| 9.4°C Dublin

Adams's sick joke proves yet again that he does not understand democracy

Gerry Adams has changed his tune. According to the official Sinn Fein view of Irish history, Michael Collins was a sell-out who signed a treaty that divided this island in two.

Now Adams claims that the Big Fellow did something really worthwhile as well - he raided the offices of the Irish Independent and held the editor at gunpoint while IRA men destroyed the printing press.

Not for the first time, Gerry needs to get his facts straight. As any decent book on the War of Independence would tell him, Collins was not present at this incident and may not even have approved it.


However, that is not really the point. The truly disturbing thing about Adams's sick joke is that it comes at a time when the Independent Group is busy exposing his role in the Sinn Fein sex abuse scandal.

Politicians who don't like certain newspapers often try to metaphorically "shoot the messenger" - but few of them would make a warped wisecrack in public about doing it literally.

If Adams is a little shaky on Irish history, he should know that two journalists from Independent Group titles were murdered for taking on criminal thugs.

Veronica Guerin was shot down in 1996 for exposing Dublin's drug lords in the Sunday Independent, while Martin O'Hagan from the Sunday World was murdered by loyalist terrorists in 2001.

Tellingly, Adams did not actually have the bottle to deliver his twisted remarks on Irish soil. He was speaking at an elite $500-a-plate fundraising dinner in New York, full of dewy-eyed Irish-Americans They certainly do not want to know about the dirty IRA war that planted bombs in shopping centres or seized a young mother from her screaming children and buried her on a lonely beach.

Sinn Fein's response to all this is: "Have you no sense of humour?" - but they, more than anyone, should know that pointing loaded guns at people is no laughing matter.

Last night, Adams sent out a tweet congratulating himself for predicting what would happen in the Love/Hate finale. Full credit to him - but then he does know rather more brutal killers than most of us and must have a better insight into their behaviour.

In the reception area of Independent News & Media on Dublin's Talbot Street there is a plaque to commemorate the memory of Veronica Guerin with the words: 'Be Not afraid'.

This media group will never be afraid to tell the truth about Sinn Fein and its contempt for democracy - no matter how much they attempt to intimidate us.