Gerry Adams 'cannot accept' IRA war was illegitimate, says Fianna Fail leader Martin
Gerry Adams is "incapable" of accepting the IRA waged an illegitimate war, it was claimed yesterday.
In a strongly-worded attack, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin accused Sinn Fein of seeking to "rewrite history" over the Easter Rising.
Mr Martin said Sinn Fein was guilty of a "deeply cynical and dangerous attempt to exploit the heroes of 1916".
And he accused the party of seeking to claim a direct link to the Easter Rising which is not warranted.
Mr Martin was particularly critical of an exhibition running at Dublin's Ambassador Theatre which includes a section dedicated to the H-Block hunger strikes of the 1980s.
"In the very room where the Irish Volunteers first met they are today running an exhibition which claims to be about 1916 but it is solely about twisting history," he said of the Revolution 1916 exhibit.
"Even though a Sinn Fein officer is running it out of Sinn Fein HQ, they pretend to the public that it is an independent exhibition. They claim that to honour Pearse, Clarke and Plunkett you must honour a sinister organisation which tried to destroy this State and continues to refuse to subject its members to the laws enacted by the Irish people.
"The fact is that today this type of behaviour is the greatest threat to the high standing of 1916 among the Irish people."
Mr Martin was speaking at Fianna Fail's annual 1916 Commemoration in Arbour Hill, Dublin. He said that Sinn Fein had failed to achieve the electoral breakthrough they claimed was "inevitable" and are "now using more underhand methods to legitimise themselves".
"The arguments of the 1970s and 1980s that we should reject the tradition of 1916 are now confined to a small fringe," he added.
"What remains as a direct challenge to the unique status of 1916 is Gerry Adams and a party incapable of accepting that it waged an illegitimate war against a democratic republican tradition directly enabled by 1916.
"People who behave like this are also disrespecting the men and women of the Rising because they are claiming that nothing was achieved.
"This is the biggest difference between the vast majority of the Irish people and the Provisionals movement - we believe that 1916 fundamentally changed the possibilities for pursuing the cause of Irish republicanism."