The Adams Family

The UTV Insight report by Chris Moore on the sexual abuse inflicted by a West Belfast paedophile on Aine Tyrell had barely ended before a journalist friend rang and asked me if I wished to make a comment on what I had just viewed. The rapist was the father of the victim, Liam Adams, brother of the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. The journalist in question has always been judicious and fair and has asked for my view on a range of Adams related matters over the years, but on this occasion, while grateful for the offer, I declined. I explained that I had not watched the broadcast wearing my critical republican glasses and other than being revolted by what Aine Tyrell suffered from the tender age of four, my thoughts had not settled sufficiently to allow me to form an opinion on the wider ramifications.

For many of his critics it is normally easy to gloat when Adams squirms during televised interviews. But what was there to smirk about here when each little voodoo pin thrust into Adams was fashioned from the horrendous experience of a raped child? For some the sun is shining and the temptation to make hay is irresistible. For others the sun is setting on the long political career of the Sinn Fein boss of bosses, hastened no doubt by the latest controversy. Given the dark backdrop it is something to be observed rather than celebrated.

While the president of Sinn Fein cannot be held responsible for the actions of his brother his knowledge of child sex allegations against the same brother – allegations which Gerry Adams claims to have believed from ‘the very beginning’ - for over twenty years without having brought them to the attention of any authority North or South ensures he will be faced with enormous pressure to explain the stance he took. No different from the bishop whose behaviour was described as inexcusable in the Murphy Report. Moreover, that he should promote a man who he firmly believed to be a child rapist as a possible contender for a Dail seat in 1997 is nothing short of scandalous.

Fanning the flames beneath the Adams feet is the imagery of the priest Aidan Troy visiting the rape survivor at the request of her abuser. It lends itself to a damning fusion which joins the dots between the Catholic Church and the Catholic Provos. Suddenly collusion takes on a new inflection which flags up what should have been a straightforward police matter being steered away from PSNI intervention, for no seeming purpose other than protecting the reputation of Gerry Adams. While many continue not to support the PSNI because of the political policing dimension which overwrites its civic function, there is no cause not to acknowledge the crucial role it has to, and must, play in dealing with cases such as this one.

It is instructive to note that Sinn Fein were much quicker out of the traps calling for their own IRA volunteers to make themselves accountable to the PSNI when they went AWOL during their trial for the kidnapping of Bobby Tohill. Almost immediately the party was screaming for them to give themselves up. Yet an arrest warrant was issued for Liam Adams a year ago and it is only now, when confronted by Chris Moore, that the party leader is calling for this wanted man to make himself amenable.

A subdued and visibly shaken Adams, in no position to resort to the usual bullying and hectoring, laboured unconvincingly to push back the suggestion that he was at best tardy in dealing with the matter and that his real motivation might have been governed by a perceived need to protect the institution of which he is the cardinal figure rather than securing justice for the abused woman. Perhaps he might plead mitigation on the grounds of being embroiled in a complex family trauma where emotions can be strained and tensions simmer. Unlike bishops who cover up for the priests they are not blood related to, Gerry Adams will have undergone some degree of emotional conflict: ‘this is a hugely difficult personal matter.’ Yet none of it absolves him of his responsibilities. He had a duty to become an advocate on behalf of the woman who was child raped rather than promote the rapist. The one appropriate option left to him is to resign from the leadership of Sinn Fein and step down from his role as an elected representative. The Bishop of Limerick can hardly walk off, albeit reluctant and grudging, into the sunset while the bishop of West Belfast clings on forever and a day.

When Tom Hartley told the Spanish academic Rogelio Alonso that Adams ‘acted like an archbishop’ the comparison might prove to be more accurate than Hartley ever envisaged.


  1. Well done!
    I have no time for Gerry Adams and even less for child molesters, but Ive got to say it. Gerry Adams did not abuse the child. He may be guilty of trying to protect himself, his party and his family but that is not in the same league as a child abuser. As far as I am concerned Aiden Troys political preference is well known. He has been a priest for a long time. If he knew of this case and did nothing he is no better than those Bishops you referred to.

    What none of us can know are the circumstances of the Adams brothers upbringing. This family may have been IRA royalty but this family was also very large and poor. It may be that there are problems way back in the past that Gerry Adams knows about and we do not.

    Clearly Liam Adams is going to have to surrender himself and when he does the truth of his actions and the reason for them may be explained.

  2. well as far as Liam Adams explaining himself PIPPAKIN no explaination can ever justify his actions, a hell of a lot of people grew up in large and poor families without becoming perverts,if Gerry Adams as he states believed the victim from the start and then years later was involved in promoting his brother in elections that says to me that the man is damaged goods and tenure as president of s.f must now be ended,as for the priest Troy well he is a priest after all so what else would you expect,I hope that wee lass gets her justice .Marty F

  3. An excellent article Mackers and well put....

    A terrible state of affairs altogether chara. Aine deserves much credit for putting her story in the public domain.

    If its true that Liam Adams was selected by S/F for a Dail seat by his brother and Leader of the Party? It begs the question how many others of the S/F political elite also have dark secrets?

    As a father and Republican, I hope Aine can not only get the justice she deserves but also the proper help to overcome her suffering!

  4. What intrgues me is that during all the time that this information was in the posession of the brits, absolutely no attemp was made to publicise it and tarnish Gerry and SF/IRA. If I was being proposed for local councilor and had that skeleton in my cuboard I'd be 'bricking it.' These guys knew the dirty tricks dept' was never going to put them in the spotlight. Why now though? There's much much more going on here..this could be Gerry Adams 'Stormontgate.' Maybe Denis is smiling down on him??
    How must the neice have felt stuck between an indiferent [ the mind boggles] RUC and the Republican movement for three decades?
    I wonder are the Brits slowly unloading them all one by one...just like king rat..only more civilised...of course!

  5. Had a couple of coffees feeling a little more awake now..I think the closer the time gets to devolved policing powers at stormont we are possibly going to see the securicrats and the more 'bitter' elements within the RUC/Mi5 start to throw a few more fenian buddies to the wolves. It was ok to dismantle 800 yrs of Irish history..but leave 'our' security forces alone! The coming months may be the best soap opera ever witnessed.
    As for that young victim of the Adams family...I hope she wipes the floor in court with the lot of them.

  6. I think you may be spot on there Larry, I believe we have a lot more shit to come yet Marty F

  7. This is the beginning of the end for Adams, despite the Tommie Gorman interview, and attempts to portray himself as a victim too- he is at that for years even when asked about IRA atrocities.And he tried to run his brother as a SF candidate for the Dail while knowing about his past. He also tried to sell a book for a paedophile.Both he and Fr. Troy should go, no point in having Bishop Murray go,and those two remain, one as a priest,the other leader of a political party

  8. Agreed, Larry. You wonder given the suspicions about Gerry if these revelations bolster in hindsight what the Brits knew from/about their moles and when. Why weren't these allegations weren't put into play long ago? Perhaps nobody in the RM (or elsewhere?) would've credited them but as black propaganda, so the case'd never've been pursued legally 20 years ago? After all, sex scandals within the Church had not yet been exposed so widely. Only thinking out loud here.

    Very eager as was the reporter calling AM to find out how this plays out on the street as well as the media now. I hope the poor girl finds justice.

  9. I'm astounded at the way he has shifted the focus to 'our poor tortured family.' He simply has to be a sociopath..nothing penetrates, no accountability.
    The media don't seem to to want to scratch the surface here or contemplate any possible implications. Unsurprising really as it was the British media that made him. Maybe the story will just die a quiet death? SF membership must be wondering what they've been idolizing surely.
    I feel for anyone who was a 5'8 or a 'nobody' and got tarnished with tout slurs or exiled or mutilated/kneecapped at this stage. My heart goes out to them. The hypocrisy is just so low. Think this time for once Geraldo has lost his touch at knowing the temperature of the political water.
    Or perhaps they've got away with so much they recon nothin can affect them at this stage??

  10. This is truly disturbing . . . I am trying to pinpoint and understand all the implications of this abhorrent situation.
    I admire the bravery of Aine Tyrell. I hope that she gets the justice she deserves.

    The idea that a lot of people knew these things where happening and did nothing about it is astonishing - there can be NO justification for being complicit in child rape . . . (Wasn't it once a provo slogan on a wall mural.... Silence is complicity?).

    As more and more disgusting practices of this Provo/SF regime come to light I am trying my utmost to understand how and why all these things came to be. . . . .

  11. Fionnchu, point is 20yrs ago the brits had a neice in an RUC station wanting justice. Don't think belief would have been an issue. Also having been on the recieving end of dirty tricks I can assure you zero evidence was usually enough when your a pain in their arse!
    I rest my case lol.
    I'm not actually gloating, just speechless that these guys pawned Irish Republicanism and our history and martyrs.
    Will watch next few months developments and next elections with interest. I've commented enough..but it is a rivetting subject/development isn't it.
    Enjoy the festivities guys.

  12. 'Enjoy the festivities guys'

    that for me, is like, I don't know. I can't even answer it.

  13. Perhaps after the media hype that will end Adams rule the facts and figures may be released on the issue of child abuse.
    I have no interest in adding comments to Mr. Adams extreme self denial and obvious fabrications regarding his version of this horrific crime.
    Certainly we can condemn Brit Intel and the RUC in aiding such crimes and we would be foolish to accept or believe that they would not give a free license to those they recruit in their past and on-going war against republicanism.
    It is disturbing reading and watching, as more legitimate questions filter out the poor squeamish responses Adams delivers.
    This case being within high level republican circles would beg the question how many in the upper echelon were also involved in keeping this quiet?
    It is early days yet and obviously there will be more to follow one thing I know for sure we are a society in “denial” as we politely term the “Troubles” how much trouble went unnoticed?
    This is one issue were the wall of silence needs knocked down.

  14. Sean Mor, my comment 'enjoy the festivities guys' had no relation to either my point nor the article about the "Adams family"
    I was merely wishing everyone a pleasant christmas /festive period.
    Apologies if it was missunderstood and therefore seemed crass, it's not the intention. I wouldn't be so flippant either, nor joke about ex-volunteers hitting the drink.
    Tain Bo, maybe the addage 'judge a man by his company' comes into play..Sandy Lynch, Scapatichi, Donaldson..Mr. Mcguinnes? can the judgement be so flawed and yet 30yr survival secure..not even a charachter assassination? And bullets tampered with in a 'genuine'loyalist hit?
    Come in Mr Adams-your time is up!!
    Enjoy the CHRISTMAS holidays guys/and girls.

  15. I am no fan of Adams and agree with Anthony that it would be easy 'to make hay when the sun shines' however the way in which Adams is attempting to garner sympathy for himself to deflect attention away from his failure to bring an alleged child sex offender to account is deplorable. Áine Tyrell's account of her dealings with Adams is one common to many people who have been victims of 'Provo' brutality, depravity and violence througout the years. The 'Provos' strategy for handling the most heinous of crimes including murder, child rape, domestic violence etc. has been constructed as coldly, clinically and unhumanely as the construction of a fire drill manual. Corrupution seems to have been nurtured at the heart of the 'Provo' machine, particularly under the leaderhip of Adams who has overseen its decay into criminality. The republican ideology has been abused, much as the way the Catholic Church abused Catholicism, hence no surprise that once again we find a priest amongst the affray. Unlike some I was not surprised at Father Troy's role but was surprised that he was unavailable for interview. The media have usually found Father Troy more than willing to discuss his exploits for peace. It's time for Adams to go, that's the bottom line. By accepting responsibility for his poor judgement (at best), protecting his brother (at worst), Adams would be sending a powerful message i.e. silence is complicity and is inexcusable and unacceptable. Those whom engage in it must pay the consequences and by accepting the consequences of his action or inaction Adams would be contributing to a new and changing Ireland where accountability, transparency and respect for human rights will push forward the republican ideals much more than an authoritarian, insular, mysonistic, strange wee Ireland that I for one am growing tired of. Adams voluntary resignation would be commendable but I won't hold my breath.

  16. and pigs will fly Kate, Gerry A is S.F president for life (with one eye on Mary MC,s job) he will squirm and twist and in the end it will be poor brave decent Gerry are,nt we lucky to have him I do hope Im wrong but I doubt it Marty F

  17. Mackers i just hit my profile there+ 70 odd people been lookin at do i put a picture there so they know who they're all after ? lol

  18. good article anthony,
    who is it that released this story?
    ya i agree with the other comments in that it wont be surprising if other stories trickle down,its sad that that women has had to live with that untill now without that man being exposed,as for gerry covering it up,its hardly surprising,he should step down,he should have stepped down years ago,the fact that he covered it up is collusion with child rapists they both should be punished!! maybe the brits didnt want to expose him because he is such an effective tool of the occupation! sorry,was.

  19. Anyone complicit in the abuse or it's coverup should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, be they priest of layman. Not only should Mr. Adams resign, he should also be jailed. At least God will sit in judgement of all child abusers and enablers, whether they be Adams or Pope John Paul II. Adams should spend the rest of his days advocating for the victims of child abuse, instead of trying to duck and cover.

  20. Anthony,as usual totally fair comment. A very sad situation for all concerned.
    Nuala Perry

  21. Anthony if I may be so bold I notice that the last commentator signed of as Nuala Perry,if that is our Nuala of the Clonard and pain in the ass to ex republicans ,i,e, the boyos who now are the agents of our English landlords may I wish her Nollaig shona duit from Marty agus Marie

  22. excellent article mackers. adams isn't the perpetrator here but he certainly has another case to answer.
    far from calling for his resignation i would encourage him to stay on, with his loyal entourage around him, as he perfectly epitomises that which he is: the prince of liars.
    adams and his entourage have sullied the names of many a good republican while building their personal financial powerbases, not to mention the dead and disappeared, put to death by agents of the british intelligence services who are "sound" men in the lexicon of adams.
    no sympathy for the turd.