Northern Ireland

Police ombudsman gets Gerry Adams complaint

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionHealth Minister Edwin Poots said Áine Adams was let down by the RUC, by her uncle Gerry Adams and by the PSNI.

The police ombudsman's office has received a complaint made to it by three senior DUP figures over how the police handled the Liam Adams case.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams' brother, Liam, was convicted last week of raping his daughter, Áine, in the 1970s.

It is understood the DUP complaint is linked to Gerry Adams' evidence.

Edwin Poots, Jonathan Craig and Paul Givan complained that the police did not properly investigate a witness statement about the abuse allegations.

Speaking during NI Assembly question time on Tuesday, Health Minister Edwin Poots welcomed the conviction of Liam Adams, but said the PSNI had questions to answer.

Mr Poots said abuse victim Áine Adams had been let down by the RUC, by her uncle Gerry Adams and by the PSNI.

Earlier, Gerry Adams said he knew he had committed no offence over the case.

The attorney general is to review a decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams for allegedly withholding information on his brother.

However, the Sinn Féin leader said he had co-operated fully with the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the courts.

'Zero tolerance'

During Assembly question time, Mr Poots said he believed the Police Ombudsman should examine the PSNI's handling of the matter.

Mr Poots also said there should be "zero tolerance" for those who cover up child abuse.

The health minister challenged Sinn Féin members who had called for Irish Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady to resign over clerical abuse "to step up to the mark today".

Liam Adams was convicted of abusing his daughter over a six-year period.

Giving evidence at the first trial in April, Gerry Adams said his brother admitted that he had sexually abused Áine Adams. He made the admission during a "walk in the rain" in Dundalk, County Louth, in 2000, Gerry Adams said.

Link to pdf of cross-examination of Gerry Adams [334kb]

Gerry Adams said that, during the encounter in Dundalk, his brother, while admitting molestation or sexual interference or assault, did not admit rape.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionGerry Adams said he had co-operated fully with the police and the PPS

The Sinn Féin president made his first report to the police about the allegations in 2007, shortly after his party voted to accept the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Earlier, Gerry Adams said: "I know that I committed no offence and I know that I did what I considered to be the right thing and that I co-operated fully with the PSNI, with the PPS, with the courts, that I gave evidence in the courts," he said.

"So I don't have any concerns about that.

"I obviously am concerned that as members of my family pick up the newspapers this morning, and on the back of this press conference will pick up the newspapers tomorrow morning, and wonder why there is such an inordinate attention on this and on me.

"So that's my primary concern, my primary concern isn't about me."

He said he took exception "to a quite despicable lobby that's going on" over the case and said there was "quite contrived reaction in some quarters".

"I learned that the DUP, at least some of the DUP, and indeed some in Fiánna Fail, are coming at this in a political way," he said.

More on this story