North’s AG to review decision not to take case against Gerry Adams

Public interest cited by DPP

The North’s Attorney General John Larkin is to review the decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over an allegation he withheld information about his child sex abuser brother.

The North’s Attorney General John Larkin is to review the decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over an allegation he withheld information about his child sex abuser brother.

Tue, Oct 8, 2013, 01:00



The North’s Attorney General John Larkin is to review the decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over an allegation he withheld information about his child sex abuser brother.

Citing “public interest”, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, yesterday asked Mr Larkin to examine the case.

Last week Liam Adams from west Belfast was convicted of raping and sexually abusing his daughter Áine over a six-year period from 1977. She was four when the abuse started.

In this trial, and in a previous trial that collapsed for legal reasons, it emerged that the Louth TD and former West Belfast MP had confronted his brother about the allegations as far back as 1987.

Admission
In the first trial, Gerry Adams gave evidence of Liam Adams admitting sexual abuse against his daughter.

Mr Adams said that in 2000, his brother admitted to him that he had abused Ms Adams. This admission took place during a long “walk in the rain” in Dundalk, said the Sinn Féin president.

He did not make a statement to police about the abuse until 2009. This followed from a UTV programme about the abuse .

Mr Adams in 2009 also said that his father, Gerry snr, had sexually abused some members of his family.

Mr Adams did not give evidence in the second trial in which Liam Adams was convicted. He will be sentenced in the coming weeks.

The PSNI subsequently examined the 2009 statement Mr Adams made to the police relating to the abuse to determine if he had committed an offence.

The police were instructed by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), which is headed by DPP Mr McGrory, that he should not be prosecuted. This however was before Mr McGrory’s appointment.

A spokeswoman for Mr McGrory said yesterday afternoon that Mr Larkin would now examine the case.

She said the DPP “recognises that there has been considerable public interest surrounding the decision not to prosecute Mr Gerry Adams in October 2011 in relation to an allegation that he withheld information in connection with the Liam Adams case.


Evidential decision
“While the director has confidence in the evidential decision taken by the PPS prior to his appointment, he has asked the Attorney General to independently review the matter,” she added.

“The Attorney General will be given full access to all materials that he considers necessary in order to complete this review.”

Mr Adams said yesterday evening that the DPP’s decision was “a matter for the legal authorities”. He noted however “that the PPS has said it has ‘confidence in the evidential decisions’ previously taken in this case”.