Adams wants murderer Provos honoured
Published 19/09/2015 | 02:30
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has insisted that Provisional IRA members who led a murder and bombing spree in the 1970s and '80s deserve to be ranked alongside 1916 Easter Rising heroes.
Mr Adams was speaking before he paid tribute to Easter Rising patriot, Thomas Kent (50), who was buried in his native north Cork after his remains were successfully exhumed and identified from his original burial site in the yard of Cork Prison.
Mr Adams said it was outrageous for many Irish politicians to honour the 1916 patriots and then blatantly ignore republicans who died in Northern Ireland over the past 30 years.
He earlier unveiled a special plaque to the memory of the executed rebel at Kent Railway Station in Cork.
Mr Adams said some Irish political leaders should "hang their heads in shame" over their inconsistent approach to Irish patriotism.
"They look back (at the 1916 and War of Independence rebels) and say this was the good old IRA," he said.
"But then the hunger strikers in 1981 and other heroes of that period don't deserve the same honour."
Mr Adams said both eras witnessed the same courage and sacrifice for Irish freedom.
"In terms of their unselfishness, in terms of their generosity and in terms of their commitment (to Irish freedom) - yes, I do (see both in the same light).
"But you do have to judge every event and everyone in their own time."
Mr Adams said that some people, including some Irish academics, are at least consistent in arguing that all such republicans were wrong in the policies they followed.
The Louth TD added the general election, which will likely take place weeks before the centenary of the Rising, will see a change in the Irish political landscape.
"Can you imagine James Connolly or Jim Larkin signing off on this austerity? You could not imagine the men and women of 1916 tolerating any of this," he said.