Sinn Fein hierarchy backs Adams in IRA membership row
Sinn Fein's hierarchy is rallying around Gerry Adams amid fresh accusations that he was on the IRA's army council.
Pearse Doherty, the party's deputy leader in the Dail, said Mr Adams's "most important contribution" was his work on the Good Friday Agreement.
It comes after a former top IRA figure, Des Long, told a BBC documentary that the Louth TD was on the IRA's ruling army council and was for a time chief of staff."And I'm saying that as having sat opposite him [Adams] at meetings. I'll probably get shot for it but I'm saying it," Mr Long said.
Mr Adams did not take part in the 'Spotlight' programme but has always maintained that he was never in the IRA.
Asked whether this stance was still credible, Mr Doherty told the Irish Independent: "Look, you know that this question has been asked and answered on many, many occasions."
He said Mr Adams and Martin McGuinness had worked alongside people like John Hume and Albert Reynolds to provide a positive future.
At the same time, he refused to describe Mr Long's contribution as a lie.
"I don't know what his motivations are for making the comments that he made," Mr Doherty said.