Adams won't be in court to support 'Slab'
Published 12/02/2016 | 02:30
Gerry Adams will not be in the Special Criminal Court today for a sentence hearing involving the man he previously called "a good republican", Thomas "Slab" Murphy.
Mr Murphy was convicted on nine charges of tax fraud after a 32-day trial late last year and the three-judge court will today consider sentence at a hearing beginning at 10.30am.
Canvassing in Mullingar yesterday, the Sinn Féin leader would not say if he was apprehensive about the fall-out from today's hearing for his party's election prospects.
"I have no plans to go to the court tomorrow," he said in reply to a question from the Irish Independent.
Mr Adams again insisted voters were not interested in his plans to abolish the Special Criminal Court - in spite of the upsurge in gangland killings. He said "only the media" were asking him about the matter - in spite of two drug-gang murders in Dublin inside four days.
"The issue of our long-standing policy on the Special Criminal Court has not been raised with me by even one person outside of the media," Mr Adams said during a break from canvassing in Mullingar.
Adams also brushed aside suggestions that Sinn Féin will struggle to get transfers over this and other controversies surrounding the party. "That has been disproved in previous elections and I'm telling our people every day to ask those who say they are voting for another candidate to ask for a preference for us," he said.
He said the real problem with crime was how Fianna Fáil had closed Templemore Garda Training College and began a process which cut 3,500 gardaí from the force. He said the current Government had "made a mess" of the justice portfolio.
Mr Adams added that members of the Garda's Emergency Response Unit (ERU) deployed to the Border after the killing last year of Garda Tony Golden in Co Louth had now been transferred to Dublin following the recent gangland murders.
He welcomed a poll for yesterday's Irish Independent which showed his party candidate, Paul Donnelly, on target to take a Dublin West seat.
"I am pleased - Paul 'hit the crossbar' last time," he said.
Adams accusations: from murders to shooting jokes
For decades Gerry Adams has faced accusations that he was the former chief of staff for the IRA. He has denied the charges.
In 1987 Mr Adams's niece Aine told him that she had been abused by his brother Liam. In 2000 Liam Adams confessed to the Sinn Fein leader that he had raped Aine but he didn't disclose this information to police for nine years.
In April 2014 Mr Adams was arrested by detectives investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville. Sinn Fein claimed the arrest was politically motivated. He was released without charge.
Mr Adams has faced continuous questions about his handling of the Mairia Cahill and Paudie McGahon sex abuse cases. Both were subjected to the kangaroo courts by the republican movement.
At a five-star dinner in New York in 2014 Mr Adams made what was perceived by many to be a joke about a gun being held to the head of the editor of the Irish Independent during the civil war.
Mr Adams has continued to defend Thomas 'Slab' Murphy as "a good republican" despite his conviction for tax evasion in the Special Criminal Court.