Police more interested in activities of Gerry Adams than allegations against brother, alleged victim claims in court
Police were more interested in the activities and whereabouts of Gerry Adams than investigating child sex abuse allegations against his brother Liam, the alleged victim claimed in court today.
Aine Adams, who has waived her right to anonymity, said she had gone to the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) in 1986 - during the height of the Troubles - but found officers preoccupied with pursuing her uncle, the Sinn Fein president.
"I felt it wasn't about me," she said.
"The police were more interested in who he (Gerry Adams) was. They were more or less trying to lead into trying to get information about where he was and who he was with.
"Back then you did not really trust or talk to the police. We had to leave it. We felt it was safer for me and mummy. I had to go up to the barracks and say I wanted to retract my evidence. I did not say I was telling lies, I just said I wanted to retract it."
Liam Adams, 57, of Beragh Drive, Belfast, is standing trial accused of 10 counts of sex abuse including rape, gross indecency with a child and indecent assault between 1977 and 1983. He has denied all of the charges.
The jury of six men and six women at Belfast Crown Court were shown a recorded interview in which Ms Adams, now aged 40, alleged her father had exploited every opportunity to sneak into her bedroom and secretly abuse her when she was aged between four and nine-years-old.
"It was as often as he could manage. If he could sneak in. That just seemed to be the way it was. Every opportunity there was he would have done it. Even if he didn't I would have expected him to do it," she said.
The abuse was carried out on a regular basis at four different addresses across Belfast, it was claimed.
Ms Adams, who still suffers from nightmares, said she could vividly recall a number of specific incidents that happened when she was aged four and five-years-old.
"I remember him coming in, I think I had wet myself, touching me and getting me to touch him, him saying that I could not tell anyone and that we were going to run away to Kerry together," she said.
Recalling another alleged incident she added: "(It was) like I was being suffocated by him. I couldn't breathe. I was roasting, I could smell the drink off him. I felt that he has had the power over me."
Ms Adams said she had felt unable to stop the abuse because she did not want to upset other family members and had come to accept it as an inevitable part of her life.
"I remember feeling bad. I knew he should not have been doing it. I would have felt guilty as well. I knew I was part of something wrong," she said.
However, after the death of her grandmother in the mid-1980s, Ms Adams felt compelled to speak out because she realised her father had another two-year-old daughter with whom he was living in Donegal.
"I just snapped one day and wrote my mummy a letter and told her everything that happened because I did not want it to happen to his wee daughter," she said.
Ms Adams said she had not spoken out to seek retribution but to achieve closure.
"It is not about hate or revenge or pity. It is just to hear him saying 'no you weren't lying, I did it'," she said.
It was also revealed that at the age of 13 Ms Adams, her mother and uncle Gerry had confronted her father at a house in Buncrana.
"He denied it to my face. I told him to his face that he did it. At that time that's all we could have done," she said.