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Adams faces calls for ‘open’ inquiry into abuse claims

By Adrian Rutherford

Pressure is intensifying for an “open and honest” inquiry within Sinn Fein into how Gerry Adams dealt with sex abuse allegations against republicans.

The calls came as the SF president was forced to defend his handling of abuse allegations against his brother Liam Adams, who faces 23 charges related to the alleged abuse of his daughter Aine Tyrell in the 1970s and 1980s.

Gerry Adams faces allegations that he did not do enough to alert the authorities and SF about the potential threat his brother posed to children when he became aware of the claims in 1987.

The SF president has been asked to explain how Liam Adams was able to work in youth groups in West Belfast and the Irish Republic over the last 15 years.

Liam Adams gave himself up to Irish police in Sligo before Christmas, but they could not detain him as they did not have the correct warrant.

Two other women, including a relative of veteran republican Joe Cahill, have also alleged abuse. SDLP deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell joined growing calls for a full inquiry, and contrasted Mr Adams’ response with that of the Catholic bishops forced to resign over claims they hadn’t done enough for sex abuse victims.

Meanwhile Ms Cahill issued a statement saying that Sinn Fein should not try to “rewrite history”.

“They would do better to admit that they seriously mishandled and traumatised victims of sexual abuse, and worse, allowed perpetrators free reign to have access to other children,” she said.

“They owe them, and the children of Ireland, that much.”

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