Aine Adams denies suggestion that abuse did not happen

A niece of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has denied suggestions she was never abused by her father, Liam Adams.

Liam Adams, 57, denies 10 counts of sexual abuse of his daughter.

The defence asked Aine Adams, 40, if she had not told police everything that allegedly happened to her from the age of five, including two rapes, because "they didn't take place at all".

Ms Adams said she had wanted to spare her mother's feeling about certain aspects of the alleged rapes.

She said that at the time she was an embarrassed teenager, and while her mother was "heartbroken" because she had been abused, she wanted to spare her feelings.

Confronted

Liam Adams, of Bernagh Drive, Belfast, is accused of three counts of rape, three of gross indecency and four of indecent assault between March 1977 and March 1983.

It also emerged that in a complaint to the Police Ombudsman, Ms Adams said at the time she felt as if police were more interested in gathering intelligence about her father, her uncle and their friends and associates, than in her complaints of sex abuse.

Earlier she had told a prosecution lawyer that the reason she initially told her mother and then the police was because she was "really worried" about her half-sister.

Ms Adams said she initially told her mother about the alleged abuse in early 1986. However the defence said records would establish her first complaint was not made until a year later.

"I didn't realise it was as long as that," she said, adding that she had left it to her mother to make arrangements to see police.

The defence said while Ms Adams retracted her police complaint on 11 February, 1987, records would also establish she went with her mother and uncle, Gerry Adams, to confront her father in Donegal the following month, on 9 March.

Ms Adams was questioned about the first time her father allegedly abused and raped her, at the age of five while her mother was in hospital giving birth to her baby brother.

She said this was "the most vivid", of the alleged abuse she suffered.

The defence said it could not have happened as she had been living with her grandmother while her mother was in hospital.

Ms Adams rejected the suggestion, telling the court that after raping her, her father had carried her in a blanket from their home to her grandmother's where she was given tea and biscuits and allowed to play a video game before being put to bed.

"No-one had the slightest idea you had been raped?" the defence lawyer asked. "No," replied Ms Adams.

Embarrassed

The defence lawyer went on to question Ms Adams about her initial interviews with police in early 1987 during which she only talked of being raped once, while on a visit to her father's north Belfast flat.

Ms Adams said that in 1987 she was "younger... embarrassed".

She said while her mother was aware she was telling police her father had raped her, she "didn't want to hurt" her mother with any of the details.

Asked what was "the difficulty" in revealing when she was first raped, Ms Adams replied: "It would be hard for anyone's mother to listen to... when she was giving birth her husband was sleeping with the daughter".

Ms Adams said she never gave details of a second rape when the family were living in west Belfast, again because she wanted to spare her mother.

She also said she didn't want her mother to "feel bad about that" because she was not there to protect her, and also because "I didn't want to tell her these things were happening".

She said that she had "still not told her all... no one knew about what happened until my video (evidence) was given" to the court on Wednesday.

The defence later put it to her that her mother "must have been very shocked" by what she was telling police about the abuse she allegedly suffered.

"She was heartbroken," said Ms Adams.

The trial continues.

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