Belfast Telegraph

Adams under fire in Dail over denial of party's links to IRA

By Niall O'Connor

Sinn Fein's denial of links to the IRA and the Army Council have faced ridicule as the party continues to reel from the fallout of two reports into paramilitary activity.

There were tense scenes in the Dail last night as senior Irish political figures lined up to attack Sinn Fein over its alleged connections to violence, dissident republicans and criminal activity.

Tanaiste Joan Burton said that a vote for Sinn Fein is a vote for a party still associated with the Army Council. The Labour Party leader was referring to the findings of a UK report which stated that IRA members still believe Sinn Féin is influenced by the IRA Army Council.

"The assessment by the British Government of the IRA is clear. The Army Council continues to exist and exerts control over Sinn Fein," Ms Burton said. "It asks fundamental questions about our democracy if a party that is in government in the North, and aspires to government in the South, continues to operate in this way. Vote Sinn Fein, get the Army Council."

During a two-hour debate on the North, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said claims that the IRA has "gone away or have left the stage are simply not credible".

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said that Sinn Fein treats anyone who criticises the party as an "enemy of the peace".

Amid the series of extraordinary attacks on his party, Mr Adams said: "It takes an awful lot of patience to sit here and listen to this rubbish."

The Louth TD accused British intelligence chiefs of putting peace in the North at risk in a bid to stop the growth of his party.

"These are the same people who directed agents and informers and paramilitary organisations that killed hundreds of citizens, including citizens in this city with the Dublin-Monaghan bombs and stirred sectarian violence and colluded in murder," said the Sinn Fein leader.

Belfast Telegraph

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