Tuesday 27 September 2016

Gerry Adams: Nobody is interested in Sinn Fein plans to close Special Criminal Court

Published 11/02/2016 | 13:02

Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams

GERRY Adams has again insisted voters are not interested in his plans to abolish the Special Criminal Court – in spite of the upsurge in gangland killings.

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Mr Adams today 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.

The Sinn Féin leader would not say if he was apprehensive ahead of sentencing of his friend and collaborator, Thomas Slab Murphy, for tax fraud at the Special Criminal Court tomorrow morning at 10.30am.

“I have no plans to go to the Court tomorrow,” he said in reply to a question from independent.ie.

Mr 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 gardai from the force.

He said the current Government had “made a mess” of the justice portfolio but insisted Sinn Féin had plans to strengthen garda numbers and give them proper resources.

The Sinn Féin leader said he was pleased with the findings of a poll for today’s Herald which showed Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton at risk of losing her seat in four-seat Dublin West.

Mr Adams did not comment on the forecast about Ms Burton. But he said he was pleased to see his party’s candidate, Paul Donnelly, on target to take a seat.

“I am pleased with that. Paul ‘hit the crossbar’ last time and we’re fighting to win in Dublin West and in all the 40 constituencies, irrespective of any polls,” Mr Adams said.

Mr Adams said he had prepared for “big four” leaders’ debate on TV3 tonight and hoped to do well. He said he was ready to discuss the damage done to people on low incomes and the need for change.

Is he nervous ahead of the first televised debate in the campaign? 

“Well, yes, I always get nervous. I was nervous coming out here to talk to you guys today. So, that’s a good way to be,” the Sinn Féin leader replied.

Mr Adams, in Mullingar to canvass with the party’s Longford-Westmeath candidate, Paul Hogan, said he found a lot of problems impeding a local recovery including loss of industry, lack of housing and an inadequate hospital A&E.

“Here we are in the town of Mullingar. There’s no sign of a fair recovery here,” he said.

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