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Thursday 13 December 2018

Veronica Guerin's family slams Gerry Adams for gun jokes

Veronica Guerin
Veronica Guerin
Gerry Adams (centre) has been forced to defend himself over inappropriate remarks about guns in light of the murders of Independent group journalists Veronica Guerin and Martin O’Hagan.

THE family of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin have accused Gerry Adams of making "deeply insensitive and improper" remarks after he joked about a newspaper editor being held at gunpoint.

The Guerin family last night said the Sinn Fein leader's comments, made at a lavish dinner in New York last week, will prove highly offensive for the loved ones of murder victims.

The Louth TD was widely condemned by political figures and a group representing victims last night after he made light of a gun being placed to the head of the editor of the Irish Independent by volunteers associated with rebel leader Michael Collins.

He made the reference at a five-star dinner event in Manhattan last week before repeating it more explicitly on his blog on Friday.

"And when the Irish Independent condemned his actions as 'murder most foul' what did Michael Collins do? He dispatched his men to the office of the Independent and held the editor at gun point as they dismantled the entire printing machinery and destroyed it," Mr Adams wrote.

insulting

Fianna Fail's Justice spokesperson Niall Collins last night described the remarks as "deeply insulting and somewhat threatening" and said Mr Adams has shown a "blatant disregard" to families whose loved ones have been murdered.

Mairia Cahill, who was the victim of rape at the hands of an alleged IRA figure, described the comments as "sick".

And the family of Sunday Independent reporter Veronica Guerin, who was gunned down in 1996, also strongly condemned the comments.

Her brother Jimmy Guerin said the public should expect better from one of the country's most prominent political leaders.

"For any political leader to make these remarks in jest is totally improper and deeply insensitive," Mr Guerin said.

"It is similar to someone making light of suicide, or depression or anything else. It also shows a deep sense of disrespect for the freedom of the press," he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Adams is facing fresh calls to come forward with information he may have on the whereabouts of the remains of victims murdered by the IRA during The Troubles.

New figures show that over €5m has been spent on searches for the remains of 16 individuals classified as the 'Disappeared'. The bill relates to the operation of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR).

According to information supplied to Labour TD Robert Dowds, the remains of six individuals suspected of being murdered by the IRA are still missing. Mr Adams said last year that anyone with information on the victims should contact the "commission, families or me".

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