Allegations of sexual abuse “absolute rubbish”, says Liam Adams

Defendant tells court it was “drummed” into him not to talk about his brother Gerry Adams

Liam Adams has told Belfast Crown Court that he did not tell the PSNI about a confrontation with Gerry Adams because it was "drummed" into him not to talk about his brother.

Liam Adams admitted yesterday that in a police interview in February 2007 he denied a meeting took place in Buncrana, Co Donegal, attended by himself, his former wife Sarah, their daughter Áine, a driver and Gerry Adams.

Mr Adams said that in March 1987 Gerry Adams confronted him at that meeting in Buncrana, where he was then living, about whether he had sexually assaulted his daughter Áine.

Mr Adams said he was astonished at the allegation, which he denied.

“I was just completely dumbfounded. I was shocked.

“I said ‘Are you mad, I would not do that’,” said Mr Adams.

The allegations were "absolute rubbish" and he was more than "devastated" by them.

Denies 10 charges
Mr Adams (58) from Bernagh Drive in west Belfast denies 10 charges of sexual assault against his daughter Áine – 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 Áine Adams was aged four. She is now 40.

Liam Adams said that contrary to strong advice from his solicitor, Philip Breen, 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.

He also told the court that neither his former wife nor Áine Adams spoke during the Buncrana encounter: “They never opened their mouths.”

With “hindsight” Mr Adams said he regretted not telling the police the truth about the Buncrana confrontation with Gerry Adams.

Describing his solicitor’s annoyance 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."

'Big Gerry'
"Big Gerry was the reason?" asked the prosecuting counsel. "Yes, Gerry Adams," the witness replied.

Liam Adams when beginning his evidence yesterday denied all the charges against him.

Asked had he raped, indecently assaulted and committed acts of gross indecency against Áine Adams he repeatedly said to Judge Corinne Philpott, "No, your honour".

When it was put to him under cross examination that he started sexually assaulting Áine Adams from when she was very young he replied, “No, I refute that. . . nothing like that happened.” He said he was “a good father” and his relationship with Áine Adams was of a normal father-daughter relationship.

Asked repeated questions about the alleged assaults he time and time again replied, “I am telling the truth, nothing like that ever happened”.

His solicitor Mr Breen said he spent “a large amount of time” trying to persuade Liam Adams to tell police about the Buncrana incident, going so far as to get him to initial a note with this advice.

Mr Adams told him he “would never speak about his brother Gerry Adams in a police station to the police”.

“I tried to shock him into listening to me; he should have been listening to my advice,” said Mr Breen.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times