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Personal Statement From Gerry Adams

18 December, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster

Speaking during a UTV Insight programme Gerry Adams made a direct appeal to his brother to hand himself in to the PSNI and do the right thing by his daughter Áine Tyrell.  Mr. Adams said that he fully supported his niece and had given a statement to the PSNI.  He also outlined his willingness to give evidence in court in support of her.

Mr. Adams said:

“This is a hugely difficult personal matter.  I agreed to take part in the programme to support Áine and to make a direct appeal to my brother to hand himself in and do the right thing by his daughter.

“I believed Áine from the first time she spoke to me about the abuse she suffered.  I was deeply shocked.

“I first became aware of Áine’s allegations against her father in 1987.  A member of my family accompanied Áine and her mother, Sally, to social services and a complaint was also made to the RUC.  I myself spoke to social services.  I went with Áine and Sally to confront Liam.   And it was a matter of grave disappointment to me that he denied the abuse.

“In the late 1990s Áine came back to live in Belfast and we talked about what had happened.  I told her that if she wanted to go to the police, I would go to the police with her. If she wanted to go public I would sit with her on any public platform. She told me that what she wanted was for her father to admit what he had done.  And beginning in 2002 I tried to make this happen.  I was very focused on making sure that she didn’t get a second denial.  And on two occasions this process almost succeeded but ultimately it failed.  After this Áine went to the PSNI.

“I also made a detailed statement to the PSNI and made clear that I am prepared to go to court and give evidence which will clearly be in support of Áine. She is a remarkable young woman who has shown great strength through all of this.

“The only way this can be sorted out now is through the courts.  I would appeal to Liam to come forward.  He should do the right thing by his daughter.  He should right the wrong that was done to her.  Áine must have justice.” ENDS

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