Stepdaughter of disgraced sportsman and politician Davy Tweed to publish book on horror abuse
Amanda stood in the witness box for five days giving evidence against her famous stepfather, who was accused of a string of child sex abuse charges
The stepdaughter of disgraced sportsman and politician Davy Tweed is to publish a book about her family’s years of horror.
We can reveal Amanda Brown – whose mum Margaret married Tweed after her first marriage broke down – is on the verge of signing a deal with a top publisher.
“It is something I’d been thinking about for a long time. The Davy Tweed story is long and complex and I feel the only way to tell it properly is by writing a book,” she told the Sunday World yesterday.
Eleven years ago, Amanda stood in the witness box for five days giving evidence against her famous stepfather, who was accused of a string of child sex abuse charges.
She told the court how she changed her name to Tweed, wrongly believing it might cause the abuse to stop.
Her testimony went a long way to securing Tweed’s conviction on a litany of serious sex abuse charges.
It resulted in the former Irish rugby international receiving an eight-year jail sentence. The judge ordered Tweed to serve four years behind bars and a further four on licence.
But shortly before Tweed was due to be released, his lawyers persuaded the Appeal Court that during his trial the judge had failed to adequately inform the jury on the so-called ‘bad character clause’.
It was a legal technicality, but his conviction was quashed and Tweed swaggered out of court a freeman.
Tweed died 18 months ago aged 61 when his bike crashed on a rural road in north Co Antrim.
Days later, Amanda Brown hit the headlines for the first time when she told her harrowing story in an interview with the Sunday World.
She revealed the full extent of the abuse she had received at the hands of Davy Tweed.
Amanda also cast aside her right to anonymity to tell the world that the man they believed to be a sporting hero and a principled politician was in fact a dangerous paedophile.
Politicians Jim Allister and Ian Paisley – who had paid tribute to Tweed when he died – initially declined to withdraw it when Amanda Brown’s revelations appeared in print.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Amanda’s four sibling sisters followed in her footsteps and in their own words they told how Tweed had also abused them.
The power of their collective story sparked huge media interest and Amanda did a heart-wrenching interview with the BBC’s William Crawley on his Talkback radio show.
It was followed by another riveting interview with RTE journalist and presenter Claire Byrne.
Under intense media pressure, Ian Paisley and Jim Allister amended their previous statements on their former political colleague and they also issued apologises to the Tweed sisters.
Yesterday Amanda Brown said she hopes her book will hit the shops in around 12 months.
“I recently met with a top publisher and we have agreed a deal on the book. I don’t want to say much more at this stage, but I expect it will be available next spring or autumn at the latest,” said Amanda.
A railway maintenance manager who played rugby for Ballymoney and Ballymena, David Alexander Tweed won four international caps for Ireland in the mid-1990s. He also represented Ulster many times.
In the late 1990s he became involved in dispute in Harryville near Ballymena, when loyalists picketed a Catholic church.
His experience gave him a taste for public life and he was elected as a councillor for the DUP to Ballymena Borough Council.
But following party leader the Rev Ian Paisley’s decision to share power with Sinn Féin, he quit to join the Ulster Unionist Coalition Party.
And he later joined Jim Allister’s Traditional Unionist Voice.
Tweed was a prominent member of the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
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