North’s health minister accuses Adams of ‘letting down’ niece
Poots also calls on police ombudsman to investigate how PSNI dealt with case
North’s health minister Edwin Poots made a number of explicit and implicit criticisms of Gerry Adams (above) over how he dealt with his brother, Liam Adams’s sexual abuse of his daughter. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The North’s health Minister Edwin Poots has accused the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams of letting down his niece Aine Adams. He also said that the Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire must investigate how police dealt with the case of child abuser Liam Adams.
Mr Poots, during question time in the Northern Assembly this afternoon, made a number of explicit and implicit criticisms of Mr Adams over how he dealt with his brother, Liam Adams’s sexual abuse of his daughter.
“I have to say that Aine Adams was let down by the RUC; she was let down by her uncle Gerry Adams; and she has been let down to some extent by the PSNI,” said Mr Poots.
Mr Poots appeared to suggest that Sinn Féin should seek the resignation of Mr Adams. He challenged Sinn Féin politicians such as Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Martina Anderson who, he said, had sought the resignation of the late Catholic primate Cardinal Cahal Daly over how he handled clerical sex abuse allegations to “step up to the mark today”.
He said that he met the PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott yesterday to indicate to him the police had not met their responsibilities sufficiently in getting the message across that there should “be zero tolerance for child abuse and zero tolerance for those who cover up child abuse”.
“I welcome the fact that there was a conviction in that case and the good work that was carried out by the PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service in bringing Liam Adams to justice. I do think that when it comes to the other issue of the cover-up of the crime the PSNI has questions to answer and they need to have those questions answered in a very public way,” he added.
“I am totally opposed to any individual who would cover up child abuse. It is wrong,” said Mr Poots. He added that abusers frequently abused more than one victim. “To know that someone would be abusing a child and not do anything about it is leaving many, many other children to be the subject of that abuse,” he said in the chamber.