Liam Adams was ‘dumbfounded’ by abuse allegations

58-year-old says it was drummed into him not to talk about brother

Liam Adams. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Liam Adams. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


Liam Adams, the defendant in a sexual assault case, did not tell the truth to police because it was “drummed” into him never to talk about his brother Gerry Adams, he said today.

Liam Adams admitted at Belfast Crown Court today that in a police interview in February 2007 he denied a meeting took place in Buncrana attended by himself, his former wife Sarah, their daughter Aine, a driver and Gerry Adams.

Liam Adams in court today said that in March 1987 Gerry Adams confronted him at that meeting in Buncrana, Co Donegal about whether he had sexually assaulted his daughter Aine.

Mr Adams said he denied the allegation at the house in Buncrana where he was then living. He was astonished at the allegation.

“I was just completely dumbfounded; I was shocked,” said Mr Adams. In court today he said the allegations were “absolute rubbish” and that he was more than “devastated” by them.

Liam Adams (58) from Bernagh Drive in west Belfast denies ten charges of sexual assault of his daughter Aine - three of rape, three of gross indecency and four of indecent assault. It is alleged the assaults took place over a six-year period beginning in 1977 when Aine Adams was aged four.

Liam Adams said that, contrary to strong advice from his solicitor, he did not tell the PSNI in a 2007 interview about the 1987 meeting.

“I told him (his solicitor) that it had been drummed into me since I was a young person: don’t talk about Gerry Adams,” he said.

His father had “drummed” into him that he must never talk about his brother to the police, the British army, to the media, or at social gatherings.

With “hindsight” he regretted not telling the police the truth about the Buncrana confrontation with Gerry Adams. Describing his solicitor’s annoyance at not telling the truth Liam Adams said: “My solicitor’s tone was very angry, telling me to tell it the way it was, but I did not listen.”

Later in evidence he repeated that the family instruction was not to mention Gerry Adams, who he added was older than him by six years. “You did not talk about Gerry Adams, full stop.”

Liam Adams, when beginning his evidence today denied, all the charges. Asked had he raped, indecently assaulted and committed acts of gross indecency against Aine Adams he repeatedly said to Judge Corinne Philpott, “No, your honour.”