Uproar over Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams' abusive attack on unionists
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has ignited another war of words after describing unionists as b******s last night at a public meeting.
Mr Adams spoke about “bigotry” in unionism and said: “The point is to break these b******s... break them with equality.”
He also claimed that unionists were “scundered” by people like DUP MP Gregory Campbell. He was asked by a member of the audience about Sinn Fein’s relationship with the DUP in light of recent events, including the controversial comments made by Mr Campbell about the party’s use of the Irish language.
Mr Adams, who is now a TD for Louth, replied that when he returns to visit Belfast some nationalists and republicans would ask him to explain the point of working with the DUP.
He added: "There are people who don't want the nonsense that Gregory Campbell spouts... the bigotry."
Mr Adams said: "But what's the point? The point is to actually break these b******s - that's the point. And what's going to break them is equality. That's what's going to break them - equality. Who could be afraid of equality? Who could be afraid of treating somebody the way you want to be treated. That's what we need to keep the focus on - that's the Trojan horse of the entire republican strategy."
Mr Adams made his comments in Enniskillen, a venue that angered unionists further because of its history of the Remembrance Day IRA bombing.
The remarks came after Gregory Campbell infuriated republicans with remarks he made at a party conference at the weekend.
Mr Campbell also remarked that the DUP will be treating Sinn Fein's "wish list" like toilet paper.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described those remarks as "absolutely appalling".
Mr Campbell said last night he was not surprised when the Belfast Telegraph informed him of what Mr Adams had said.
"The Sinn Fein mask has definitely slipped," he said.
"People will now be able to see their true colours. To those who know and understand Gerry Adams' background this may not come as a surprise.
"Sinn Fein has for a long time done a sterling job at keeping their true feelings under wraps but now people will be able to see them completely clearly for what they are. All of this is in response to a humorous anecdote."
Enterprise Minister and Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster said: "Respect is a two-way street. The hyperbole from republicans over recent days has been exposed as hypocrisy.
"Republicans use the Irish language as a weapon and tonight Gerry Adams confirms that they view equality as another weapon to attack unionists, or "these b******s" as he would term us.
"Will Sinn Fein now unleash a tirade of outrage against their party president or will they once again stand behind him as they have over his denial of IRA membership, his involvement in Jean McConville's murder or the cover-up of sexual abuse.
"On Saturday John O'Dowd told us that if any Sinn Fein member was disrespectful to someone's culture they would be expelled by Martin McGuinness.
"Gerry Adams has been disrespectful to an entire community. We await details of the disciplinary hearing."
Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA said Mr Adams' remarks are "stunning in their arrogance and hatred. On a day I began by criticising the DUP's Gregory Campbell for his gratuitous insult to those who cherish the Irish language, I despair that I have to end it by challenging Gerry Adams to clarify why he believes equality is no more than a trick to lure unionists into some sort of trap".
Mr Adams was joined at the meeting by Michelle Gildernew MP and Pearse Doherty.
UUP Fermanagh and south Tyrone MLA Tom Elliot said: "It is almost beyond belief that the president of a political party would use this type of language. It says a lot about his character and about Sinn Fein. It is insulting wherever remarks like this are made but even more so that this was said in Enniskillen where the poppy day bombing took place and where many people have suffered."