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Saturday 17 November 2018

Anger as Adams paid for TV show about forgiveness

SF leader gets €11k to talk about life of Jesus


SINN Fein president Gerry Adams is to be paid over €11,400 to present a documentary in which he explores the theme of forgiveness.

Mr Adams, who is believed by the security services to have held a number of senior positions within the Provisional IRA, has already received €5,700 (from film producers Pioneer Productions for his participation in the Channel 4 documentary series, The Bible: A History).

The west-Belfast MP will be paid an additional €5,700 for the two weeks he spent filming the programme in which he explores the history of Jesus Christ. Mr Adams' participation in the programme, which will be screened at 6.55pm today, has already provoked a mixture of anger and disbelief from the families of victims of IRA violence.

Michael Gallagher, who lost his son Aiden, 21, in the 1998 Omagh bombing, said it was an insult to those who had suffered as a result of the Northern Ireland conflict.

"He is making a handsome living from the reputation that he has built for himself on the back of his connections with the IRA," he said.

"It is galling to see these people portrayed as saviours creating a new, modern Ireland when the reality is that he represents an organisation that sent thousands to their graves."

Godfrey Wilson's daughter, Lorraine, 15, was among 29 killed by the Omagh car bomb, planted by a splinter group, the Real IRA.

"As a bereaved father whose daughter was doing charity work when she was killed, I fail to understand how her life can only be worth €8,500 while Gerry Adams is given €11,400," he said. He said the programme had given Mr Adams a platform to recast his image.

Mr Adams has always denied being a member of the Provisional IRA, a paramilitary organisation that killed nearly 2,000 people during the Troubles. In the documentary, Mr Adams, 61, says: "Sometimes I was in tune with the Jesus' message and sometimes not.

"I don't believe that non-violent protest would have got justice in Ireland, but I do know that after decades of war, we all have plenty to forgive and to be forgiven for."

Commenting on the payments, Ralph Lee from Channel 4, said: "It is standard practice to pay presenters and a similar fee was paid to each of the other presenters in the series.

"Gerry Adams spent a considerable amount of time working on this film in which he faces tough questions."

Analysis, Page 19

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