Published Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Liam Adams, 58, from west Belfast, is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty on Tuesday of the rape and sexual abuse of Aine Adams.
Adams was convicted of ten offences, including rape, gross indecency and indecent assault carried out over a six-year period between March 1977 and 1983.
Aine, who is now 40 and waived her right to anonymity, suffered the abuse between the ages of four and nine years old.
Responding to questions from the press in Dublin over his knowledge of the abuse, the Sinn Féin leader refused to explain why he didn't go to the police but did comment that authorities had been aware of the allegations.
"The police were aware over 20 years ago and there is a lot of disinformation being flung about in this issue," the Louth TD said.
"But let me say this, this has been and continues to be a huge ordeal for my family - we're a very large family - especially for Aine, but for all members of my family. And I think people need to be given the space to come to terms with all of that.
"And if it was your family, you would want the same respect and space and privacy on these matters."
I have answered all of those questions in some detail, in a number of very extensive interviews.
Gerry Adams, SF
The former West Belfast MP was a witness in the first trial which collapsed earlier this year.
He told Belfast Crown Court he confronted his brother when they met in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in 1987 and that Liam Adams had denied the abuse.
He said the first time his brother confessed to him was when they were out walking together in the rain in Dundalk, Co Louth, in 2000. He told police about the confession nine years later, in 2009, before the allegations were first made public in a UTV documentary.
"I have said what I need to say on all of that and we just need a bit of space to come to terms with that," Mr Adams concluded.
The Sinn Féin President also rejected newspaper headlines which questioned whether he was fit for public office.
"Thankfully that isn't in the hands of the Belfast Telegraph. That's in the hands of citizens," he commented.
Meanwhile First Minister Peter Robinson said his sympathies went out to Ms Adams.
"It is sad that she had to wait 20 years in order to see justice done," the DUP leader commented.
"But at the end of the day it is up to the authorities to determine whether there are people that could have and should have brought information to them.
"I'm not going to make an issue as horrendous as this into a party political issue."
© UTV News