In tonight's feature Gerry Adams is persistently accused of lying by barrrister, Eilis McDermott. Mr Adams took exception to her accusations.
Cross examination of Gerry Adams by Ms McDermott QC at the Crown Court in Northern Ireland sitting at Belfast; Monday April 22nd 2013. Supplied by the office of the Lord Chief Justice
Eilis McDermott: Do you remember November of 2009?
Gerry Adams: Not eh...
Q: And do you remember in November 2009 giving an interview with to a television journalist for a programme he was making about these allegations?
A: I do; yes.
Q: Now I am going to show you a part of a transcript from that, I will hand it to the Court. It is just a couple of lines so I don't think the members of the jury will be able to follow it. I want you to go Mr Adams, to 10 lines up from the bottom of that page where you see the figures "06.47", you see that?
A: Yes, but I would like to read the entire page if that is appropriate.
Q: Well, by all means. Well I think all that you need to read is to satisfy yourself that this document comes from an interview that you gave at that time?
A: Well I can only ascertain that if you give me leave to read the entire page.
Q: Well it is a matter for the Court.
Judge Philpott: Just let him read the entire page. Ms McDermott, for my information are those time-lines on the tape?
Ms McDermott: Yes.
The Witness: Your Honour I have read the page.
Ms McDermott: Now if you would be good enough to go Mr Adams, as I have said to 10 lines from the bottom and to the number "06.47". Now before that you have been speaking about the meeting in Buncrana and you then say to the journalist: "Now some time after that Liam left where he was living and went out of the country". I just want you to pause there. I suggest to you that it is a lie to say that your brother went out of the country at that time or at any time thereafter apart from the odd two week holiday to Spain.
A: Well I take exception to you saying it's a lie.
Q: Well I am suggesting to you just so that it is plain Mr Adams, that it is a lie and he never went out of the country?
A: Well he did go out of the country.
Q: And where did he go?
A: He went to Canada.
Q: To Canada?
Q: Mr Adams, your brother went to America for about six or eight months and also to Canada, but that was in 1983 long before the meeting in Buncrana?
A: Well, again I don't know the dates but he was certainly out of the country.
Q: Well he was not out of the country at any time after 1987 other than going to Spain on a few occasions for a two week holiday?
A: Well, I mean I have give you my answer to that.
Q: You say he was out of the country?
A: Well to the best of my recollection he had left Ireland.
Q: Well, let's see what your recollection is about the next part of what you told the journalist. "And basically he was out of my life more or less for about the next 15 years". Now that's another lie I suggest to you?
A: Well again I do take exception to you describing this as a lie, it might have been...
Q: I'm not asking you to take exception Mr Adams, simply to answer the question?
A: Yeah, well it may have been as I have said repeatedly I do have a problem with the time-line, it may have been less than that time. When he came to live I think in Dublin, I'm not sure when, and when he came to live in Dundalk, I did see him, I did see him during that period, yes.
Q: You were trying, I suggest, to put as much distance between yourself and your brother as you possibly could?
A: That's not the case, I love my brother. I don't take any pleasure in dealing with these issues whatsoever. The easy thing that I could have done was to say...
Q: Mr Adams, I am not asking you about the easy thing...
Mr Murphy: Let him answer.
Judge Philpott: I am afraid Ms McDermott he is entitled to answer this.
The Witness: Just put the question again, I am allowed to answer is that right your Honour? I could have said to Aine and to her mother, I'm not her parent, this has been reported to the RUC, this has been reported to the Social Services, I have done my best. I can't get Liam to do anything about this, he is denying it and that's what I could have done and because I love my family and because I had thought, naively as it was, there was a possibility of getting these issues dealt with and dealt with in a therapeutic way then I did what I told you earlier on.
Q: Mr Adams, you were the Member of Parliament at Westminster for West Belfast in March 1987, isn't that right?
A: That's right, yes.
Q: You could have told the RUC what had been alleged?
A: The RUC knew.
Q: When did you become aware that the RUC knew?
A: I became aware when I was told I think by Sally in or around the prelude into the Buncrana meeting.
Q: So before you went to Buncrana you were aware that the RUC had been informed?
A: Yes, but that they were no longer involved because whatever course of action had been taken Sally had put the statement on hold or perhaps Sally and Aine had put the statement on hold.
Q: So you knew the RUC had been contacted, you knew that the statement had been, as you say put on hold, did you know the case wasn't being proceeded with at that time?
A: Well I know that it was for reasons that she explained that the RUC weren't dealing with the issue as she wanted it to, that Sally didn't feel that she could proceed.
Q: I am sorry I didn't catch the last thing that you said.
A: That Sally didn't feel that she could proceed.
Q: She didn't feel that she could proceed, you didn't bring any pressure upon her not to proceed, did you?
A: No, not at all.
Q: Just look back to the page that you have been given Mr Adams, if you would and I want you to look now at some photographs, you can be given an album of photographs and you will also see them coming up on the screen. There is one between two your Honour, for the jury and suffice obviously one for the Court, one for your Honour, one for the prosecution.
Judge Philpott: There is one for the witness I take it?
Ms McDermott: Oh, of course. Now I want you to look at these photographs Mr Adams, in the light of what I am putting to you are the two lies that you have told the journalist, (a) that Liam went out of the country and that he was out of your life for more or less the next 15 years.
Judge Philpott: Well just before we go to that, is there any time-line on these?
Ms McDermott:There are certain dates that I will be putting to the witness and of course I will be putting certain dates to the witness and of course Mr Liam Adams will be giving evidence in due course.
This photograph, could it be moved up the screen please.
This photograph, I want to suggest to you, was taken in about 1991 in the Mansion House in Dublin and it shows you, isn't that right, on the left?
A: Yes it does, yes.
Q: Your father next to you. Is that your father?
A: Yes, it is, yes.
Q: And a child, as it appears to be, who is hugging your father, do you know who that is?
A: I just presume that it is Clare but I can't say for definite.
Q: And your brother Liam?
Q: And is that Mr Martin McGuinness?
A: It is, yes.
Judge Philpott: Well Mr Adams, just before you go on, Clare, do you mean your brother's daughter?
The Witness: Yes, well I can't say for definite but it looks like her, yes.
Judge Philpott: That's who you think it is?
The Witness: Yes.
Ms McDermott: Do you agree that is in about 1991?
A: I don't know, I do know that we met on a number of occasions around events and family occasions.
Q: Now just look at the next photograph, if you would. Can that be moved up a little, that is in 1996 I suggest to you?
A: I presume it is Liam's wedding but again I don't recall the date.
Q: It clearly is your brother's wedding isn't that right, one can see...
A: Yes, I said that.
Q: One can see by his attire?
Q: And that's in 1996 which can be established of course?
A: I have no reason to question the date.
Q: And who else is in the photograph?
A: My brother Paddy, my brother Sean and my brother Dominic.
Q: And you are standing again on the left Mr Adams, with your arm around your brother Liam's shoulder, is that right?
A: Yes, that's right, yes.
Q: And the next photograph. The next photograph I suggest to you is taken in 1997 at the christening of your brother Liam's second child another daughter, Dervla.
Q: Do you accept that?
Q: That's you, who is holding the infant?
A: No, not in this photograph it isn't.
Q: No, I said that is you, who is holding the infant?
A: A brother-in-law Eamon McCaughey.
Q: Then your brother Liam is next to him, is that right?
Q: And who is the other gentleman?
A: I don't recollect but he is not a family member, he may be...
Q: Then the next photograph again on the same occasion of Dervla's christening, you on the left, is that right?
Q: Your brother and his wife on the right?
Q: Any other family members?
A: Yes. They are not all family members, but yes.
Q: Including other family members and including two small children apart from the baby?
A: Well there are two small children with what I presume is a parent.
Q: The next photograph please. This is 1997, I suggest to you, you may remember it from the fact that there is an election campaign going on?
A: It's upside down on my screen, I am just waiting for it to...
Q: Have you got the album?
A: It isn't in the album this particular photograph that I can see, but anyway.
Q: Number 5?
A: Ah, here it is, yeah.
Q: I think it is the right way up on the screen.
A: It is, yes.
Q: Mr Adams. So I was saying to you, you may remember this is 1997 because there is an election campaign going on?
A: Well again I don’t recollect exactly when it was but it clearly is an election campaign and posters.
Q: You are on the poster in the middle?
Q: And Mr Owen Hanratty, a candidate, is on the other two posters?
Q: I want to suggest to you that at that time or shortly before that time in Dundalk that your brother Liam stood for the Sinn Fein nomination against Mr Owen Hanratty?
A: Well, my recollection of that is different. I heard that Liam was considering standing and I contacted him and said he should not do that because of this ongoing issue around the alleged abuse of Aine.
Q: Well did he stand or did he not?
A: Well my recollection he didn’t, no. He withdrew his name.
Q: I put to you that he did?
A: Well I am just giving you if he did then that was in total contradiction of what he said to me when I asked him not to stand because he told me he wouldn’t.
Q: Well you were the President of Sinn Fein at this time, were you?
Q: And his brother?
Q: And your evidence is that you told him not to stand, if he did stand that must have been in defiance of what you had told him, is that right?
A: I didn’t say that, I said that if he did stand this is my first knowledge of it and it was in contradiction of what he told me because he accepted when I spoke to him that he shouldn’t stand.
Q: Just have a look at the next photograph please. This is a photograph from 1998, is that your father on the left?
A: It is, yes.
Q: Yourself, your brother Liam and is that another brother?
A: That’s another family member, yes.
Q: Another family member. It is obviously taken in or it appears to be taken in a house, do you know where it was taken?
A: I don’t, I don’t, it could have been in Liam’s house, it could have been anywhere, I don’t recall.
Q: To the next photograph please, number 7. I suggest to you that this photograph was taken in 1998 in Castlebellingham, County Louth, at a presentation being made to the ladies there who have got bouquets of flowers?
A: Well again I don’t know where it is but it clearly is a presentation and one would presume the women there are the recipients.
Q: And if I were to suggest to you that it is taken in Castlebellingham do you dispute that?
A: No I don’t, I don’t.
Q: And your brother Liam is there on the left of the photographs?
A: He is, yes.
Q: And you are in the middle?
Q: And if you just go to the next photograph, you are not in this photograph – sorry the next two photographs your Honour, were those which were shown to the jury before in relation to the witnesses Sinead and Sean Rossbottom so I don’t intend to show those.
Judge Philpott: I don’t have them in this file.
Ms McDermott: No, but they came up on the screen. So 8, there is a jump in the numbers, that’s why, because 8 and 9 don’t have anything to do with this witness.
The Witness: Do you want me to look at 8 and 9.
Ms McDermott: No.
Judge Philpott: Just look at the next.
Ms McDermott: If you look at number 10 yes, thank you. This is in 2003 at a presentation in Clonard Youth Club where your brother Liam was at that time working. That’s your brother Liam on the right, isn’t it?
A: That’s right, yes.
Q: And he is standing beside again, I say “again” just because he has been seen in another photograph, he is standing beside Mr McGuinness?
A: Yes he is, yes.
Q: Was Mr McGuinness the Deputy First Minister at that time?
A: I have no recollection of this photograph whatsoever.
Q: I am asking you about 2003?
A: Well I don’t recall, when was the power sharing arrangement set up?
Q: You might know Mr Adams.
Q: I said I thought you might know the answer to that.
A: Well, I don’t off the top of my head, I know it happened after we did the big meeting with Ian Paisley so whatever date that was.
Q: The next photograph then is photograph 11, I think that is just a duplicate of a wedding photograph. If
you just go to photograph number 12. Now is that an inscription on the flyleaf of a book called “An Irish Journal”?
A: Yes, I gave a copy of that book to all my family members.
Q: Does this particular inscription if I may try to, well I will just ask you what it is in English. Does it say “To Liam, Bronagh and your family, from Gerry”?
A: It says “To Liam, Bronagh ‘s fiorghlan O Gerry” which means to Liam, Bronagh and your family from Gerry.
Q: And then the next photograph or the next thing I want you to look at is a copy of your presidential address to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis?
Q: If the camera could move down the date is given at the bottom 26th February 1994?
Q: And then if we could move back up again “To Liam, Bronagh and Clare XOXOX Gerry”?
A: Yes, that’s correct.
Q: Isn’t that right, that is in 1994 and I think if I may just check for completeness the last photograph is just the photograph I have shown to the Rossbottoms which I don’t ask this witness to look at. So I am putting to you Mr Adams, that far from your brother Liam being out of your life more or less for about the next 15 years, he was in fact very much in your life that you had regular contact with him during that time?
A: Well he was out of my life for a period, I am sorry your Honour, I am doing my best to recall the exact time-line. I have never denied being in contact with Liam. I was also as I have given evidence, during some of this period trying to put together an engagement between Liam and his daughter Aine. So you know I don’t, I have never denied that I was in contact with him.
Q: You have never denied what?
A: That I was in contact with him.
Q: Well, what you have said to the journalist is basically he was out of my life more or less for about the next 15 years, now that was from 1987?
Q: Which brings you to 2002?
A: Well, your grasp of the calendar of these events is obviously better than mine. He was out of contact from me for a time, I concede it might not have been for 15 years, I acknowledge clearly and I have never failed to do so that I was in contact with him and that’s also clear on family occasions and on other occasions.
|THE LYING I|
|THE LYING II|
|THE LYING III|
|THE LYING IV|
|THE LYING V|
|THE LYING VI|