Friday 19 January 2018

Curtain comes down in style for Sinn Fein

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Martin McGuinness (left) and Gerry Adams
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

IT WAS the last press conference of a long and arduous election campaign for Sinn Fein – and the party made sure it went out in style.

The party's top brass descended on the salubrious surroundings of the Cliff Townhouse on Dublin's St Stephen's Green for a final media briefing before the polls open.

The exclusive restaurant and bar is usually reserved for the capital's high-flyers who enjoy champagne and Galway Bay oysters.

So the sight of Gerry Adams and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness sipping tea on the venue's balcony took some onlookers by surprise.

The pair retired to the sunshine after a question and answer session alongside deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and finance spokesman Pearse Doherty.

Mr Adams was asked to address his recent arrest and atrocities that happened during the Troubles.

Plans to commemorate the 1916 Rising centenary were also discussed – with Ms McDonald insisting families of the victims should be invited before plans are made for a royal visit.

Mr Adams was asked what his secret was for keeping his party colleagues in line.

"Well that's a secret," the Sinn Fein leader joked.

"The main difference between us and other parties, particularly between us and their leadership, is we are a party of conviction," he added.

Without a second's thought, an RTE broadcaster joked: "Does that mean you have to have a conviction to be in the party?"

With a hearty laugh, Mr Adams responded: "Well it doesn't do you any harm."

"As Eamon de Valera and others will testify, having a conviction is no barrier to success in politics."

Irish Independent

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