Adams ‘did not quiz’ brother on abuse claim

Gerry Adams never confronted his brother Liam about child sex abuse allegations involving his daughter, a court heard yesterday.

During interviews given under caution to the PSNI in Feb 2007, Liam Adams rejected claims that the Sinn Féin president had quizzed him about the alleged abuse of his daughter during a meeting in Donegal 20 years earlier.

“This definitely did not happen,” Liam Adams said in a police statement read to the court.

The 57-year-old, from Bearnagh Drive in west Belfast, also denied to police that he had confessed to the alleged abuse during a walk in Dundalk with his older sibling in 2000.

During cross-examination of PSNI Det Insp Eamon Corrigan, who was the lead interviewing officer in 2007, the defence lawyer said a confession was of critical importance and would have been seen as a major breakthrough in the probe.

Joe Brolly, defending, said: “This was a potentially explosive piece of evidence coming from a man of international standing.”

Mr Corrigan replied: “If a person had that knowledge it would be important regardless of the person’s standing.”

Liam Adams is accused of 10 counts of child sex abuse including rape, indecent assault, and gross indecency against his daughter Áine, now aged 40, who has waived her right to anonymity.

He has denied all the charges against him.

On Tuesday, Belfast Crown Court heard how Gerry Adams had not told police about the alleged confession until Oct 2009, despite making a statement to the PSNI more than two years before.

Mr Brolly asked the detective: “Did he refer anywhere in that detailed three-page statement about his brother having confessed to him between 2001 and 2007 or alternatively during a stroll in Dundalk in 2000 when it was raining?”

The lawyer later sugg-ested: “There was not a whisper of a confession from Mr Gerry Adams.”

Det Insp Corrigan said: “That information was not given to us or it would have been put into a statement.”

Liam Adams also rejected claims that his brother had threatened to hit him with a hammer. “Sorry for laughing but Gerry would not hit anybody with a hammer,” he said.

Throughout three police interviews, details of the sex abuse claims made by Áine Adams were put to her father. He told detectives he could not think of any reason why she would make up such grave claims.

“I do not know why. I am well known around the place for helping people. I am not like that. I am not that type of person,” he said.

He also denied confessing to his second daughter, Sinead Rossbotham, in 2002. “Can I just utterly refute that? Utterly,” he said.

Liam Adams denied that ex-wife Sarah Campbell had confronted him about the alleged abuse.

It was also revealed Liam Adams had replied “OK” when arrested by detectives of the rape crime unit in 2007.

The trial continues.

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