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Taoiseach says Gerry Adams should 'absolutely' apologise for Christmas sketch

Micheál Martin also said that the party should quit 'peddling' a narrative around the Troubles which is 'repulsive'
Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams

Gabija Gataveckaite

The Taoiseach has said that Sinn Féin should call on Gerry Adams to apologise for participating in a Christmas sketch which he said “hurt a lot of people”.

Micheál Martin also said that the party should quit “peddling” a narrative around the Troubles which is “repulsive”.

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

Sinn Féin said yesterday that it does not believe its former leader should have to apologise for his role in the controversial and now-withdrawn Christmas video following complaints by victims of the IRA.

During the skit, Mr Adams knocks on the door of a house and sings “Tiocfaidh ár lá, la la la la”, combining the republican slogan with the Christmas carol.

Later, an occupant of the house in the sketch uses Mr Adams’s 1995 quote about the IRA: “They haven’t gone away you know.”

Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin was the only TD to call on Mr Adams to withdraw his remarks, but he was soon contradicted by colleagues David Cullinane and Matt Carthy, who said that Mr Adams had nothing to apologise for.

Micheal Martin (Damien Storan/PA)

Micheal Martin (Damien Storan/PA)

Speaking on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show last night, Mr Ó Broin said that a line should be drawn under the saga as the company behind the Christmas sketch has removed it.

“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,” said Mr Martin.

“And a lot of people’s lives were destroyed. I think he should apologise, I think Sinn Féin should call on him to withdraw his remarks.”

Gerry Adams featured in a video and Christmas card

Gerry Adams featured in a video and Christmas card

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Mr Martin said that politicians “stood back” and allowed the “strongest voices” to air their views over the sketch, which were those of families of IRA victims.

“Just imagine, the words, they have not gone away, what that means to the families, whose members have been murdered in cold blood,” he said.

The Taoiseach also hit out at Sinn Féin and called on them to stop pushing a “repulsive” narrative.

“They need to really have a good look at themselves in terms of this and stop trying to peddle a narrative that some of us find repulsive,” he added.

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