Tuesday 20 March 2018

Tweet was an 'honest mistake' - McGuinness

Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness

Noel McAdam and Niall O'Connor

Martin McGuinness has moved to say Gerry Adams had made an "honest mistake" - but also pointed out he would not have used the N-word himself.

The Stormont Deputy First Minister said: "No, I wouldn't have said it, certainly not, but Gerry's human, just like the rest of us - we all make mistakes."

He also said: "I do think it was an inappropriate way of trying to make what is a valid point in terms of his very strong stance over many years against injustice and against discrimination."

Meanwhile, in the Republic, a newly elected Sinn Féin TD described suggestions his party operates like a cult as "absolutely nonsense".

Limerick City deputy Maurice Quinlivan said the Sinn Féin parliamentary party is conducted in an open fashion and that all those present are free to express their views.

Mr Quinlivan also said that party policy is decided by the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis and not by any other authority.

"I think it's very open. I think people are free to say what they want to say. The idea that we are a cult, I think is absolutely nonsense. We've had an Ard Fheis just recently, that's where our policies are decided," Mr Quinlivan told reporters.

The new TD was quizzed about Mr Adams's use of the N-word.

"I think his tweet was unfortunate, he shouldn't have done it. He's apologised and I think that's put to bed," Mr Quinlivan said.

Asked whether Mr Adams should take a "step back" from Twitter in light of the controversy, Mr Quinlivan said his leader uses the social media platform in a "quirky" fashion.

He also said he had not personally watched the film 'Django Unchained' because he is not a fan of its director Quentin Tarantino.

"Gerry's Twitter is kind of unique in more ways than one. He has 110,000 followers which is more than all the party leaders combined. Obviously his tweets are sometimes funny and you know, unusual. I think he is just quirky. People do like his Twitter, obviously there wouldn't be 110,000 people following it," Mr Quinlivan added.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section