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Adams standing by 'Slab' Murphy, but won't be visiting him in prison


Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Gerry Adams has reaffirmed his support for jailed tax cheat Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, but said he has no plans to visit him in jail.

The alleged former IRA chief of staff was jailed last Friday for tax offences.

Mr Adams visited the RDS count centre yesterday in a show of support for Sinn Fein candidate Denise Mitchell, who was still in the runn- ing for a seat in Dublin Bay North.

Following Murphy's sentencing, the Sinn Fein leader was asked if he still stood by his now infamous "good republican" comments regarding the tax dodger.

He confirmed that he did, but added that he had "no plans to visit him" during his 18 months behind bars.

Mr Adams was asked if he felt his continued support for Murphy as well as Sinn Fein's stance on the Special Criminal Court had damaged the party's general election results.

The Louth TD singled out the coverage his party got in the media during the campaign as the most damaging factor.

"We were hit with everything but the kitchen sink in the course of the campaign," he said.

"The negativity came not least from some sections of the media. There was negativity, but we ran a positive campaign."

Mr Adams said the "unrelenting negativity" had had an impact on the campaign, and added that he felt it had been enough to knock Sinn Fein back "one or two points".

Mr Adams conceded that his party, alongside the Right2Change candidates, had not secured enough seats to get into government.

"We sought a mandate to be in government and we have a desire to be in government, but it doesn't look as though we have the numbers to get into government," he said.

Mr Adams said his party was pleased with its performance in the General Election, and added that candidates had fought the election to get rid of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition.

On the election results so far, he said: "I think the big indication from this election - while it's a work-in-progress - is that that process of change is continuing."

The party will secure its 23rd seat in the Dail if Ms Mitchell manages to get over the line in Dublin Bay North.