Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams never confronted brother Liam over child sex abuse allegations - court hears

Gerry Adams never confronted his brother Liam about child sex abuse allegations involving his daughter, a court heard today.

During interviews given under caution to the PSNI in February 2007, Liam Adams rejected claims that the Sinn Fein president had quizzed him about the alleged abuse of his daughter during a meeting in Co Donegal 20 years earlier.

"This definitely did not happen," Liam Adams said in a police statement which was read to the court.

The 57-year-old from Bearnagh Drive in west Belfast also emphatically denied to police that he had confessed to the alleged abuse during a walk in Dundalk with his older sibling in 2000.

During cross examination of PSNI Detective Inspector Eamon Corrigan, who was the lead interviewing officer in 2007, the defence lawyer said a confession was of critical importance and would have been seen as a major breakthrough in the investigation.

"This was a potentially explosive piece of evidence coming from a man of international standing," Joe Brolly told the court.

Mr Corrigan replied: "If a person had that knowledge it would be important regardless of the person's standing."

Liam Adams is accused of 10 counts of child sex abuse including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his daughter Aine, now aged 40, who has waived her right to anonymity.

He has denied all the charges against him.

Yesterday, Belfast Crown Court heard how Gerry Adams had not told police about the alleged confession until October 2009 despite making a statement to the PSNI more than two years before.

Mr Brolly asked the detective: "Did he refer anywhere in that detailed three page statement about his brother having confessed to him between 2001 and 2007 or alternatively during a stroll in Dundalk in 2000 when it was raining?"

The lawyer later suggested: "There was not a whisper of a confession from Mr Gerry Adams."

Mr Corrigan said: "That information was not given to us or it would have been put into a statement."

Liam Adams also rejected claims the Sinn Fein leader had threatened to hit him with a hammer.

"Sorry for laughing but Gerry would not hit anybody with a hammer," he said.

Throughout the three police interviews details of the sex abuse claims made by Aine Adams were put to her father.

He told detectives he could not think of any reason why she would make up such grave claims.

"I do not know why. I am well known around the place for helping people. I am not like that. I am not that type of person," he said.

Liam Adams also categorically denied confessing to his second daughter Sinead Rossbotham in 2002.

"Can I just utterly refute that? Utterly," he said.

And, Liam Adams also denied that his ex-wife Sarah Campbell had confronted him about the alleged abuse.

It was also revealed Liam Adams had replied 'OK' when arrested by detectives from the rape crime unit in 2007.

The case, presided over by Judge Corinne Philpott, is being heard in front of a jury of six men and six women.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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