Friday 30 September 2016

Slab Murphy sentencing won't harm SF's election bid - Adams

Kathryn Hayes

Published 08/01/2016 | 02:30

Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke
Gerry Adams. Photo: Tom Burke

The sentencing of prominent republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy will not negatively affect Sinn Féin in the upcoming general election, Gerry Adams has insisted.

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But the SF president said Murphy would have to "put up" with the punishment meted out to him by the courts following his conviction for tax evasion.

Murphy (66), from Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, was convicted of nine charges of failing to comply with tax laws following a 32-day trial at the three-judge Special Criminal Court, which finished last month.

Murphy was remanded on bail for sentencing - which is due to be mentioned in court on February 12.

Adams has stood by comments he made about Murphy, whom he previously described as a "good republican".

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald also stood by the description despite Murphy's conviction last month.

Yesterday, Mr Adams - who strongly objected to Murphy being tried at the non-jury Special Criminal Court - said he had no issue with the sentencing falling within the run-up to the election.

"The courts have set their date, they should come back with whatever judgment they make and we go on from there," he said.

When asked whether Murphy's conviction would affect Sinn Féin's general election chances, Mr Adams replied: "People know where we stand on these issues.

"It's very, very, clear that everybody should pay taxes, if you are a multinational, if you are a farmer, whoever you are, you have to pay your taxes.

"If you don't sort that out then you have to be brought before courts to be tried by a court of your peers," he said.

"Tom Murphy has strongly contested all of these charges but if there is a sanction against him then he has to put up with it and get on with it," Mr Adams added.

Murphy was prosecuted on foot of a Criminal Assets Bureau investigation, which during a search of an outhouse found bags with over €250,000 and stg£111,000 in cash, as well as diaries and ledgers.

The trial heard that Murphy had traded in more than €370,000 worth of cattle in five years and had been paid over €100,000 in farm grants over eight years.

The court said it was satisfied he was farming and dealing in cattle and that he had received income from the sale of cattle and used that for his own benefit.

It also concluded he could not have been unaware of his responsibility to pay tax.

Irish Independent

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