'Gerry Adams Day' proclamation an insult to victims

Issued 18 March 2018

Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin, has said it was both unfortunate and inappropriate for the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, to proclaim a Gerry Adams day in New York.

Mr Howlin said it was even more inappropriate that he should do so in the presence of the Taoiseach, the democratically elected leader of the Irish nation.

Deputy Howlin commented:

"Mr Adams was directly involved in an organisation responsible for almost 1,700 deaths during the troubles. We are all pleased that that killing was brought to an end and while Mr Adams is entitled to his share of the credit for that it, it does not wipe out his culpability for the IRA's murderous campaign. Nor is the mayor of New York or anybody else entitled to rewrite our history.

“If we are to have a serious conversation about a united Ireland with unionism it will be all the stronger if we have ceased glorifying this murderous campaign and those that conducted it.

“The Taoiseach has questions to answer too. Did he know that Mr Adams was to be presented this award? He certainly should have been informed by the Mayor's office that he was intent on making this announcement. If not it is a breach of protocol. If Mr Varadkar remained knowing what was taking place it is the latest in a series of errors of judgement."