Monday 23 April 2018

Gerry Adams denies Sinn Fein tried to block Veronica Guerin memorial

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams arrives at the party offices in Parnell Square for a press conference this morning.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams arrives at the party offices in Parnell Square for a press conference this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams talks to the media at the party offices in Parnell Square this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams talks to the media at the party offices in Parnell Square this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams has denied he or his party tried to block the naming of the N7 flyover at Newlands Cross after Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin.

Mr Adams said he had “better things to be doing with his time” than involving himself in local authority issues.

“Sinn Fein did not block anything,” he told independent.ie.

“I knew Veronica Guerin. She worked with me on some issues which were important in the process of dialogue. I knew her, I respected her, I admired her and she was very, very brave and a very, very courageous journalist,” Mr Adams added.

Sinn Fein South Dublin County Councillor Eoin O’Broin apologised to the Guerin family for any hurt which may have been caused by the local authority’s handling of the proposal to name the bridge after the murdered journalist.

But Mr O’Broin insisted his party did not block the naming of the flyover and claimed the decision was taken by an all-party committee within the council.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams talks to the media at the party offices in Parnell Square this morning.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams talks to the media at the party offices in Parnell Square this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin

“Clearly if any hurt was caused to the Guerin family by the way in which this matter was dealt with by the council or those of us in the council, of course we would apologise for that because that was not our intention in any shape or form,” he said.

“At no time did the Sinn Fein group take a position on whether or not to name the flyover after Veronica Guerin or any other person because there was never actually a discussion on that at the full council,” he added.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams arrives at the party offices in Parnell Square for a press conference this morning.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams arrives at the party offices in Parnell Square for a press conference this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin

The naming of the bridge after Ms Guerin was proposed by Labour TD Robert Dowds, and the proposal was supported by the Guerin family and backed by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe.

However, Sinn Fein Councillor Jonathon Graham said it was “inappropriate” to name the flyover after Ms Guerin as it created a “hierarchy of victims”.

Ms Guerin’s brother Jimmy wrote to the council after Mr Graham’s “disrespectful” comments asking for the proposal to be withdrawn.

Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle said Mr Graham’s comments were “insensitive” and “scuppered” any plans to name the bridge.

Sinn Fein’s Mr O’Broin said the issue was referred to the council’s transportation and strategic policy committee for a discussion on what infrastructure the council could consider naming.

He said an all-party corporate policy group in the council also decided it was not appropriate to name a flyover after any individual.

A memorial to Ms Guerin on the N7 will be reinstated.

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