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Gerry Adams: I'm very relaxed about most Sinn Féin supporters thinking I was in the IRA

The Louth TD has always denied that he was in the IRA but says that he has never dissociated himself from the organisation.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

GERRY ADAMS HAS said he is “very relaxed” about a poll finding that most Sinn Féin supporters think he was in the IRA.

The Sinn Féin president has always denied members of the paramilitary organisation.

An Ipsos MRBI poll in today’s Irish Times finds that 59 per cent of Sinn Féin voters think he was in the IRA while overall 68 per cent of those polled believe that he was.

“I’m very relaxed about that issue. The IRA has long since left the stage,” he said at a press conference to launch the Sinn Féin proposal to reform policing in Ireland.

“When you’re out on the hustings, when you’re knocking on people’s doors, when you’re talking to people on the street their concern is about water tax, their concern is their kids in Australia or Canada, their concern is the fact that they’re unemployed or that their child benefit has been cut.

“Their big concern is the sense of betrayal by this government which was elected on a entirely different mandate to the one it is delivering.”

He said that “people will make up their own minds on the issue of the IRA and all that” and repeated that he has never dissociated himself from the organisation.

“I have never dissociated myself from the IRA, and I never intend to,” he said. “It isn’t an issue in this election. People appreciate the work that some of us have done in bringing about an end to the war in the North.”

On the party’s high poll ratings in recent days, Adams said Sinn Féin is not taking anything for granted citing an experience in the Meath East by-election last year where he met young mothers who expressed support for the party but did not vote because of the snow and rain on polling day.

Police reforms

Adams was speaking as the party launched wide-ranging proposals to reform policing in Ireland, including the establishment of an independent Garda Authority made up of 20 members from varied backgrounds and restricted political membership.

Among the reform proposals are for the establishment of an all-island sex offenders register and an all-island penalty points system.

The party’s justice spokesperson Padraig MacLochlainn also detailed plans to establish a Criminal Justice Inspectorate and enhance the powers of the Garda Ombudsman.

Read: Almost 50 per cent of voters think Gerry Adams was involved in Jean McConville’s killing

Read: Gerry Adams takes legal action against two newspapers

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