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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 28 January 2021

Gerry Adams has responded to Enda's comments linking IRA weapons to Friday's shooting

The Continuity IRA, which has its roots in a Provisional IRA split in 1986, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Updated at 3.10pm

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has issued a statement reiterating that “the IRA are gone and their weapons are gone” in the wake of the Taoiseach’s call for him to comment on the weapons used in Friday’s fatal attack at Drumcondra’s Regency Hotel.

One man – 32-year-old gangland figure David Byrne – was killed in the shooting, and two other men were injured.

Gardaí said afterwards the raid had been carried out by three men wearing SWAT-style uniforms and carrying assault weapons. Two other men carried handguns, while another waited in a van nearby.

The Continuity IRA, which has its roots in a Provisional IRA split in 1986, today claimed responsibility for the attack.

Irish general election Source: Niall Carson

Speaking this morning, Kenny said:

“I’m interested to hear the media comment that the AK47s may well be very similar if not the same cargo that came in from abroad with the Provisional IRA a number of years ago.

It might be interesting to hear the Sinn Féin President comment on this.

He said if the reports about the guns turned out to be true, Sinn Féin’s proposal to abolish the Special Criminal Court would be “absolutely hypocritical”.

Adams response 

In a statement released in the wake of the Taoiseach’s comments, Adams described the Regency attack as “an outrage and horrendous”.

“It was a brazen attack in broad daylight by criminal thugs who believe they can operate with impunity and above the normal rule of law,” he added.

They should be locked up, where they belong.

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy court case Source: Niall Carson

In reference to today’s claim by dissidents and Kenny’s remarks he said:

“I understand a group calling itself the Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility for the attack at the Regency Hotel.

“They are not the IRA.

“The IRA are gone and their weapons are gone.

“Enda Kenny knows that.

Incidentally, the same group has me and other Sinn Fein reps under active death threat. This was confirmed to me by the PSNI  in recent months.

Court questions 

The issue of the non-jury Special Criminal Court and Sinn Féin’s position on it has been in the headlines in the wake of Friday’s shooting.

Speaking at a separate event this morning, the party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said she believed all trials should be held before juries.

Sinn Féin has long backed the abolition of the non-jury court. That call echoes criticism by the UN Human Rights Committee, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International.

“There’s nobody here who believes these thugs and gangsters don’t have to be taken on. But we also believe that we have to ensure that the administration of justice in this state is of the highest quality.

You don’t lower the standards of the state because of the carry on of thugs and gurriers.

“[Friday's shooting at the Regency Hotel] happened despite the existence of a Special Criminal Court, so anyone who thinks this is a deterrent: it’s not.”

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She added that she felt that while everyone in the country should “be in good standing with Revenue”, the trial of Republican Thomas “Slab” Murphy should have been heard before a jury, not the Special Criminal Court.


The Sinn Féin deputy leader also said that she supported Adams’ contention at the weekend that there was no such thing as “ganglands”.

Whereas there are undoubtedly thugs and gangsters, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of describing any area as gangland or conceding that any of our areas belong to them: they don’t.

McDonald said the Regency shooting was “vicious, brazen and showed how dangerous” those involved are.

“I have to say as somebody who lives in an area where a number of these attacks have taken place, not for a second would I ever concede that my neighbourhood is any type of gangland.

It is a respectable, decent and safe neighbourhood, but unfortunately these thugs visit their atrocities on communities and terrify people.


McDonald was speaking this morning at the launch of 96 Right2Change candidates from across left-leaning parties named as general election hopefuls.

The group, which encompasses Sinn Féin, People Before Profit and independents, is hoping to encourage supporters to transfer votes across candidates.

Organiser Brendan Ogle said the group would go into government together if they had the seats.

We’re doing Irish politics in reverse, I suppose you could say.

With reporting by Daragh Brophy.

Read: Controversy after YFG member tweets altered image of Mary Lou McDonald on beach

Read: Continuity IRA claims responsibility for shooting at Dublin hotel

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