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'Abhorrent' - Justice Minister's shock at Gerry Adams' gun remarks

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Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald

Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

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Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald

JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald has described Gerry Adams's description of a newspaper editor being held at gunpoint by Michael Collins as "abhorrent".

Ms Fitzgerald today became the latest Cabinet minister to express her shock at the Sinn Fein leader's comments which have been strongly condemned both at home and abroad.

The Fine Gael politician said such language should never be used in a democracy and she called on Mr Adams's to withdraw the comments which have been perceived as a veiled threat against the editor of the Irish Independent.

"It is abhorrent to use imagery like that in this day and age. This is a democracy and we use democratic means to deal with issues," Ms Fitzgerald said.

The strong criticism by Mr Adams comes after it emerged that an organisation representing 18,000 publications wrote to the Sinn Fein President and urged him to withdraw the gun comment.

The remarks were made at an event in New York last week during which Mr Adams joked about a gun being placed to the head of the Irish Independent editor by Michael Collins when the paper criticised him during the War of Independence.

The comments were subsequently repeated in his blog.

The spotlight on Mr Adams and Sinn Fein comes as the Dail prepares to debate IRA involvement in child sex abuse on the back on the Mairia Cahill affair.

Ms Fitzgerald today hailed Ms Cahill for her courage in highlighting her rape ordeal at the hands of a senior IRA figure.

"You can never underestimate how courageous it is when victims come forward and speak," she said.

And she expressed serious concern that children are currently at risk due to the movement by the IRA of abusers to the Republic.

"If Gerry Adams knows that people have moved South of the border, he should give that information to An Garda Siochana and give them all the information that he and Sinn Fein have, either now or in the past , whatever information they can get," she said. 

"Clearly it is a question of asking, are there children clearly at risk from these people," she added.

Ms Fitzgerald was speaking in Dublin at the launch of the Rape Crisis Network report for 2013.

She was joined by Interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan who declined to say if yesterday’s report would damage her chances in the race to securing the job as Commissioner.

She described it as a “useful” tool that has a lot of “very good recommendations in it”.

“It already feeds into a programme of very comprehensive reform that we already have underway and I think that the commissioners job Is gone to an open competition.  Whoever is successful in that competition, I believe,  has a very, very strong roadmap and a programme of work, with the programme that we have already commenced.  And, also with the contributions that yesterday and today’s report make,” she added.

Online Editors


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