The following statement was issued today by the family of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams regarding Mr Adams's late father, Gerry senior.
In the late 1990s we discovered that our father had been sexually, emotionally and physically abusing members of our family.
This abuse happened over many years.
This discovery and the abuse which preceded it have had a devastating impact on our entire family. We are still struggling to come to terms with what happened.
We live with the consequences every single day. We have been dealing with this with the support of a number of professionals who have the expertise to deal with these matters.
We thank them for their help.
Abuse of any kind is horrendous but sexual abuse, particularly of a child, is indescribably wounding and heartbreaking.
Our family have debated for some time whether we should publicise our father’s abusive behaviour.
We do so now in the hope that, in time, this will assist the victims and survivors to come to terms with what happened and help them to move on from these dreadful events.
All citizens need to be educated and children need to be listened to, empowered and protected.
Many people in other families have suffered from abuse.
Our family knows how deeply hurtful and traumatic that can be. No-one should have to deal with abuse or its consequences in isolation.
Victims of abuse in our family are still, years later, recovering from the trauma inflicted on us.
Our prayer is that everyone will be healed.
Most of us have grown in strength with the help of other family members, partners and friends.
We know this will continue.
Our family are united. We believe that there is a way out of this awfulness. We hope this knowledge can be of some help to other families who are in the same situation.
Anyone effected by these issues should contact the Samaritans or any appropriate agency.
We would ask the media to give us some privacy, particularly over this Christmas period.