Adams slams witch-hunt
Speaking in Dundalk today in answer to questions about the Liam Adams case, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said:
"For me this always been a family matter.
"It was quite rightly brought to the RUC and Social Services in 1987.
"So accusations of cover-up are patently cynical and untrue.
"As well as the allegations raised by Áine my family have also had to cope with the revelation that our father was an abuser.
"All of this has been hugely testing and challenging for me and for my clann. Only those who have had to go through this can appreciate the trauma it has caused.
"I am a public figure and subject to scrutiny and that is fair enough – but the despicable manner in which this issue is being dealt with by the DUP and others, and by some cynical elements of the media has become trial by media and a witch-hunt.
"It also does not take account of the impact this is having on my family who have been affected by all of this.
"For my part I have committed no offence.
"The matters you raise have all been dealt with by me in previous interviews and during the trial in which I appeared as a witness for the prosecution and answered all of the questions put to me.
"Liam has been found guilty and Áine has been vindicated.
"You will know that the PPS has asked the Attorney General in the north to review the decision by the PSNI and separately by the PPS that I have no case to answer.
"You will know that, under pressure from the DUP, the PSNI has begun an investigation into the evidence I gave during the court case.
"You will also know that, following a complaint by three senior DUP figures: Edwin Poots, Jonathan Craig and Paul Givan, the Police Ombudsman has now initiated an investigation into how the PSNI handled the Liam Adams case and according to media reports it is looking specifically at my evidence.
"That means that four law agencies in the north are now investigating or reviewing aspects of this case, mostly in respect of my evidence.
"This is unprecedented. I have learned of all of these developments in the media.
"My rights, if I have any, are unclear.
"I think in the interests of fairness that those sections of the media and those politicians who have been involved in a quite despicable campaign in recent days should allow these agencies to complete their work.
"The Police and Social Services had full information and detail of Áine’s allegations from 1987.
"I never had that detail.
"When Áine raised her abuse by her father with me again years later, she was an adult capable and entitled to make her own decisions on how she wanted to proceed.
"It was not my place to take decisions for her or to take any actions, other than what she wanted at that time, which was for Liam to acknowledge that he had sexually abused her; that she had told the truth and to apologise.
"I worked to facilitate an engagement between them with the aim of getting him to do this.
"When Liam failed to do this Áine went to the PSNI.
"I co-operated fully with the PSNI.
"I made statements in support of Áine.
"I co-operated fully with the Public Prosecution Service and with the prosecution lawyers.
"I gave evidence in court against my brother and in support of Áine.
"I reject unconditionally the charge that I committed any offence. I did my best and continue to do my best to deal with this issue.
"My extended family have all been affected by this case. I am not asking for the media to give me some special dispensation. But my family should be given the space and privacy to heal the hurt.
"I also want to thank all those people who sent messages of support and solidarity, including Oireachtas members from other parties, as well as constituents in Louth and others."