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Adams trying to rewrite history over claims IRA weren't terrorists: MLA

Outgoing Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has been accused of losing touch with reality over comments he made about terrorism.

UUP MLA Doug Beattie cited Mr Adams' latest remarks as evidence of another attempt to rewrite history, and said the announcement of his impending departure from frontline politics was a timely one.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street yestersday, Mr Adams said: "I also want to refute the use of this term 'terrorism'.

"Pejorative terms like that, which are about the sons and daughters of families, husbands and wives of families, who happened to serve in the Irish Republican Army and who died in the conflict. I don't use those terms. So let's have a wee bit of sense about this."

Hitting back, Mr Beattie, the UUP's justice spokesman, hit back, said: "These comments demonstrate clearly a man who has lost touch with reality."

Citing IRA attacks such as the Claudy bomb, La Mon and Bloody Friday as definitive acts of terrorism, Mr Beattie referred to yesterday's sentencing of Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic for war crimes.

He added: "Gerry Adams should be thankful that the republican leadership is not filling the dock in The Hague charged with crimes including ethnic cleansing and the deliberate, systematic targeting of civilians."

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Mr Beattie said Mr Adams' comments were "the latest republican attempt to promote a fantasy narrative that the IRA were in some way a civil rights orientated organisation".

He added: "They were not - the IRA were terrorists and we must challenge this perverse narrative at every turn."

However, a spokesperson for Sinn Fein last night dismissed Mr Beattie's comments.

She said: "Sinn Fein will take no lectures from a man who has stated that, in his own words, he 'didn't really care either way' if the bombs he 'called in and guided to their targets' had killed children in Afghanistan and whose party has acted as a cheerleader for discrimination, the actions of the B Specials, the RUC and the British Army in Ireland."

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