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Statement by Dolores Kelly (SDLP MLA), 15 January 2010

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Text: Dolores Kelly ... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Statement by Dolores Kelly, then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA, on news management by Robinson and Adams, (15 January 2010)


"Contrary to what Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein are claiming, other political parties have been quite reticent about the Liam Adams affair. However, the blatant news manipulation and management that is going on will force people to speak out.

Peter Robinson held a selective press conference when he knew the BBC Spotlight disclosures were coming down the line. Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have claimed he answered all questions in relation to Liam Adams. Yet when a newspaper produced a new list of unanswered questions for publication, Sinn Fein can suddenly put new facts into the public domain. In each case, new information is only produced in the face of imminent disclosure.

Sinn Fein’s latest statement confirms that there are fresh and further questions about this very serious matter, essential questions that need to be answered. The storyboard being put out by the Sinn Fein spin machine simply does not match the timeline of known events.

The president of Sinn Fein says that he moved in 1996 to have his brother ‘dumped from the party’. Yet, in mid-1997 Gerry Adams was canvassing with his brother, and later that year Liam Adams chaired the Edentubber Commemoration, a very high-profile event in the Provisional calendar. Five years later his brother was active in Sinn Fein in West Belfast and held a chairmanship.

The president of Sinn Fein says that he didn’t know his brother was a member of Sinn Fein at all. These explanations don’t stack up. Secondly, over a ten year period, the brother of the Sinn Fein president was working with children, including in a youth project around the corner from Sinn Fein’s Falls Road office. The Sinn Fein President also says that he told the project about his brother. The youth project says no representations were made.

Just like Peter Robinson, Gerry Adams claims to have known nothing for a long time and then acted decisively and effectively when he did know something. Just like Peter Robinson,  the explanations to date bear all the hallmarks of damage limitation and have failed to convince the public. Friday’s statement from Sinn Fein raises further issues. These must be addressed by Gerry Adams and not by the spin machine."


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