Belfast Telegraph

Adams in war of words with Martin

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has accused the Fianna Fail leader of an outrageous attack after he said his party was guilty of prolonging suffering across the island.

The war of words broke out after Micheal Martin used the annual Arbour Hill commemoration flatly to rule out the possibility of a coalition. He has since gone on to criticise Sinn Fein for supporting the IRA.

Mr Adams claimed the attack was motivated by difficulties in Fianna Fail - in particular Micheal Martin's leadership and challenges from within against its pro-European treaty stance.

"I believe that many people across the island, not least supporters and members of Mr Martin's own party, will be disappointed at his remarks," said Mr Adams.

"The irony of Deputy Martin using an Easter commemoration at Arbour Hill to launch an attack on republicans will be lost on very few."

Mr Adams insisted that Sinn Fein had been central to bringing peace to Ireland.

He accused Mr Martin of party political point-scoring and said he was using the conflict in Northern Ireland in a cynical and opportunistic way.

The Fianna Fail leader reiterated his remarks that the party would not join Sinn Fein in a coalition.

He said he believed Sinn Fein had been dishonest about its links with the Provisional IRA, and that there had been a lack of accountability over the Troubles.

"I don't see Sinn Fein as a Republican party. In the first instance, their actions not just in the past but up to the present day are the very antithesis about what Republicanism should mean," Mr Martin told RTE Radio.

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