece of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams confronted her father about child abuse allegations during their first proper conversation, a court has been told.

Sinead Rossbotham (33) questioned her father Liam Adams about the alleged rape and indecent assault of her sister during an arranged meeting at their aunt's house in Twinbrook, Belfast.

Giving evidence at Belfast Crown Court, Mrs Rossbotham's husband Sean said it had been the first question posed.

"We just walked into the living room," Mr Rossbotham told the court.

"Paddy and Liam Adams was in the living room already.

"Sinead then asked right away, Liam Adams, did he abuse her sister,"

He said both brothers appeared shocked and were keen to move the conversation forward.

Liam Adams had said the allegations were a matter for him and his oldest daughter Aine, Mr Rossbotham said.

"(He said) what happened between Aine and I was between Aine and I," he added.

"Patrick Adams stood up and said this is a matter between Aine and her father."

The meeting ended with a handshake, the court was told.

"It concluded by all four standing up," Mr Rossbotham told the court.

"Liam tried to give Sinead a hug.

"Sinead stood back.

"We all shook hands and then left."

Liam Adams (57) from Bearnagh Drive in west Belfast is standing trial at Belfast Crown Court accused of 10 counts of child sex abuse including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his daughter Aine Adams between 1977 and 1983.

He denies all the charges against him.

Sean Rossbotham said he had learned about the alleged abuse some time before his wedding in 2002 because his wife was becoming stressed.

Defence barrister Eilis McDermott QC said: "She told you that her father had raped her sister when she was a child.

"There was no doubt about that?"

Mr Rossbotham replied: "No."

On Tuesday, the court heard that Liam Adams had not been invited to the wedding.

Mr Rossbotham said he had also accompanied his wife when she met with her father at their home in Twinbrook, at Liam Adams' house in Andersonstown Park and at a bar in west Belfast.

Ms McDermott said: "During the other meetings that you and your wife had when Liam Adams was present was there ever any further mention of your wife's sister?"

Mr Rossbotham replied: "No, there wasn't, no."

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