Belfast Telegraph

Adams slams SF TDs for ignoring his unity leaflet

By Lisa Smyth

Gerry Adams has criticised party colleagues for not promoting a leaflet he has written on Irish unity, it has been claimed.

It is understood the Louth TD and former Sinn Fein leader made the criticism of other TDs during a debate about Brexit at the party's autumn gathering in Dundalk last week.

According to the Sunday Times, Mr Adams had been hoping his Dail colleagues would print and distribute copies of the unity leaflet in their constituencies, and reminded the party he is the Sinn Fein national spokesman on Irish unity, suggesting TDs should take his lead on the issue.

The party did not respond to a request for a comment on the claims made about the leaflet, which was produced earlier this year.

It is normal practice for Sinn Fein TDs to circulate material and leaflets produced by the party's national spokespersons using the Dail's printing facilities.

However, the Sunday Times' report quotes Sinn Fein sources saying few, if any party colleagues, distributed Adams' leaflet as it was regarded as irrelevant after Sinn Fein's poor electoral performance in May's Irish local and European elections.

The Sinn Fein vote was down in both elections, with just one MEP from the Republic elected to the European Parliament.

Liadh Ni Riada lost her seat in the South constituency, while Lynn Boylan lost hers in Dublin.

The party's representation on local councils across the Republic fell from 159 seats to 81 - a loss of 78 positions, or almost half of its councillors.

There are now concerns that the loss of councillors is likely to have a significant negative impact on its performance in the next general election, expected next May.

"There is no strategy," one Sinn Fein source claimed.

"Some of the TDs believe they will not get re-elected. It's not just a case of frustration but one of resignation at this stage.

"There has not been a proactive response to what happened in the European and local elections.

"The fact that Adams stood up and moaned about no one circulating his leaflet about Irish unity was a surprise.

"The delegates were surprised he complained in such a public way. It's unlike him."

Mr Adams resigned as Sinn Fein president in February 2018 having held the position for 34 years.

He was replaced by Mary Lou McDonald, a Dublin TD.

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