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Gerry Adams branded 'total hypocrite' by Enda Kenny amid garda smear row

By Adrian Rutherford

Gerry Adams has been accused of hypocrisy amid a deepening political row over an alleged smear campaign against a high-profile garda whistleblower.

Senior figures in the Republic's Fine Gael-led minority government are under mounting pressure to formally explain what they knew about the Sergeant Maurice McCabe affair.

Sgt McCabe was at the centre of an unfounded and false report on a Tusla (Child Protection Service) file of allegations of sex abuse against him.

A counsellor working for the Health Service Executive (HSE) has claimed the error was made when details from a different case were cut and pasted on to a file.

Sgt McCabe has rejected an apology issued by the Republic's health service body at the weekend.

Yesterday, Mr Adams was heavily criticised by Taoiseach Enda Kenny after claiming the Irish government had failed miserably to handle the latest element of a lengthy crisis in the Garda.

Mr Gerry Adams told the Dail that garda whistleblowers were smeared, bullied and maligned and suffered eight years of public defamation and vilification.

In response to Mr Adams, the Taoiseach said he was "an absolute hypocrite after what (he) said and did to former senator Mairia Cahill".

Mr Adams has strongly denied being part of any "cover-up" regarding Ms Cahill's claims she was raped as a teenager by a suspected IRA member and later interrogated by the IRA, who covered up what happened.

Yesterday, Mr Adams accused Mr Kenny of playing politics with "a sensitive and personal issue."

He accused Fianna Fail of propping up a crisis-stricken government and he called upon the Taoiseach to call a general election immediately.

Amid angry scenes, Mr Kenny hit back by claiming that Sinn Fein had already caused chaos in Northern Ireland by forcing an unnecessary general election.

"You want to call an election simply because you want to cause chaos down here as well," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Adams responded: "Get rid of the Commissioner. Get rid of all that hierarchy.

"Let's start afresh. Let's find some of them outside the country, or a civilian."

"There was a time when Fine Gael were seen as the party of law and order. Well do you know what, you've rubbished that."

The Taoiseach has said a public tribunal of inquiry will be established to find out if there was a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe orchestrated by senior gardai.

Sgt McCabe issued a statement yesterday, saying he strongly opposed an inquiry that would be held in private.

Speaking during Leaders' Questions, Mr Kenny said he hopes that the terms of reference for the public inquiry will be concluded within the next 48 hours.

In a statement on Monday, Sgt McCabe accused Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan of privately discrediting him while publicly declaring her support over his horrific ordeal.

Ms O'Sullivan insisted she played no role in the peddling of false rumours of child sex abuse against Mr McCabe in order to blacken his name for exposing wrongdoing in the force.

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