We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

The Sinn Féin leader said there was no malicious intent with the Christmas sketch. Sam Boal
Sinn Féin

Mary Lou McDonald says she won't be asking Gerry Adams to apologise over Christmas video

The Sinn Féin leader said there was nothing “malicious” behind the video which was part of a fundraising campaign for Foyle Rescue.

MARY LOU MCDONALD has said she won’t be asking Gerry Adams to apologise over a controversial Christmas sketch he took part in that has been condemned by victims of the Provisional IRA. 

The Sinn Féin leader said she didn’t feel it was necessary for her to seek an apology, stating that there was nothing “malicious” behind the video. 

Adams took part in a Christmas sketch where he visits a household as a Christmas carol singer, with the homeowner repeating a slogan first used by Adams in relation to the Provisional IRA in 1995.

“They haven’t gone away you know,” said the homeowner in the sketch, which has since been taken down.

The company that created the sketch, Ferry Clever, as part of a fundraising campaign for Foyle Search and Rescue, have apologised and said that they had no intention to offend anyone. They have also stopped selling Christmas cards that accompanied the sketch.

McDonald told The Journal this afternoon that she wouldn’t be seeking an apology from the former party leader.

“I couldn’t ask anyone – Gerry Adams or anyone else – who did something with a good heart and for the right reasons to apologise. 

“The video has been withdrawn. I think everyone should learn a lesson from it to just be careful and thoughtful even in political satire as to how things might land.”

2.64371964 (1) Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she will not call on Gerry Adams to apologise. Brian Lawless / PA Brian Lawless / PA / PA

McDonald said she has not spoken to Adams about the matter, and when asked to clarify that she would not asking for him to apologise, she said: 

“No, I don’t think that is necessary.”

McDonald went on to state: 

“I just think it is a terrible pity that something that was done with a good heart and for the very best of reasons at Christmas, for a brilliant cause for Foyle Rescue, has given rise to this controversy.

“I understand the video in question has been withdrawn. I think that was the right thing, given there was controversy. But I think it is only fair to acknowledge that everyone involved – people who made the sketch, those that were from Foyle Rescue – there was no malicious intent, there was none of that.’

She said no one could for a minute believe that the intent of the video sketch was malicious, stating “it is Christmas time, everyone tries to put their best foot forward and when you are asked to do something for a great cause, you try and do your bit”. 

“I saw some commentary on ‘Sinn Féin’s position on this’ – Sinn Féin doesn’t have a position on this,” she said.

“Gerry was asked to make this sketch, he did, unfortunately it would be far better for all concerned if things didn’t land this way. And it had been successful in raising the profile and I presume raise a few bob for Foyle Rescue,” she added. 

Speaking to WLR FM in Waterford earlier this week, Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin said that he doesn’t believe Adams intended to cause hurt or offence, but that an apology would be helpful.

“I don’t believe for a second that Gerry either intended to cause hurt or offence to anybody, I really don’t. Given the fact that offence has been caused, I think for him to apologise for the offence that has been caused would be helpful,” said Ó Broin.

When asked about Ó Broin’s comments, McDonald said there was no issue with the position he took, stating: 

“Eoin Ó Broin has many and varied opinions on all sorts of issues, and so do others. We are not sheep or robots; people are free to speak their mind.”

Speaking to reporters in Brussels today, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Adams should apologise over the video. 

“I think he should apologise. Absolutely. I think he hurt a lot of people, a lot of the families of victims, victims of IRA violence,” Martin said.

“I watched over the last number of days and the loudest and the strongest voices were those of the families of victims who lost people as a result of provisional IRA violence, unacceptable killings,” he added.

“It is time really for Sinn Féin to stop peddling the narrative that this was some just war that went on for 25 years. It was anything but the sort, and a lot of people were hurt and a lot a lot of other people’s lives. were destroyed,” said the Taoiseach. 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel