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Friday 29 September 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland Gerry Adams
# Criticism
Leo: Gerry Adams has quite an opinion of himself
“This is a man who likes to compare himself to Mandela, he is now comparing himself to Michael Collins.”

LEO VARADKAR HAS hit out at Gerry Adams for comparing himself to Michael Collins and said he does not believe the Sinn Féin’s president’s contention that he has no knowledge of alleged republican sex abusers being moved from the North to the South.

The Health Minister was speaking in the wake of yesterday’s five-hour Dáil debate on allegations of abuse in the Republican movement in which Adams denied having any knowledge of alleged abusers being moved to safehouses in the Republic.

The Louth TD also denied that his party had been involved in any cover up of abuse and had sought to help and provide advice to those at risk.

Asked if he believed Adams, Varadkar said today: “I don’t. I think the revelations that the Republican movement may have moved child abusers around the country and exported some from the North to the South are very worrying.

“I think it’s high time that Sinn Féin started telling us the truth about their past, about the present and the future.”

Varadkar said that Martin McGuinness’s idea of a cross border commission to investigate abuse merited consideration but only if the Republican movement “starting telling us the truth”.

“They’ve consistently told us lies about the past. They don’t tell us the truth today about things going on in the country and they’re always telling us lies about the future. So before we can have a commission you need a bit of honesty and that’s clearly not something that’s in Sinn Fein’s DNA.”

Asked about Adams’s controversial and much-criticised comments at a New York fundraising dinner last week, Varadkar said he imagined it was intended as some form of joke, but described it as “a bit inappropriate”.

Adams told the Friends of Sinn Féin dinner of how Michael Collins dealt with critical press coverage from Independent Newspapers by holding the editor at gunpoint and dismantling printing presses.

But he noted, to laughter from the audience, that he was not advocating this today despite heavy criticism from the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent newspapers in recent years.

Varadkar added: “This is a man who likes to compare himself to Mandela, he is now comparing himself to Michael Collins. He has quite an opinion of himself.”

State of the Nation: Can Enda escape the Irish Water protesters?

Read: TD will give gardaí names of eight sex abusers that IRA allegedly moved to Republic

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