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Arrogance and delusion

War of words: Gerry Adams had a massive go at Micheál Martin tonight

The Sinn Féin president has responded to recent comments from the Fianna Fáil leader.

Updated 8.35pm

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has slammed Fianna Fáil and its leader Micheál Martin in a strongly-worded speech to party members in Dublin tonight.

Adams said that the current Fianna Fáil leadership is “infected” by “arrogance and delusion”.

The speech is a direct response to Martin’s criticism of Sinn Féin, who he said were falsely claiming a connection to 1916, in a speech to Fianna Fáil members at Arbour Hill last Sunday.

Martin and Adams also clashed in a debate on Morning Ireland on Monday, where the former accused the latter of “legitimising” the abduction and murder of Jean McConville.

Adams told party members in the capital tonight that Martin’s speech at Arbour Hill “majored on negativity and invective”.

“His claim that Sinn Féin is not ‘fit for government’ is an example of the arrogance of the old Fianna Fáil. With the leadership that believed that its own interests came before the interests of the country or the interests of the people.

That delusion and that arrogance still infects the current Fianna Fáil leadership.

‘No strategies’

Adams said that with “every advance of genuine republican politics” Fianna Fáil’s “own failure to deliver on republican principles, is further exposed”.

“By attacking a vibrant and growing party like Sinn Féin, Mr Martin hopes to make himself politically relevant,” Adams said.

He concentrated more on us than he does on this very bad Fine Gael/Labour government. The reason for this is obvious. Fianna Fáil has no strategies of its own.

The Louth TD said the party has “no vision for the future and instead offers the same” under Martin’s leadership.

He said the “austerity agenda” was one implemented by Fianna Fáil, citing water charges, and said that Martin had been in government for the 14 years it was in office.

“It is inconceivable that someone who sat at cabinet from 1997 through to 2011 can in any real way lead the opposition,” Adams said.

Read: Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin had a big row on Morning Ireland

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