Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to pay his water charges as party in crisis
SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams has been forced to backtrack on claims that he is not liable to pay water charges.
Mr Adams has admitted he will foot the bill on his second home in Donegal, having earlier claimed that he did not believe he had to pay the charges.
Sinn Fein has been accused of adopting a "weak position" on the issue of water charges ahead of a major public rally planned for this weekend.
Several Sinn Fein TDs and councillors are preparing to boycott the charges, despite an admission among the party leadership that they intend to pay.
The clear split in the party comes as Mr Adams appeared to perform a U-turn on his responsibility to pay.
Mr Adams this week claimed he did not believe he had to pay water charges because his family home was in Belfast.
"Well, it doesn't affect me, in so far as in the North where my family home is Sinn Fein stopped water charges," he said.
But when asked by the Herald if Mr Adams would pay water charges for his holiday home in Donegal and his two constituency offices, a Sinn Fein spokesman said the party leader would be paying the charge in all instances.
However, he will not be paying water charges for a house in Louth where he is registered to vote.
"Gerry will pay the water charge on his house in Donegal and his constituency office. The house in Co Louth in which he stays belongs to a friend, so this is not matter for Gerry," the spokesman said.
Sinn Fein TDs Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty said they will follow suit and pay the charge.