Belfast Telegraph

Talkback song choice on piece about Adams 'inappropriate'

By David Young

A senior MP and a victims' campaigner last night hit out at what they described as an 'inappropriate' song used by the BBC's Talkback programme to introduce a segment on outgoing Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon said he'd been contacted by constituents outraged by the show's choice of the Garth Brooks country song If Tomorrow Never Comes to introduce a panel discussion on Mr Adams and his legacy.

Talkback host William Crawley said that Mr Adams was a big Garth Brooks fan, and claimed that If Tomorrow Never Comes was the Louth TD's favourite Brooks song.

A clip was also aired of Mr Adams singing some lyrics from the tune on Dublin radio station Newstalk.

But last night DUP MP Mr Shannon told the Belfast Telegraph that constituents had contacted him to complain.

"I think the choice of music was inappropriate, given the record of the IRA campaign, and the deaths it was responsible for.

"Tomorrow never came for the men and women of the RUC, the men and women for the UDR, of the Army, never came for the prison officers or the civilians.

"It was inappropriate and wrong - a bad choice," the DUP MP said.

Victims' campaigner Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United, which represents thousands of victims of the Troubles, also said the use of the song was "inappropriate".

"Gerry Adams may officially step down this weekend, but a legacy of pain remains in his wake," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"During the 30-plus years Gerry Adams led Sinn Fein, the IRA murdered 1,950 people.

"For those men, women and children, tomorrow never came."

Last night, a BBC spokesperson said in a statement: "Today's Talkback programme was a wide-ranging discussion on the political career of Gerry Adams on his final day as President of Sinn Fein.

"It featured contributions from invited panellists and callers and reflected differing viewpoints and insights, including his enthusiasm for the music of Garth Brooks.

"We are, of course, aware Mr Adams remains a controversial figure, which is why his connections to the IRA were scrutinised during the course of the programme. No offence was intended to anyone who was a victim of IRA violence."

Belfast Telegraph

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