IN A BIZARRE exchange at Leinster House today, TV3 journalist Ursula Halligan questioned the appropriateness of Gerry Adams tweeting what she described as ‘sexy’ poetry.
Referencing a Maya Angelou poem that the Sinn Féin leader posted – in its entirety – to Twitter on 5 October, Halligan read out the following verse:
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Halligan first asked the party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald if she thought it was appropriate that Adams was tweeting this kind of poetry given the current situation surrounding allegations made by Maíria Cahill against the IRA and Sinn Féin in relation to claims of a cover-up of sexual abuse.
When Halligan suggested that Adams tweets “a lot” about his “sexiness”, McDonald said that the journalist was being “very unfair”.
Gerry Adams defended tweeting the poem, saying that a young family member had sent it to him. He questioned why Halligan has singled out that verse in particular.
Here’s a transcript of part of the conversation:
Adams: “It’s a wonderful poem and I’m sure you would appreciate it. You picked out a particular section of it. I tweet a lot about poetry, I tweet a lot about books.
Halligan: “You tweet a lot about your sexiness.”
Adams: “No, no.”
McDonald: “That’s very unfair.”
Adams: “I think you’re being, if you don’t mind, provocative. So, take that up with the poet – those aren’t my words, they are hers … Are we going to have a discussion here about my tweets?”
Adams: “OK.” [Laughs.]
The conversation then took a more serious turn when Adams stated:
There were a number of allegations made by Maíria Cahill and I’ve huge sympathy for Maíria Cahill and I’ve also acknowledged my view that she was a victim and a survivor of abuse. Those allegations were then seized upon by the leader of Fianna Fáil and the Taoiseach in an attempt to smear me and to smear the Sinn Féin organisation, and most notably the Independent Group of newspapers also seized upon that as well. There is no cover-up – I’ve said this 100,000 times – by Sinn Féin or anybody else on any of these issues.
You can listen to the full exchange here:
Gerry Adams: I’m not resigning