Gerry Adams was under fresh pressure last night after a Sunday newspaper claimed his suspected paedophile brother was Sinn Fein's most senior official in Co Louth.
Sinn Fein has denied claims it orchestrated a “cover up” about the exact role Adams’ alleged sex abuser brother Liam had in the party after a Sunday Tribune report outlined details of his involvement during a period the two were alleged to have been estranged.
The strong denial comes after the newspaper claimed Liam Adams chaired an IRA commemoration in Co Louth in November 1997 — over a year after the Sinn Fein president said he made moves to immediately have him “dumped” from the party.
The Edentubber Martyrs’ commemoration was attended by over 1,000 republicans and involved Liam Adams introducing the main speaker, Sinn Fein national chairman Mitchel McLaughlin.
The report also claimed Liam Adams was chairman of the Louth comhairle ceantair (district executive), a senior job which would have involved him liaising directly with the Sinn Fein leadership.
And the article said that Liam Adams welcomed Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness to Dundalk and stood beside him at the official opening of the party's new office in the town in June 1996.
Gerry Adams has come under pressure in recent weeks after it emerged that he first knew about sex abuse allegations against his brother in the late 1980s.
The PSNI want to question Liam Adams following allegations that he sexually abused his daughter Aine over an eight year period from 1977, when she was four years old. She has waived her right to anonymity. Liam Adams denies the claims.
Last month, Mr Adams said that, in 1997, when he learned that his brother Liam was seeking the nomination for Louth, he moved to have him “dumped” from any chance of standing.
The Sinn Fein leader has previously said that although they were estranged, they did meet on several occasions.
A Sinn Fein spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph that there was no cover-up and said it had already said he was a member of the party for a period in the 1990s.
“Sinn Fein made clear that Liam Adams was a member of the party for a brief period in the 1990s so that dispels the myth of some sort of cover up,” he said.
“Second of all it was Gerry Adams who said that when he discovered Liam was a member of the party he moved to have him removed from the party.”
The spokesman also claimed the stories were emanating from dissident republicans.
On December 21 Liam Adams handed himself in at a Co Sligo police station. The PSNI is preparing a European arrest warrant to bring him from the Republic to Northern Ireland.