Suffocating Scrutiny

The Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, has threatened to take legal action against the Independent Newspaper Group over a report on his conduct in respect of the rape trial of his brother Liam.

Fionnan Sheahan wrote in The Indo that:

It has emerged that the Police Ombudsman in the North is investigating an allegation he was briefed by police about details of the case against his paedophile brother before he gave evidence against him at trial.

In the same report Adams rejected:

any suggestion that I was briefed by the PSNI. If the police ombudsman's office is carrying out an investigation then it should be allowed to get on with it. I have not been contacted by it and know nothing about this.

Adams has hired censor lawyer Paul Tweed to represent him. Mr Tweed is often used by the elites to silence criticism of their behaviour. He is an advocate on behalf of retaining the current libel laws in the North and is vigorously opposed to the UK’s more liberal Defamation Act 2013 being extended there.

Censors love him. Sinn Fein’s Danny Morrison marked for special attention Tweed’s lecture at last year’s West Belfast festival.

There is little chance of Adams following through with the case. Although he was reported in the Irish Times as claiming not to have engaged in any inappropriate conduct in relation to the giving of his evidence at his brother’s trial, during the actual court case barrister 'Eilis McDermott repeatedly accused Gerry Adams of lying under oath about his motives.' Not an unfamiliar accusation to ring in the ears of Mr Adams but one best avoided in court with the concomitant adverse publicity. Mr Adams does not fare well against barrister types as was underscored by his 2007 televised mauling at the hands of Michael McDowell.

The Independent Newspaper Group would be foolish to roll over in the face of the Adams libel bullying. It would lose credibility in the eyes of its readers and would end up looking like RTE did once it folded when John Waters waved a lawyer’s letter. It must know if it gets Mr Adams, a serial liar, into the witness box, the feast alone would be worth the money in legal fees. It would be able to call upon the family of Jean McConville to testify to his mendacity, given that he lied to the family about being in prison at the time of the abduction, death and disappearance of their mother. It takes no great leap of imagination to work out where such a grilling would lead. It would also be able to draw on evidence that Adams both covered up the rape crimes of his brother and facilitated his career within Sinn Fein despite believing him to be a child rapist. Any claim under cross examination that he didn’t know Liam was his brother while certain to be believed by Mary Lou McDonald, Martina ‘Squeaky’ Anderson and those of the same cultic mindset, few outside Sinn Fein will buy any of it. He would be kept in the witness box longer than he was detained in Antrim PSNI station.

The legal action by Adams is in all certainty an attempt to silence media investigation of the ‘dark side’ of his past in the run up to the election where Sinn Fein is poised to do quite well. The Indo is without question hostile to Sinn Fein and leaves much to be desired in terms of how it reported the Northern conflict both while it was in full swing and now that it is ‘the past’. Yet any notion that a politician should be able to suppress any newspaper critique in the interests of his own political career is anathema to public understanding and should be faced down. Failure to do so would indeed be ‘damaging in the extreme.’


  1. Gerry Adams is a prat. He should be jailed for not breaking Liams legs.

    I can get my head around the disappeared. Someone placing an up and under..

    But kids are off limits. I don't say that lightly. If I knew anyone who sexually abused a kid. I'd probably be in prison on a GBH charge.

    There are certain un written laws of the universe.

    @ The Indo/Belfast Tele.. Go to court. You'll win.

  2. According to the Sunday independent today, Adams also "sent a legal letter seeking to prevent the publication of the findings of the question in the Millward Brown opinion poll .."

    (Do you believe Adams was anyway involved
    In the murder of jean mc conville or not)

  3. Gerry needs a TV channel of his own and a blanket ban on all the rest.

  4. Some people just can't stand freedom of speech.

    If he wants his day in court, give him it.

    He should beware what he wishes for.