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Enda and Gerry are still rowing about Sinn Féin's involvement in a water protest on Monday

Sinn Féin has called on the Taoiseach to withdraw the remarks, saying the party was not at the protest.

Updated 1pm

THE TAOISEACH HAS reiterated his claims that a number of people associated with Sinn Féin were involved in verbally abusing women at a protest in Limerick on Monday night.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams told Enda Kenny at Leaders’ Questions today that his party was not involved in the protest and said the “untrue” claims were “part of an effort by you to demonise the anti-water charges campaign”.

Enda Kenny was met by a group of anti-water charge protesters as he attended a regional Fine Gael meeting in Limerick earlier this week.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday afternoon, Kenny said: ”A number of your people in Limerick last night, at least those associated with the party that you [Adams] lead, were most insulting to ordinary people who attended a party meeting.”

He claimed that derogatory language was used by some protesters towards women who were walking home after the meeting and said those involved were carrying banners associated with Sinn Féin.

Responding yesterday, Adams said that he would not “accept your word for what transpired in Limerick last night” before adding that he stood “over the principle peaceful demonstrations which should not be insulting or threatening to anyone”.

Today at Leaders’ Questions, Adams called on Kenny to withdraw his “untrue” claims.

But Kenny told Adams: “”I am not actually blind. I saw the posters myself… it was absolutely disgraceful.”

He described the language used as “appalling”, “very abusive” and “filthy” and said it was aimed towards women leaving the meeting.

He added: “There were members of your party down there and they used abusive language.”

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Sinn Féin had earlier dismissed Kenny’s claims as “nonsense”. Speaking to Limerick’s Live 95, local Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan said the claims were “absolutely nonsense”.

“It’s not true,” he said. “There was no Sinn Fein members at that protest as far as I’m aware. The councillors weren’t there, we were at the council meeting.”

He said there were no Sinn Féin banners or flags and the party was not there “officially”. Quinlivan called on the Taoiseach to withdraw the remarks.

He had earlier rejected the claims in a statement.

Gardaí were on the scene outside the Greenhills Hotel as protesters demonstrated for over four hours. Members of Fine Gael were booed as they entered the meeting.

The protest came just days after protesters heckled the Taoiseach at a pub in Roscommon.

Source: jdfreality/YouTube

- additional reporting from Paul Hosford 

First published 8.45am on 25 November 2014

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Hugh O'Connell

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