Monday 24 October 2016

McDonald has long history of defending Adams

Published 24/09/2016 | 02:30

Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Tom Burke
Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has loyally defended Gerry Adams during a series of controversies.

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In 2013, the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused Sinn Féin of covering up sex abuse in the wake of the jailing of Gerry Adams' brother Liam for rape and abuse.

Mr Martin said other cases had been dealt with "internally" and added that it may have been "a broader trend within the republican movement". Mary Lou McDonald called the remarks "disgraceful and totally untrue".

In 2000, Mr Adams was told that his brother Liam had abused his niece Áine but it wasn't until 2007 that the Sinn Féin leader engaged with police. The DPP in the North decided that Gerry Adams should not be prosecuted for withholding information.

In 2014, Gerry Adams was arrested and questioned by detectives investigating the murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville. He was released without charge.

Ms McDonald insisted that Mr Adams was not "a suspect in a murder case" and claimed that the arrest was "calculated and politically motivated".

Ms McDonald accused Independent News & Media of being "sensitive" after Mr Adams' remarks about a gun being placed to the head of the editor of the Irish Independent in the 1920s. That is despite two journalists from this media group having been murdered for their work.

Ms McDonald defended her leader, saying "he was making a historical reference" and "not suggesting it was an appropriate course of action now".

Ms McDonald said that Mr Adams's use of the N-word in a tweet earlier this year while he watched the film 'Django Unchained' required an apology.

But she argued that he had been trying to make a "political point" and it was "unfortunate" that this got lost in his use of "a horrible term".

She defended his bizarre Tweets about teddy bears and rubber ducks, saying they were "idiosyncratic" and showed his "sense of humour". "I don't actually see any harm in that," she added.

Irish Independent

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