GERRY Adams smuggled memoirs out of the Maze Prison up his bum, it has been claimed.
Punk poet John Cooper Clarke said the former Sinn Fein leader asked him on a Belfast to Dublin train for help to get them published in the Republic.
He said: "As I was sitting reading my paper I was approached by two unlikely looking companions: one looked like a chief librarian, the other had the fugitive look of a recently released H-Block resident."
Gerry Adams was in jail in the Seventies because he had been interned without trial and was later sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years over two escape bids.
In May, he won his appeal to have those two convictions for attempting to escape from the Maze Prison, also known as Long Kesh internment camp, in 1973 and 1974 overturned.
Clarke (71, below) said the men asked if they could sit beside him on the train and said the man who had just been released from prison pulled "a sheaf of weird-smelling paper from his pocket" and told him he was also a writer.
He continued: "He said he'd composed some memoirs while he was in the Maze, and showed me sheets and sheets of Izal strong medicated lavatory paper, on both sides of which he'd recorded his life story in microfilm-sized handwriting. I couldn't read it even with my glasses on.
"He told me he'd written it with the inside of a Bic ballpoint pen, and had kept the paper rolled up in its plastic outer casing. This he had stuffed up his jacksie to keep it hidden from the prison guards.
"'We're trying to get it printed in one of the papers in the Republic,' said Mr Bookish. Could I put in a word for them with the Irish Times?
"To this day, I swear it was Gerry Adams. After all, it was his business as the Sinn Féin media spokesperson to keep up with events over in England.
"Back then Mr Adams was not the household name he is today: he was just a shadowy figure, the respectable face of terrorism who occasionally showed up on the teatime news looking like a f***ing geography teacher.
"You wouldn't catch him in a balaclava. Long story short, we exchanged false addresses and went our separate ways."
In his new book, I Wanna Be Yours, Clarke also told how he went to the RUC for help - even though he had drugs on him at the time - after a bomb went off.
The bard of Salford had been performing at Queen's University and was later unable to get into his Belfast hotel in the early hours when a a bomb went off nearby.
He added: "I was staying in a hotel somewhere near the Botanic Gardens. When I rolled up there after a very successful show, the whole place was locked up and the f***ing night porter had nodded off.
"The only thing I could think of was to leg it to the nearest telephone box, get the number of the hotel from directory inquiries and ring this f***er up.
"I got the operator on the phone, and just as I was in the middle of explaining the situation, there was this deafening KABOOM! A f***ing unmistakable incendiary going off in the near distance.
"On a practical level, however, the cowardly option began to present itself: a taxi to the nearest police station, and then an armed escort to my hotel. Or at least an urgent wake-up call from the police to the night porter.
"The snag with this plan, however, was that I had loads of s*** on me: a quantity of dope, a packet of ascorbic acid, a syringe, even down to a stolen dessert spoon and a couple of alcohol swabs, plus the gigantic room key I had foolishly forgotten to hand in earlier that evening - all clanking about in my pockets.
"So there I was on the street in the middle of Belfast, bombs exploding all around me, pockets awash with narcotics and the paraphernalia thereof."
Clarke said the desk sergeant refused his request to put him up for the night in a cell but instead got through to the night porter and called him a cab.