Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Gerry Adams says facts were twisted in abuse trial coverage

Gerry Adams has condemned claims that he helped protect his paedophile brother Liam Adams
Gerry Adams has condemned claims that he helped protect his paedophile brother Liam Adams

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has hit out at "inaccurate, misleading and offensive" coverage of his handling of the sex abuse of his niece by his paedophile brother.

In a letter to the Belfast Telegraph, the Sinn Fein president accused journalists, political commentators and rival politicians of using a "family tragedy" to attack him.

Mr Adams said they had "misrepresented and twisted the facts to suit their own narrow agendas".

Liam Adams (58) was last month sentenced to 16 years for the rape of his daughter Aine when she was aged between four and nine.

Gerry Adams has faced extensive criticism over his handling of his brother Liam's paedophilia.

He wrote to this newspaper to hit out at a piece written by respected commentator Alex Kane on Eilis McDermott QC, Liam Adams' defence barrister.

The profile, which appeared in the Belfast Telegraph last month, referred to Ms McDermott's cross-examination of Mr Adams when he appeared as a prosecution witness in the initial trial of his brother.

"These quotes include claims that I was "decisively pinned down" and an implication that I engaged in "waffle about the peace process" and "phony sentiment" and further that the trial witnessed "the unraveling of Gerry Adams"," the Sinn Fein president wrote.

"I completely reject these inaccurate, misleading and offensive statements."

He adds: "I find it deeply offensive that a number of journalists, commentators and political opponents – Alex Kane, former director of communications for the UUP among them – have sought, in a most cynical manner, to use what has been a family tragedy to attack me.

"They have misrepresented and twisted the facts to suit their own narrow agendas, and have shown no concern for my wider family.

"At all times I sought to support the victim in this case. Liam Adams has been convicted and sentenced and Aine has been vindicated. That is what is important.

"Alex Kane's sleveen effort to squeeze another newspaper article out of my family's tragedy is inaccurate, offensive and pathetic."

Sleveen is usually taken to mean sly or cunning or an untrustworthy or mischievous person.

At his first police interview in 2007, Mr Adams told officers about confronting his brother over Aine's allegations at a meeting in Buncrana in 1987 – when Liam strongly denied the claims – but he did not disclose to detectives that his brother had then confessed to him in 2000 that he had sexually abused Aine.

It was not until his second interview in 2009 that he informed police of Liam's admission to him nine years earlier which he said took place as they walked together in Dundalk.

There were calls last month for Mr Adams to be prosecuted over the handling of his niece's abuse.

QUOTES

"These quotes include claims that I was "decisively pinned down" and an implication that I engaged in "waffle about the peace process" and "phony sentiment" and further that the trial witnessed "the unraveling of Gerry Adams".

"I completely reject these inaccurate, misleading and offensive statements."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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