Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Gerry Adams stands by claim over brother Liam

Liam Adams
Liam Adams is wanted by the PSNI over sex abuse claims

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said that his brother, Liam, should never have been a member of the party.

Liam Adams is wanted by the PSNI over claims that he sexually abused his daughter.

Mr Adams had claimed his brother had been dumped from Sinn Féin at a stage when archive photographs appeared to show he was still active in the party.

Mr Adams said he knew his brother was active in republican circles but not that he was still in the party.

"The party, in its statement, acknowledged that Liam was a member of Sinn Féin.

"I did not know that Liam was a member of Sinn Féin. I did know he was in republican circles. I acknowledged that although we were estranged, I volunteered that I had met him on quite a number of occasions, because I knew that.

"So I don't think there are any questions to answer. If there are, put the questions. The fact is that he should not have been a member of Sinn Féin."

Louth Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan had also said that although Liam Adams was a party member, he was never an officer.

But in December, the Sunday Tribune published pictures which appeared to contradict this.

They show Mr Adams posing with his brother Liam and Sinn Féin's County Louth candidate in the Irish general election, Owenie Hanratty, which it said were published in the Dundalk Argus newspaper on 6 June 1997.

Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams pictured with his father Gerry Adams Snr

In December, Gerry Adams had revealed that his late father subjected family members to emotional, physical and sexual abuse over many years.

In a statement, Mr Adams said the family made the discovery about Gerry Snr in the 1990s and were still coming to terms with what had happened.

He said he found out about the allegations levelled against his brother in 1987 and said he had brought Liam's daughter Aine Tyrell, then aged 14, to confront her father.

In an interview with RTE in December, Mr Adams said his brother later moved out of his life "when he moved abroad for a while and then came back, although I saw him occasionally during that period of 15 years".

"When I learned that he was a member of Sinn Féin it was I who moved to get him dumped out of Sinn Féin," he said.

Liam Adams, who is wanted by the PSNI after claims that he sexually abused his daughter from the age of four, gave himself up to Irish police on Monday.

He walked into a Garda station in Sligo but Irish police could not detain him as they did not have the right warrant.

Sinn Fein sources expressed "surprise" at the PSNI's lack of preparation.



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