Labour's gay marriage 'attack ad' electoral desperation, says Sinn Fein
Sinn Fein has dismissed plans by the Labour Party in the Republic for election posters portraying Gerry Adams and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin as a gay couple getting married.
The attack ad was blasted by republicans as a sign of Labour's "increasing desperation" as the long-awaited Irish general election approaches.
Labour, however, defended the move as attempting to make a serious point "in a humorous way".
The poster intends to deliver the message that an after-election deal between Sinn Fein and FF would be a "marriage of convenience".
The election battle is expected to get under way soon amid increased speculation that Taoiseach Enda Kenny intends to announce a polling date of February 25 or 26.
The poster has fuelled fears of a dirty election campaign leading up to commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Mr Martin has consistently ruled out any prospect of his party forming a coalition government with Sinn Fein, despite advances from Mr Adams.
Mr Martin said that he did not regard Sinn Fein as a republican party "in the true meaning of the term". But Mr Adams described the Fianna Fail chief's comments as "presumptious".
The former West Belfast MP turned Louth TD said: "It would be presumptuous of anyone to think that Sinn Fein is interested in a coalition involving any of the conservative parties who are at one in their failed approach to the problems that currently face the Irish people."
The Labour poster features Mr Adams and Mr Martin cutting a wedding cake on a plinth outside Leinster House.
The tagline reads: 'This is one marriage we should vote NO to this year.'
Labour strategists hope the image will make the point that voters have a choice between a potential FF/SF deal and "the stable, balanced government offered by Labour and Fine Gael".
One source told the Sunday Independent: "FF created the bust in the first place and Sinn Fein would return us to bust with their policies."
A Sinn Fein spokesman said Labour was becoming "increasingly desperate" as the election gets nearer.