Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Gerry Adams statement in full

I learned yesterday that my brother Liam Adams became a member of a cumann [branch] in Lower Andersonstown after I got him to leave Sinn Fein in County Louth.

Liam knew the basis upon which I had pressed him to leave Sinn Fein in Louth. His decision to ignore this and re-involve himself in Sinn Fein in Belfast was reprehensible and deplorable. It should not have happened. Had I known that he was in Sinn Fein in Belfast I would have acted to have him leave the party.

Sinn Fein did not know of the allegations against Liam Adams and did nothing wrong. There was no cover-up by Sinn Fein. It is a matter of sincere regret that my colleagues have been the target of unfair and unjustifiable criticism by political opponents.

There was no cover-up by me. The statutory bodies, including the RUC, were told about this allegation in 1987. Three years ago, after my niece went to the PSNI, I made a statement to the PSNI in support of her and against my brother.

In parallel with this, my approach to dealing with family matters was guided by professional advice. And also by my experience and that of my brothers and sisters, in coping with my father's abuse of family members.

The professional advice was to support the victims, protect the victims' right to anonymity, while that was their wish, and to help bring closure and empower victims and their relatives.

This is what I sought to do at all times."

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