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Gerry Adams turns chef to boost Sinn Fein coffers with The Negotiator's Cookbook

By Stewart Robson

The British Government's reluctance to provide meals during lengthy peace process negotiations led to Sinn Fein having to make their own dishes, Gerry Adams has claimed.

The party's former leader was speaking at the launch of 'The Negotiator's Cookbook' in west Belfast yesterday.

It has been compiled by Adams, former party adviser Ted Howell and ex-IRA member Padraic Wilson.

Keen chefs, Sinn Fein MLAs and the simply curious filled a room at An Culturlann on the Falls Road.

Mr Adams said: "When I was putting this book together, there were a number of suggestions for what we would call it. Long Quiche, the Peas Process, Come Out You Rack of Lambs - but we settled for The Negotiator's Cookbook.

"It's a must for every kitchen cabinet.

"In the course of the talks process and in particular when we returned to Stormont, the Sinn Fein team fed ourselves."

Mr Adams, along with Martin McGuinness and senior party members, met the government in the run-up to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, but recalled meeting UK officials long before that.

"The first time I met with the British government was in London in 1972 along with Martin McGuinness and others, that's a long time ago," he added.

"Anyone that's been involved in this process knows you go to London and you get an early flight."

In a peculiar moment of comparison, Mr Adams made reference to The Rolling Stones' drummer, Charlie Watts.

According to Mr Adams, Mr Watts once said that although he has played the drums in the band for 40 years, he actually only played them for 10 and spent the other 30 years sitting about.

Mr Adams, now a Louth TD, compared this to his years of negotiating.

Padraic Wilson
Padraic Wilson
With Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly
Signing copies

"It was the same with us," he said. "We spent an awful lot of time sitting about, devising strategies, discussing and debating.

"The British, were historically I suppose, reluctant to feed any of the delegations.

"I read Brian Faulkner's 'Memoirs of a Statesman', and in it he complains about the Brits not feeding him when the old unionist regime were there when things reached crisis point in 1970 and 1971."

Mr Faulkner was Prime Minister of Northern Ireland at the time.

"That was our experience too," Mr Adams added.

Dishing out samples of an alcohol-soaked fruit cake he "prepared earlier", his speech was followed by signing copies of the cookbook, which he said should be in every kitchen.

Including recipes from Sinn Fein's deputy leader Michelle O'Neill and North Belfast MLA Caral Ni Chuilin, sales from the book will go to the party.

However, since the announcement was made regarding the upcoming release, people have voiced their concerns.

Mairia Cahill, who says she was abused by a senior republican, questioned its suitability

Ms Cahill said she has emailed Sinn Fein leader Mary-Lou McDonald, asking for it to be withdrawn from sale.

Belfast Telegraph

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