Wednesday 21 February 2018

Now Adams claims focus on promise to ditch terror law is 'hype'

Sinn Féin leader says: 'I'm one of the few TDs to have been shot'

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams canvassing in Ballina, Co Mayo, yesterday Photo: Keith
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams canvassing in Ballina, Co Mayo, yesterday Photo: Keith Heneghan
The promise to get rid of the Special Criminal Court in the Sinn Féin manifesto
The cover of Sinn Féin's manifesto
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams claims the spotlight on his promise to repeal the country's most powerful anti-terror laws has been "hyped out of proportion" - despite it being listed as a measure in his party's manifesto.

As his party was accused of being "soft on crime", Mr Adams stood over his pledge to scrap the Special Criminal Court.

Sinn Féin lists its plans to repeal the Offences Against the State Acts in the party's manifesto, which Mr Adams launched on Tuesday.

"We will repeal the Offences Against the State Acts," it says on page 46 of the manifesto, under the heading of 'Community Safety and Justice'.

The Acts allow for the creation of the Special Criminal Court, used to prosecute Provos and gangland crime figures.

The legislation also outlaws membership of illegal organisations, intimidation of the government and the establishment of kangaroo courts.

Mr Adams, who has been continually accused of being a senior member of the IRA, also bizarrely complained he is one of the "very few people in the Oireachtas who has actually been shot".

And he said he understood the crime issue due to his own experiences.

However, Mr Adams insisted Sinn Féin would move forward with plans to abolish the Special Criminal Court if it is in government.

Mr Adams continued to defend his stance on the court.

"There is an irony that these other parties accuse us of being populist when we raise an issue like this. They seize upon it against the back of two people being killed and others injured and very, very brutal murders being carried out in the capital," he said.

He claimed the criticism of his pledge was coming from other parties trying to make "cheap political shots against the Sinn Féin party".

Mr Adams said he was not claiming his personal experiences gave him a greater insight into crime.

Irish Independent

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