It had been a long and stressful day. Gerry Adams had just taken Áine Tyrell and her mother Sally to Donegal to face his brother Liam, whom Áine claimed had repeatedly raped her from the age of four. The Sinn Féin president said he believed Áine's allegations. But at the meeting, Liam denied them. Áine Tyrell and her mother returned emotionally and physically exhausted that night in 1987.
"When Gerry Adams dropped us back to west Belfast by car, he knew that his 14-year-old niece was deeply distressed. He also knew my mother would have to deal with my pain while trying to bring up four children on her own," says Áine. "Yet we received no support from Gerry. He didn't even send me a birthday or a Christmas card. The only present I ever received from him was a signed copy of his autobiography, Before The Dawn, in 1996."
She was horrified when she opened the book and read the foreword. Adams thanked his brothers and sisters, "especially Liam". Áine says: "I threw the book in the bin. It made me feel sick. Imagine sending the person you believed had been abused by your brother a book thanking that brother?" Áine's uncle, ex-IRA prisoner Bob Corrigan, says that Liam Adams was a researcher for his brother's autobiography.
The interview with the Sunday Tribune is the first áine has given since her explosive account of her father's alleged rapes on UTV's Insight programme last month: "I never planned to do another interview but I want to set the record straight about some of the statements Gerry Adams and others in Sinn Féin have been making, and also about the PSNI's appalling handling of my case."
Áine is angry that "Mary Lou McDonald and other Sinn Féin politicians" make constant references to her. "All I hear is 'We can't address this or that question because of Áine. We have to protect Áine; she is the victim'. They don't know me so I find it hard to believe they have all this sympathy for me. I want them to stop using my name."
But it is Gerry Adams' account of what transpired between Áine and himself that she wants to challenge. "Gerry has said that when he found out Liam was in Sinn Féin, he couldn't tell his colleagues Liam was a suspected paedophile in order to protect my anonymity.
"That's nonsense. I didn't know Liam was in Sinn Féin but had Gerry bothered to tell me, I would have waived my anonymity without hesitation. I'd have accompanied Gerry to meet his colleagues in Sinn Féin, to talk to the ard chomhairle about what Liam had done to me so they could expel him from the party. But Gerry never gave me that option."
The same applies to the youth projects where Liam worked, Áine says. She frequently brought this up with the Sinn Féin president during two years of meetings from late 2003 until late 2005.
"I'd heard Liam was working in youth projects in west Belfast but not which ones. I repeatedly raised this with Gerry. I said I was very concerned that Liam was seeking jobs working with children. Gerry told me that was Liam's way of trying to make up to the community for what he'd done to me. I asked Gerry how Liam had been successfully vetted for these jobs.
"I told Gerry I believed children were at risk. I said that if something happened to another child, it would be on my conscience and I couldn't sleep at night from worrying about it. Gerry said it wasn't my responsibility. I kept telling Gerry to get Liam out of the youth groups.
"Gerry has now said he had to tread carefully in order to protect my anonymity. Again, that's rubbish. I'd have gone with Gerry to these youth clubs and told them what Liam had done but Gerry never gave me that option either.
"I didn't know which groups Liam was in but I even thought of standing on the streets of west Belfast handing out leaflets saying 'Liam Adams is a paedophile'. I thought of writing it up as graffiti on the walls. That's how desperate I was."
In her final meeting with Gerry Adams in late 2005, Áine says: "I told him that I wouldn't let my kids attend any children's or youth group in west Belfast in case Liam was involved. 'Would you feel comfortable letting your wee granddaughter go somewhere Liam was working?' I asked Gerry. I could see the rage in his eyes when I said that."
When Áine finally found out last year that Liam had worked in Clonard youth centre, located in the grounds of Clonard Monastery, she and her uncle, Bob Corrigan, visited the centre. They spoke to a senior youth worker there whose name is known to the Sunday Tribune. "We brought down the police charge sheet listing the abuse charges Liam was facing. The youth worker was stunned. He said he'd worked with Liam for four years and he wasn't aware of this. He said no one had ever informed him."
The next day, Áine and her partner, Tony Dahlstrom, met a Clonard priest whose name is known to the Sunday Tribune. "He also said he'd worked with Liam and he was shocked. Nobody had ever told him about Liam's past. This doesn't fit with Gerry Adams' claim that he'd informed Clonard about Liam," Áine says.
While Clonard were "totally sympathetic", Áine claims a person she approached last year in a youth project in Beechmount, where Liam had previously worked, did not respond positively. This person's name is known to the Sunday Tribune.
"Their attitude was hostile," Áine says. "They said Liam was innocent until proven guilty. I asked them if they'd employ Liam again and they said they would. I said I wanted to speak to the parents of the children Liam had worked with. That request was refused. I told the person in Beechmount, 'If you hear in future that anything has happened to any child, remember my name'."
Áine (36) is the mother of two teenage children. She's about to go on her first night out since the ground-breaking UTV documentary. She's just had her hair done and, with partner Tony, is heading to a Pete Doherty concert. Áine is certainly not a broken woman. She is strong and determined and, despite all she's been through, she has a sense of humour.
She remembers receiving an unwanted mobile phone text from Gerry Adams. "I thought I texted Tony, 'That Beard has just been in contact again', but I'd accidentally sent the text to Gerry instead," she laughs. Tony has been "her rock", she says: "It would have been very hard for me to get through all this without him."
Áine's two-year long series of meetings with the Sinn Féin president to discuss his brother began after her father sent her £100 at Christmas 2003. "I didn't want his money. I took it to Gerry. We held a series of meetings where we discussed getting Liam to admit to me what he'd done."
Many of her meetings with the Sinn Féin president took place in his west Belfast home. Others were in the Cultúrlann on the Falls Road, and one was in Clonard Monastery. On many occasions Gerry Adams' brother Paddy was also present.
Áine's uncle, Bob Corrigan, says: "I was unhappy that nobody was ever allowed to accompany Áine to the meetings. I believe that was deliberate. They wanted Áine there on her own, without support. I don't accept that Gerry or Paddy Adams were seriously trying to address the matter about Liam. They were giving her false hope and stringing her along so she wouldn't go public."
Áine says that at first she believed Gerry Adams was sincere in their meetings. "Looking back he was buttering me up. In the end I realised it was all about PR and protecting his own image. He would put me on a guilt trip. He was always saying how bad Liam felt, how he was suicidal. Did Gerry not realise I was struggling with depression myself?"
Áine says that Gerry Adams was always concerned that the story about Liam would break in the media. "In 2007, he heard the Sunday World were planning to do a story about it. He frantically phoned me about 20 times. He wanted to obtain a court injunction with my help to stop the story. He said he needed to make sure it didn't get into the press in order to protect me."
Áine refused to assist him. The story, which didn't reveal Liam Adams' identity but concerned his alleged sexual abuse, appeared in the Sunday World that April.
It was Áine who last year contacted UTV's Chris Moore to tell her story. After last month's programme, Áine says Gerry again mentioned media coverage: "He advised me against talking to journalists again. 'You've no experience dealing with the press,' he said."
Áine has spoken to Gerry Adams several times since then but no longer wants any contact with him. She won't answer phone calls from withheld numbers in case it's him.
Bob Corrigan says that, in spring 2007, around the time of the Sinn Féin ard fheis, Gerry Adams told him that the story about Liam could appear in the media. "He said, 'My people are ready to deal with it if it does break'. I took that to mean he had a plan of action already worked out."
Corrigan believes that Gerry Adams should step down from politics: "He should resign from all three position he holds – Sinn Féin president, West Belfast MP, and Assembly member. He has failed in his responsibilities as both a public representative and as an uncle.
"I don't say this lightly. I'm a former republican prisoner who spent 10 years in Long Kesh and was on the blanket protest. There are many good people in the republican movement who work day and night for the community. Gerry Adams has let them down. He has damaged the movement's reputation."
Áine doesn't hold Sinn Féin, as a party, responsible for Liam's membership. She believes Gerry Adams was the only party member who knew what his brother had done. Bob thinks that, "apart from the Belfast clique around Gerry, nobody else in Sinn Féin knew".
Áine says she was shocked when she learned last week that Liam had worked for Sinn Féin in Belfast. "I could easily have walked into a Sinn Féin centre with a housing problem to find Liam sitting behind the desk to deal with me."
She also wants to challenge another part of Gerry Adams' account of her story: "He says that a member of his family accompanied myself and my mother to social services about Liam in 1987. That's untrue. We went on our own to social services. Gerry says he has documentary evidence to support his claim. We'd like to see that."
Áine ended the meetings with Adams by posting a letter though his door saying they were "pointless and I felt let down". In January 2006, she says she went to the PSNI and had the case reopened. She is enraged that the PSNI did not seek a face-to-face meeting with her until eight months later. "I believe they didn't want to reopen the can of worms."
She later contacted the North's human rights commissioner, Monica McWilliams, about this delay and also lodged a complaint with police ombudsman Al Hutchinson. "As a result of that I was told two officers had received minor reprimands."
Liam Adams walked voluntarily into a Belfast PSNI station for questioning in February 2007. He was released without charge. Áine claims police told her it took Gerry Adams four months to make a statement to the PSNI on his brother. "The police said he kept making appointments, then cancelling them because he was busy."
When Liam didn't show up for his first court appearance, Áine asked the PSNI to put a photofit in the newspapers stating what he was wanted for.
"I told the police I'd waive my anonymity. The police said they couldn't put a picture out of Liam as it would look like a witch-hunt. I couldn't understand how Crimewatch can feature alleged shoplifters and burglars but the picture of a man wanted for [alleged] paedophilia can't be used."
Áine says that, at almost every turn, the PSNI's response has been wholly inadequate to the point that she is highly suspicious of the force's failings. Her father walked into Sligo garda station on Monday 21 December last year, days after the UTV programme. He was released hours later without charge because a PSNI European arrest warrant, to extradite him to the North, wasn't ready.
"On Monday, when I didn't even know Liam was in Sligo garda station, the PSNI told me that this warrant was in place," Áine says. "When I spoke to a police officer on Tuesday, they didn't even know Liam had been in Sligo and had been able to walk free. I had to tell the officer that news. I was horrified the warrant hadn't been prepared and Liam was back on the streets.
"I screamed down the phone at the police that I didn't need to go to a Christmas pantomime because a pantomime was unfolding before my eyes. Given the length of time involved in bringing Liam to justice, I heavily suspect political involvement in the case."
Áine's partner, Tony Dahlstrom, says: "When Áine originally reported the rapes to the RUC in 1987, they tried to recruit her mother to become an informer. However, the PSNI have presented themselves as a different organisation. They told us they have the resources to deal with sexual abuse cases which the RUC lacked. Yet their behaviour has been appalling."
Áine did think she was making progress towards bringing Liam Adams to justice last September. She found out that he might attend the wedding of his daughter Clare, whom he had with Bronagh, his second wife, at St Teresa's Church on the Glen Road in west Belfast. She told the PSNI.
Áine was brought to a police station control room to watch live footage from what she expected to be a sophisticated covert surveillance operation. "Instead it was a helicopter noisily hovering 50 feet above the church. Had Liam been about to attend the wedding, that helicopter would have changed his mind."
And there is another wedding that she learned of recently. The Sunday Tribune printed photographs of Gerry Adams at Liam's second wedding, smiling and relaxed, almost 10 years after he was told his brother was a paedophile.
Adams has since said that when he met Liam at "family occasions" over the 15 years they were "estranged", he often used the opportunity to raise the issue of how his niece deserved justice from her father.
"Somehow, I don't think that as Gerry sat with Liam eating dinner at Liam's wedding reception that they were talking about me," says Áine. "Since I was raped, I've been fighting a losing battle with Gerry Adams, social services and the police. I went forward to them and told them what had happened. But I keep hitting a brick wall. The behaviour of each and every one of them is disgraceful."