TPQ features the fourth in a series of a verbatim transcript of the cross examination of Gerry Adams at his brother Liam's first trial. Liam Adams was subsequently convicted of raping his daughter.
In this section of the cross examination Mr Adams responds to questioning about his knowledge of Liam Adams being shuffled about the heart of mr Adams' West Belfast constituency despite Gerry Adams knowing the abuse allegations against him. He also faces scrutiny in relation to not javing reported his knowledge to the RUC.
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.
Ms McDermott: You see, he left Clonard Youth Club in 2003, isn’t that right?
A: I don’t know the ........I know he left it, I don’t know the specific time.
Q: Well ..........
A: I don’t doubt what you are saying.
Q: Do you know that he left it in order to take up the other job that he got, the next job that he got, in Dundalk?
A: Well, my recollection was that he moved from there to The Blackie. Now, I might be wrong in that
Q:. No, there’s a year intervening, Mr Adams. Your brother’s case is that he worked in Clonard youth centre from 1998 to 2003; that he then got a job, he applied for a different job in Dundalk in Cox’s Demesne Community Centre. Does that ring any bells with you?
A: Well, my notion until now was that he moved from one to the other
Q: And that then he was there in Dundalk for a year and he would say because his wife wanted to come back to Belfast, he then applied for the job in The Blackie centre, and came back there in 2004.
A: Is that a question?
Q: I’m asking you, I started ...........
A: I don’t have .........
Q: Let me tell you the question.
Q: Whether you recall him going to work in Dundalk for a year at another youth centre?
A: No, I don’t, but it wasn’t unusual given his anxiety and demeanour that he would leave, but I don’t doubt what you are saying, but I have no.......if you had asked me I would have said he went from Clonard to The Blackie, but I don’t doubt, if you are telling me he went somewhere else then that’s fair enough.
Q: And that he then came back and got a job in The Blackie centre in Beechmount.
A: Yes, he did, yes.
Q: Which again, for any member of the jury who mightn’t be familiar with the area, is in the heart of your constituency.
A: That’s right
Q: And you knew that he was working there?
A: Yes. I actually raised this issue with him and eventually persuaded him to leave The Blackie.
Q: Well, how long was he there before you persuaded him to leave?
A: He was there for some time.
Q: Well, how long?
A: Well, I don’t recall.
Q: Well, I’m suggesting to you that he was there for a year.
A: Okay, that’s ............
Judge Philpott: For how long?
Ms McDermott: A year.
(To The Witness): I don’t doubt it. I know he was there for some time and we were very intensely engaged in terms of what I have already outlined to you; me trying to get him to a point where he was able to deal with Aine’s allegations.
Q: And you persuaded him to leave there eventually you say?
A: Well, I was also meeting with Aine in the course of all of this.
Q: Mr Adams ........
A: I said yes.
Q: You persuaded him to leave the Blackie Centre, is that right?
Q: And why did you persuade him to leave if you didn’t think that he represented a danger?
A: Because Aine was increasingly disappointed with the fact that she had got…
Q: Mr Adams...........
A: I’m giving you my answer please.
Judge Philpott: I think this will have to be, he is entitled to give the answer to that question.
Ms McDermott: Well, your Honour will recall, I do seek the court’s guidance about this.
Judge Philpott: I do recall, I do recall. Members of the jury, can I just ask you to leave for one moment.
(To the witness): And, I think Mr Adams, I’m going to ask you to leave and wait outside as wel.
The Witness: Sure
(The witness withdrew)
Judge Philpott: Well, Ms McDermott, I don’t know what he is going to say, but it may be that in light of the fact Aine was still exercised, to put it neutrally, over this, he knew it would be better if his brother wasn’t working in that youth club, considering her evidence has been that she reported it to begin with because she was worried about Clare. So I think your question, these are difficult issues, but I think he is entitled to answer that question as long as he doesn’t stray completely out of it
Ms McDermott: Very good, your Honour
Judge Philpott: If there is any danger of him doing that no doubt Mr Murphy will be on his feet very quickly because really…
Ms McDermott: I know that everybody concerned is anxious to avoid the witness straying into this.
Judge Philpott: I do not want to be completely directing this, I am here to hear this and make appropriate rulings.
Ms McDermott: Yes.
Judge Philpott: But, I think if you don’t ....the jury are entitled to hear that answer.
Ms McDermott: Very good, your Honour.
Judge Philpott: Because not to allow it would be unfair. But I am going to tell him that when he is explaining it, not to be going too wide and just to get to the point.
Ms McDermott: Well not to be going wide at all I think.
Judge Philpott: Well any reference is wide.
Witness Returns 12.32
Judge Philpott: Now Mr Adams, when you are answering this question all you should do is explain, without great length, but explain why at this time or what you were worried about happening if he didn’t leave the youth club. So it is why at this time you felt he needed to leave; do you understand? I mean, it is difficult, to give direction because we can’t interfere with your answers, they have to be your answers, and no one wants to be suggesting answers. But you understand that what Ms McDermott has asked you was why were you asking him to leave the Blackie?
Ms McDermott: I think the question was, your Honour, I will just repeat it so that it is clear in the minds of everybody: Why did you persuade him to leave the youth club if you didn’t think you he represented a danger? That’s the question.
The Witness: Yes.
Judge Philpott:So you can answer that.
The Witness: I can.
Judge Philpott: But be careful about bringing unnecessary material in. What you can mention, just keep it ....you see Mr Adams, this is difficult because if I say, I can’t give you the answer.
The Witness: I understand that.
Judge Philpott: I can’t say to you this is what would be acceptable. It has to be your answer, but bear in mind, I know it is difficult, but you have to bear in mind all the other direction that you have been given. So Ms McDermott would you just repeat the question when the jury comes in so that the jury have the question and then he can answer it. Thank you.
Jury In 12.34
Ms McDermott: Thank you, your Honour.
Judge Philpott: Thank you, Ms McDermott.
Ms McDermott: Mr Adams, I was asking you before the jury retired why it is that you say you persuaded your brother to leave the Blackie youth centre, if you didn’t think he represented a danger?
A: Because Aine was increasingly disappointed and agitated at the failure of our process. I think the telling point with Liam was when I said to him “Aine is really disturbed that you were working in Clonard and really disturbed now that you are working in the Blackie, and you need just to back away from it.” I had pleaded with him in my own way, but this was, I thought, the tipping point in his decision to leave.
Q: You thought the tipping point came about a year.....well you have accepted that he is there, don’t dispute that he’s there for about a year?
A: No, but the tipping point, if I may repeat myself was .....
Q: No, please don’t repeat yourself, Mr Adams.
Judge Philpott: Well I think let him finish.
The Witness: Well the tipping point I think, and remember that…
Judge Philpott: Just stick to the tipping point.
The Witness: Okay. Well the tipping point was I think his genuine effort to try and deal with Aine’s issues, and the fact that she was agitated about this I think had an effect on him. He left.
Ms McDermott: Well I want to suggest to you, first of all, that no such conversation took place between you and your brother?
A: It did.
Q: That he left the Blackie centre because he had a frozen shoulder which prevented him from continuing to work?
A: Well I can only tell you that I raised these issues with him, didn’t succeed, and then eventually succeeded after representation by Aine to me.
A: The conversation took place above the Gaelic football pitch in the Falls Park, I am very clear on it.
Q: This is the .....
A: I am very clear on this.
Q: This is the second, you say Dundalk, then something in the Falls Park and something in your house is that right?
A: No, this is a separate, I mean..........
Judge Philpott: Just stop. I think, Ms McDermott, what he is saying, the conversation about leaving the Blackie and the reasons for it, which is denied, and which you have put to him, is because of the frozen shoulder.
Ms McDermott: Yes.
Judge Philpott: It appears to be related to him leaving the Blackie and that’s what occurred at the Gaelic Football at the Falls Park.
Ms McDermott: Your brother was receiving Disability Benefit because of his frozen shoulder, do you know that?
A: I know my brother suffered from a number of ailments including depression and .......
Q: I am only asking about his frozen shoulder, Mr Adams, as you are well aware.
Judge Philpott: To your knowledge did he have a frozen shoulder?
The Witness: I don’t know if he had a frozen shoulder or not.
Ms McDermott: Now you say that you were in possession of this information that he had made an admission to you in the year 2000?
Q: And in the year 2007 did you become aware that the police wanted to speak to you about this case?
Q: And was that information conveyed to you by your then solicitor?
A: Well, yes, that’s the short answer to it, but I always had said to Aine that if she wanted to go to the police I would support her in whatever stand that she took. So I wasn’t surprised when my solicitor told me the police wanted to talk to me.
Q: I wasn’t asking whether or not you weren’t surprised, I am asking you whether or not it happened.
A: I have said yes.
Q: Yes, and was that in March or April of 2007?
A: Again, I don’t have the specific date, but it.......
Q: Well do you remember this, do you remember various arrangements being made and remade with the police in order to suit you?
A: I know we had difficulties getting the meeting together, but it wasn’t always because my schedule wasn’t .....and I have a very busy schedule as I am sure you would accept, but I made a statement to the police.
Q: I am just bringing you through the steps in relation to that, Mr Adams. Just pause for a moment. There are various arrangements with the police, and you accept that?
A: There weren’t various arrangements, there were difficulty getting scheduling dates. The arrangement was always to meet with them in my solicitor’s office.
Q: And that took place in your solicitor’s office, did it?
A: It did, yes.
Q: And was your solicitor present?
A: He was, yes.
Q: And was there only .......did you have only 40 minutes available to speak to the police?
A: No, I could have been available to the police for as long as they needed me, the issue of 40 minutes never came into it.
Q: Well I am going to put this police note to you for your comment; “Met with GA in solicitor’s office, had only 40 minutes. Rearranged various times, had considered taking notes but felt if he hadn’t taken statement then wouldn’t get one.”
A: Well I can’t comment.
Q: Is that a fair representation of your meeting with the police?
A: No, I can’t comment on that.
Q: You had no problem in relation to time or anything else?
A: There were normal .....this happens every single day of the week, trying to get times that the solicitor was available, that I was available, that the police were available.
Q: But when you were all available and you were all in the solicitor’s office.......
A: Well I certainly didn’t..........
Q: .... were there any issues about time so far as you were concerned?
A: Well not that I can recollect. I had met about my solicitor before I was interviewed by the police, so the issue of the interview being in any way restricted by time is not an issue whatsoever.
Q: And you made a statement to the police at that time?
A: I did.
Q: On 20th June 2007?
Q: And in it you make no reference to this admission which you now say was made to you by your brother in 2000, isn’t that right?
A: That’s correct, yes.
Q: And in 2009, in October 2009, did you ask your solicitor to get in touch with the police again?
A: I did.
Q: And was that because you wanted to make a statement to them?
A: It was, yes.
Q: And was the point of making another statement to tell them that your brother had made an admission to you?
A: Well, the reason, your Honour, for the second statement, is that when I met with my solicitor I gave him the detail or at least a general outline of all that had passed both in terms of other developments within my family and the issue of Aine and Liam and efforts to bring them together which my solicitor ......
Q: Mr Adams, may I ask you the question again so that you can focus?
Judge Philpott: Well I think, Ms McDermott, he is coming to the focus now.
The Witness: My solicitor, who was in touch with the police – I wasn’t in touch with the police until I met them, he was in touch with the police – told me that their focus ....
Judge Philpott: Well no, you can’t say what he told you because that is hearsay, Mr Adams.
The Witness: Okay. Well..........
Judge Philpott: I think actually.......
The Witness: Well I made my statement under legal advice, if that’s fair to say that.
Judge Philpott: Right, but if you want to go back to the second bit of that question, Ms McDermott, do so.
Ms McDermott: You made the statement of October 2009 under legal advice?
Ms McDermott: I don’t know, your Honour, whether the court wishes to advise the witness about privilege?
Judge Philpott: Well I think he knows. You don’t have to say what your solicitor told you or what the legal advice was because that’s between you and your solicitor. At this stage I think you are accepting that you did not mention the 2000 meeting or the 2000….
The Witness: But if I may, your Honour.
Ms McDermott: Well could you answer first, Mr Adams?
Judge Philpott: If you do, you are going to be waiving privilege. Now you need .....
The Witness: I am happy to waive privilege.
Ms McDermott: Well could you just......
The Witness: I have already answered your question. I said ........
Ms McDermott: Well what was it then, if you would bear with me, we will go back over it. You, through your solicitor, in other words, you asked your solicitor to contact the police in October 2009, is that right?
A: Well the solicitor was liaison with the police on my behalf, whether I asked him or not, you know or whether the police contacted him, I don’t know.
Q: Well it was at your request and not the police request that this statement was produced?
A: That’s probably true, yes.
Q: Well I am suggesting to you that it is certainly true. Do you have any reason to cast doubt on that?
A: No, I don’t no.
Q: And the purpose – would you like to have a look at your statement, it is at page 56?
Judge Philpott: Well could a copy of his statement be given to him?
The Witness: I want to, if I may, your Honour, to come back to the issue of privilege?
Ms McDermott: Your Honour, the issue of privilege can only arise if I ask the witness some questions which engage it, which hasn’t happened.
Judge Philpott:You will have to wait. But what he has said is if you do ask questions that engage privilege he is going to waive it. Is that your position?
The Witness: Yes, and I am quite happy if our friend puts those questions to me.
Ms McDermott: Well have a look at that statement, Mr Adams, and then we will move to the…
The Witness: Is this the statement of the 21st of the 10th?
Ms McDermott: Yes.
Judge Philpott: For the benefit of the jury, that is 2009.
Ms McDermott: 2009, Now the ...........
Judge Philpott: Well just let him.
Ms McDermott: Sorry.
The Witness: This is the second statement?
Ms McDermott: It is. Two years and four months, Mr Adams, have passed since 20th of June when you make the first statement.
Judge Philpott: That’s the 20th June, 2007.
Ms McDermott: 2007. And nine years have passed since you say that this admission was made to you by your brother, all right?
Q: So the police again come to your .......
Judge Philpott: Well, Ms McDermott, just let him finish reading it.
Ms McDermott: Oh, I’m sorry.
The Witness: Okay, I have read it, your Honour.
Ms McDermott: Yes. So the police, I am suggesting to you, come to your solicitor’s office, not at their request, but at the request of your solicitor?
A:That’s correct, and I can explain that, if you wish, your Honour.
Q: I am not asking you why that is.
A: I am asking for ........
Judge Philpott: Just wait just a moment.
The Witness: Okay.
Ms McDermott: And in that statement you tell the police that an admission or admissions are made to you. If you look at the second page, nine lines from the bottom, do you see the sentence beginning, “in the course of .............”?
Q: And there is some writing then in there, isn’t that right?
Q: Which is initialled by you?
Q: If you would be good enough to follow the course of the question that I am going to ask you. You say “In the course of many conversations with him.........” and then there is an arrow, “............between 2001 and 2007” Is that right?
A: No, it doesn’t say 2007.
Mr Murphy: It is accepted that that is the date.
Judge Philpott: It is accepted that is the date, Mr Adams.
The Witness: Okay.
Ms McDermott: So between 2001 and 2007. So that is the first occasion, Mr Adams, on which you tell the police that your brother has made an admission to you?
A: That’s correct.
Q: Not in Dundalk in the year 2000?
A: I don’t understand what you’re saying.
Q: You don’t tell the police on the 21st October 2009 that your brother’s admission to you came in the year 2000 in Dundalk?
A: What I told the police and I will read it if I may?
Judge Philpott: No, I think just stop. I think, Ms McDermott he did tell them in 2009 about the meeting in Dundalk and what transpired, but I think what you perhaps meant to put, he was interviewed by the police on 20th June 2007 and he didn’t tell them then. Is that not what you mean?
Ms McDermott: No, I mean that in 2009 he doesn’t say anything to them about either the year 2000 or Dundalk.
Judge Philpott: Right. Do you accept that you do not say anything specifically in that statement about the year 2000 or Dundalk?
The Witness:That is correct, although I would draw your attention to the fact that I said in the course of many conversations with him he did admit that he sexually assaulted Aine.
Ms McDermott: And October 2009, of course, is just about a month before you are interviewed for the television programme isn’t that right?
A: Yeah, that may well be, yeah.
Q: Well I can take you to it if you wish?
A: No I accept what you are saying.
Q: It is a very short time before you’re interviewed for the television programme. You knew this television programme was going to be made, didn’t you, when you asked your solicitor to contact the police?
Q: And I suggest to you that that is why you asked your solicitor to contact the police?
A: No, back to my initial statement, when I gave my solicitor an outline of what had occurred, he told me, he advised me or his advice to me was that we will deal with the issue of Buncrana and there would be plenty of time to make a supplementary statement if that was required. And that’s .........
Q: No, the advice from your solicitor, which I think it is fair to suggest to you you have been very anxious to the jury should hear.......
Mr Murphy: There is no need for any comment about that.
Judge Philpott: Well I think, Ms McDermott, that is a comment. There is plenty of time to comment at a later stage.
Ms McDermott: Yes, I accept that. Your advice from your solicitor then, Mr Adams, in 2007 was that you should withhold important information from the police who were investigating a very serious crime, a number of very serious crimes?
A: That wasn’t the advice, no.
Q: Well your solicitor told you, I thought you just said, that in 2007 you should just tell the police about Buncrana and that there would be plenty of time to tell them anything else?
A:Well that’s different from what you insinuated a moment ago.
Judge Philpott: Well I think we will leave that and the jury can make of that what they want.
Ms McDermott: And you waited then for two years and four months before you decided that you were going to tell the police this?
A: Well, I didn’t. I wasn’t, I was also, if I can remind you, trying to deal with other issues not relevant to Aine.
Q: Mr Adams, there is no doubt, is there, that it was two years and four months after the 20th June statement that you made the 21st October statement?
A: There is no doubt about that whatsoever.
Q: You had had this information about an alleged confession from your brother in your possession for nine years at this stage?
A: And I was dealing with his daughter, the alleged victim.
Q: And you now say that your solicitor knew about this from the 20th June 2007?
A: Well when I went to see my solicitor before seeing the police I gave him an account of what had, what had occurred and my role in it and we then proceeded as I explained.
Q: Well are you talking about 2007 when you say that?
A: I am talking about the first time I was interviewed by the PSNI.
Q: June 2007?
Q: So that your solicitor ...not only were you withholding information from the police over the nine year period, but your solicitor, it appears, was withholding information from the police for a period of two years and four months?
A: Well, the police had Aine’s allegation from 1987, I think.
Q: Yes indeed, but they were investigating the matter and here you had, and you say your solicitor had, very important evidence to the effect that your brother had actually admitted it to you.
A: Yes, and I told the police that. If you read the statement you will see that.
Q: Well you told the police that you had known for many years?
A: I told the police in the course of many conversations he admitted to me that sexually assaulted Aine.
Q: Oh, are you saying that you told the police that your solicitor knew, is that the point you are making?
Q: Well, did you tell the police your solicitor knew?
A: No I didn’t, my solicitor was there to advise me.
|THE LYING I|
|THE LYING II|
|THE LYING III|
|THE LYING IV|
|THE LYING V|
|THE LYING VI|