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Sister of IRA victim praises US brewery as it pulls Adams' beer off market

Ann Travers

A US beer named in honour of Gerry Adams has been pulled after it was met with criticism - prompting the brewery behind it to offer a "sincere apology".

'Adams' Best' is a product from Chicago-based craft beer company Revolution Brewery.

The website said it was "named for Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, who was instrumental in the development of the Belfast Agreement in the late 1990s, which brought a ceasefire to Northern Ireland".

However, the product made no mention of the former Sinn Fein leader's association with the IRA. Mr Adams has always denied membership of the IRA, but never distanced himself from the terror group.

It was met with outrage by Ann Travers, whose sister Mary (22) was shot dead by the Provos in Belfast in 1984 as she walked home from Mass with her Catholic magistrate father Thomas.

She has welcomed the recent decision from the company.

The brewery said: "In 2012, we first brewed a Best Bitter ale at our pub, which we named Adams' Best in reference to Gerry Adams, and have since brewed it on occasion.

"Choosing a name is part of crafting a new beer and provides the opportunity to inspire, but also to offend. Over the last several days, we learned that great attention has been drawn to this beer abroad, with many people taking offence.

"We hear you and have decided to take it off tap, and dispose of all remaining stock. We sincerely apologise for our actions and will not brew this beer again."

Ann was just 14 at the time of her sister's murder. Her father, the intended target, survived the attack, despite being shot six times. After hearing that the product had been pulled she said: "I'm delighted and I thank them for it and for listening.

"I'm always heartened whenever victims' voices are heard and listened to and I'm very grateful to them for doing it.

"It shows that there needs to be a lot more education, perhaps worldwide, on how victims and relatives have been left in Northern Ireland and how much they are still suffering today.

She continued: "Often it's not just the incident at the time but it's how our lives developed and how it impacts on our lives.

"It's nice to think that perhaps people can think of the victims.

"For me, the victims are the true heroes of the peace process, not the politicians.

"It's wonderful that they (the brewery) have listened to victims' voices and the criticism and the asking to consider victims. On a personal level I'm very grateful."

Belfast Telegraph