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Negative Campaigning

Criticism for Labour ad showing Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin as gay couple on wedding day

It shows Adams and Martin on the plinth at Leinster House with the slogan, “This is one marriage we should vote NO to this year.”

Updated: 20.20

A DRAFT LABOUR ad which shows Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin as a gay couple on their wedding day is receiving a lot of criticism online.

The ad, which has not yet been published and is a draft ad at present, appeared on the front page of The Sunday Independent this morning.

download (5) The draft ad in today's newspaper The Sunday Independent The Sunday Independent

It shows Adams and Martin on the plinth at Leinster House with the slogan, “This is one marriage we should vote NO to this year”.

A Labour spokesperson told, “As one element of our campaign, we considered some draft adverts to make a serious point in a light-hearted way.

This version makes the point that at the next election, voters will have a choice between the stable, balanced government offered by Labour and Fine Gael – or a marriage of convenience between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein that would destroy Ireland’s hard-won progress over the last five years.

A Fianna Fáil spokesperson told that the party is “blue in the face” stating that Fianna Fáil will not enter into government with Sinn Féin: “We have said it time and time again.

Labour’s campaign shows that Joan Burton’s party is clutching at straws in desperation. The stakes are very high for Labour, so they have to go for the negative campaign to get noticed.

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams slammed the Labour Party for devaluing marriage equality with its proposed latest election advert, saying:

“I can only assume that the strategists who gave us Labour’s infamous Tesco Ad in 2011 have presented this latest juvenile offering. It shows how bereft of genuine policy and constructive ideas the Labour Party now is.

It is clear that Joan Burton’s party is getting increasingly desperate as a General Election approaches and the verdict of the electorate on their disastrous performance in Government beckons.

While a Sinn Féin spokesperson said: “This ad not only insults all those who voted for marriage equality. It also shows a Labour Party that is increasingly desperate and will do anything to hang on to their ministerial seats.”

Labour Youth said it was “shocked” by the ad. Grace Williams, the youth wing’s national chairperson, stated:

While I remain hopeful that this will continue to remain an unused draft, serious concerns must be raised if this is the electoral strategy that Labour wishes to pursue over the next number of weeks.

“Cheap political point-scoring will not be effective in tackling this election. We must actively promote Labour Party policy instead of using this style of negative campaigning to win votes.”


Many have taken to Twitter to express their feelings about the ad in question, which also shows left-wing TDs Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Paul Murphy and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Speaking on Marian Finucane on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes described the ad as “cheeky but funny”.

The Labour party are making a serious point here that if you vote for Mister Martin and Fianna Fáil … you could end up with Mister Adams and Sinn Féin. That’s the point.

TD John McGuinness said: “It tries to make a serious message in relation to Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, while at the same time Gerry Adams has said that he would not go into partnership with Fianna Fáil.

It’s typical of negative campaigning, it’s desperation from the Labour side because they’re in serious difficulty and if Fianna Fáil were not doing as well – and the opinion polls show this – then Labour wouldn’t be doing this.

- with reporting from Órla Ryan

Poll: Is the proposed Labour ‘gay marriage’ election ad appropriate?>

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