Belfast Telegraph

Fianna Fail leader blasts Adams over Oliver murder case

By Niall O'Connor

Sinn Fein's stance on the murder of Louth farmer Tom Oliver demonstrates how senior party figures are “strong apologists” for the IRA, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has said.

Mr Martin ruled out a Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein coalition despite some of his own front bench TDs indicating they could be open to such an option after the next general election in the Republic.

Mr Martin described Sinn Fein as “cult-like”, and a party that does not tolerate dissent.

And he cited the recent response by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Eoin O Broin TD, who both said they are opposed to the prosecution of those responsible for the 1991 IRA murder of Mr Oliver.

In an interview on Dublin radio station Newstalk, Mr Martin said: “They are still very strong apologists for the IRA and the most heinous crimes of the IRA.

“And we saw that very recently with the reaction by Gerry Adams, and Eoin O Broin by the way, to the murder, the new cold case review into the murder of Tom Oliver, the father-of-seven in Co Louth.

“Gerry Adams said they shouldn’t be pursued, they shouldn’t be prosecuted.”

Mr Martin stated that the “majority” of his TDs were opposed to entering government with Sinn Fein.

Mr Oliver, a sheep farmer, was abducted, tortured and brutally murdered by the IRA on July 19, 1991. His body was found the following day in Co Armagh.

Last night Mr Adams hit back, saying Mr Martin “may not get to decide who is in a position to discuss future government formation”. “In his arrogance he seems to forget that is the prerogative of the people,” he said.

He added that it was “disgraceful” Mr Martin was attacking Sinn Fein instead of focusing on the “unprecedented crises in housing and health”.

“But it is not surprising given the Fine Gael government exists because Mr Martin supports it. Micheal Martin also sat at the cabinet table for 14 years supporting budgets and policies which ultimately led to economic collapse and widespread hardship in this State,” he said.

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