Gerry Adams said his statement to police was not motivated by TV programme

Court hears that Liam Adams worked in youth clubs in west Belfast and Dundalk

Gerry Adams has rejected an argument that he only made a statement to the PSNI about sexual allegations against his brother Liam Adams because he knew a television programme about the case was about to be broadcast.

Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday that it was not until nine years after Liam Adams allegedly made an admission of sexually assaulting his daughter Aine to Mr Adams that the Sinn Féin president told the PSNI of the confession.

The court also heard how in 2007 Mr Adams told police about how 20 years earlier, in Buncrana in Co Donegal, his brother Liam Adams denied that he had sexually assaulted his (Liam’s) daughter Aine.

This statement was made in June 2007, Eilis McDermott QC, for Liam Adams, told the court.


But it wasn’t until October 2009 – “two years and four months later” – that Gerry Adams told police Liam Adams had admitted to him in 2000 that he sexually assaulted Ms Adams.

Ms McDermott said it appeared that Mr Adams and his solicitor had withheld information from the police between June 2007 and October 2009 about Liam Adams’s alleged confession.

“Not only were you withholding information from the police but your solicitor, it appears, was withholding information for two years and four months,” she said.

“You went to the police on this occasion [October 2009] because you knew that the question of your withholding information was going to become a matter of public debate,” added Ms McDermott.

TV programme
"I did not know that but I knew that a TV programme was being made about the matter," replied Mr Adams.

The court also heard how Liam Adams worked at Clonard youth club in the Sinn Féin president’s then West Belfast constituency for five years from 1998 and also at another west Belfast youth club from about 2004, and how he later worked with young people in Dundalk, which is in Mr Adams’s current constituency of Louth.

Mr (Gerry) Adams said he had informed a Clonard priest, a Fr McGoran, when he became aware of the sex allegations against his brother. Fr McGoran died in 2006, the court was told.

Duty to tell
When Ms McDermott put it to him that he had a duty to tell the police about his brother, Mr Adams said he did not believe Liam Adams posed a danger to young people at that time.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times