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prisons probe Prisoner Ombudsman says 'nothing to suggest' paedophile Liam Adams' cancer diagnosis 'delayed'

Paedophile Liam Adams was the brother of former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams


Liam Adams

Liam Adams

Liam Adams

A watchdog has ruled prison authorities did not delay the cancer diagnosis of the convicted paedophile brother of former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

Liam Adams (63), who had been in prison from October 2013, was sentenced to 16 years for raping and sexually abusing his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, and had been diagnosed with non-curable pancreatic cancer in January of 2019.

While being treated in hospital, doctors found he had multiple lesions on his liver which suggested advanced cancer in his pancreas.

Adams had previously become ill in 2017 and his family argued there may have been “missed opportunities” to detect the cancer before it had developed.

After being diagnosed Adams was moved to a hospice and he died from the condition in February of 2019.

However, with his case having been referred to the Prisoner Ombudsman, an independent clinical reviewer, Dr Lesley Carroll, said there was “nothing to suggest” his cancer diagnosis had been missed or delayed.

It was also found he had received “appropriate care” while he was in prison.

The report added: “The Prisoner Ombudsman's investigation thoroughly explored and analysed all aspects of Mr Adams' death, including any questions raised by his bereaved relatives, as detailed in the report,” the report said.

“The report accepts the findings of the independent clinical reviewer which concluded that Mr Adams had received appropriate care while he was in prison, from he first reported feeling unwell, and there had not been any missed or delayed cancer diagnosis.”

After the publication of the report, Dr Carroll said: "This report is written with Mr Adams' family in mind. It is important that my office provides, as far as possible, explanations and information that gives insight to the bereaved.

“I am grateful to Mr Adams' family for their engagement with the investigation and offer my condolences to them on their sad loss."

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The ombudsman said as a result of their findings there would be no need to change policies or practices within the prisons system in Northern Ireland.

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