SINN FEIN leader Gerry Adams used a US speaking arrangement to turn on the media for questioning him over the Mairia Cahill sex abuse scandal.
Adams was in New York where he has managed to avoid the glare of attention over the IRA’s cover up of teenage sex abuse.
At the $500 a plate banquet the Louth TD joked about holding editors at gunpoint and was also critical of journalists who have shone a light on the murky past of the Provisional IRA members who moved sex abusers from place to place.
He claimed there was a “campaign of slander” against the party following the BBC Spotlight programme which revealed the Mairia Cahill story.
The Irish Independent hailed Michael Collins as a Gandhi figure, he said, before regaling the roomful of adoring American supporters with how Collins had dealt with a critical press.
“He went in, sent volunteers in, to the offices, held the editor at gun point and destroyed the entire printing press. That’s what he did. Now I can just see the headline in the Independent tomorrow, I’m obviously not advocating that,” he said, as the crowd laughed.
Supporters enjoyed a mixed salad to start, followed by a fillet mignon as the Sinn Fein President addressed the room for almost thirty five minutes.
Mr Adams met with large donors at 5pm before mingling with guests during the cocktail hour at 6pm.
Six hundred and fifty people attended the event, organised by friends of Sinn Fein USA. The venue was the upmarket Sheraton Hotel in Times Square, in Manhattan.
With tickets selling for an eye watering $500 (€403), the evening was expected to raise $350,000.