Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams' brother Liam to be given bail decision in abuse case

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams’ brother Liam, who faces sex abuse charges including the rape of his daughter, will find out today if he is to be freed on bail while awaiting trial.

However, The Recorder of Belfast, His Honour Judge Tom Burgess, has already indicated that he has a serious problem with the bail application.

He told lawyers for 56-year-old Liam Adams there was “one issue alone in my mind” — the question of the risk of flight, adding: “I think that no matter what efforts have been made, I can't see how I can protect and set my mind at rest about that risk of flight.”

Adams, from Bernagh Drive in west Belfast, denies 18 charges relating to the alleged rape, indecent assault and acts of gross indecency with his daughter Aine Tyrell, who has waived her right to anonymity, on dates between March 23, 1977 and March 24, 1983.

Having fled to the Republic, a Dublin court ruled earlier this year that Adams should be extradited back to Northern Ireland to face the charges and yesterday prosecuting lawyer David Russell said it was the fear of Adams fleeing which grounded the objections to his release on bail.

Defence QC Eilis McDermott said Adams' reason for leaving in the first place was because, as well as fearing for his and his family's safety, he feared he would not be able to get a fair trial in Northern Ireland in light of adverse publicity.

She pointed out that Adams' cooperation with authorities in the south “could not have been greater” in that he returned to court on several occasions knowing full well he could be returned to Northern Ireland.

The lawyer said there were cash sureties totalling €15,000 (£12,500) available to be lodged with the court.

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