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Gerry Adams at Leinster House today
Gerry Adams at Leinster House today

Gerry Adams: People who were involved in the IRA are not criminals

The Sinn Féin leader has been answering questions for a fourth day in a row about Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy’s conviction.
Dec 22nd 2015, 1:49 PM 23,612 273

GERRY ADAMS DOES not believe people involved in the IRA are criminals as he faced more questions about the conviction of prominent republican Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy today.

The Sinn Féin leader’s description of convicted tax evader Murphy as a “good republican”, who was denied the right to face trial by a jury of his peers, has caused considerable political controversy since the weekend.

He said he had not spoken to Murphy about his conviction, has not spoken to him about his case, and does not recall the last time he spoke to him.

Adams told reporters at Leinster House:

I don’t believe that people who were involved in the IRA, if he was involved in the IRA, are criminal.

Adams reiterated his opposition to Murphy being tried before the non-jury Special Criminal Court, describing the legislation behind it as “draconian”.

“If Tom Murphy, as I have said publicly, is guilty of any offences then he will have to pay whatever sanction is made against him,” he insisted.

The Louth TD faced series of questions related to action taken by the Criminal Assets Bureau against Murphy. Adams said Murphy contested all of this.

Asked how he knew Murphy, Adams said: “I know this man through the engagement we did in the peace process, when he supported a series of propositions which our leadership brought forward.

“By the way, even though Tom Murphy played a leadership role in the development and winning support for the peace process, I am not arguing that anybody should be above the law. No one should be above the law.”

Read: Very few Sinn Féin-ers want to talk about the ‘Slab’ Murphy story

Read: Adams stands by ‘Slab’ Murphy comments and thinks critics are ‘hysterical’

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Hugh O'Connell

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