The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesman Tom Elliott has criticised the hypocrisy of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams in his condemnation of the brutal and cowardly murder of Garda Adrian Donohoe and apology for the 1996 murder of Garda Jerry McCabe, with no mention of the thousands of other victims of IRA terrorism.
Mr Elliott said;
“I regret to say that Gerry Adams’ apology to the McCabe family and Garda Ben O’Sullivan and “to the families of other members of the state forces who were killed by republicans in the course of the conflict” is little more than a cynical attempt to minimise electoral damage in the Republic.
In the first place many people will be puzzled as to why Gerry Adams - who has of course consistently denied ever being a member of the IRA - should feel the need to apologise for the activities of a group of which he was never a member.
Any apology by any representative of Sinn Fein and/or the IRA will naturally be received with a great deal of suspicion. When the IRA murdered Garda McCabe in 1996 it was Gerry Adams himself who denied that the IRA was responsible. No-one was surprised when a court in the Republic later convicted IRA members of this crime, and indeed Sinn Fein later demanded their release under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.
Many people will judge this move by Gerry Adams as a cynical ploy aimed more at improving Sinn Fein’s image in the Republic in order to enhance electoral fortunes, rather than a sincere apology for past crimes and actions. The IRA murdered 300 RUC Officers – and many other people - in Northern Ireland throughout the Troubles and their loved ones are still awaiting an apology. A sincere apology for IRA crimes would be a welcome start, but many will ask what use would an apology be from Gerry Adams on behalf of the IRA when he can’t even admit to having been a member?”