Below is the text of a letter which I have been trying to get the Irish Times to carry for the last two weeks. It has refused. Gerry Adams TD, President of Sinn Féin.
The Irish Times has set out its clear opposition to Sinn Féin in advance of the next General Election.
Last week the paper published three editorials in the space of seven days questioning Sinn Féin’s political bona fides and fitness for Government.
In addition Political Editor Stephen Collins (Sinn Féin casts a dark shadow over Irish democracy, The Irish Times, 14th March) made a highly charged, direct appeal to the entire political establishment to unite against Sinn Féin.
Fintan O’Toole accused us of putting party interests first; of lying and of being incapable of understanding the concepts of accountability, openness and honesty.
Each of these extraordinary anti-Sinn Féin polemics has been based on erroneous information and spurious claims.
On March 7th, the editorial made the outrageous, unsubstantiated and entirely false claim that a portion of Sinn Féin’s income was derived from illegal sources. There was no attempt to back up this slanderous accusation with any evidence.
On March 11th another editorial claimed, completely erroneously, that Sinn Féin had “plunged the political process” in the North into crisis. The facts contradict this. The crisis was sparked by the DUP resiling from a key part of the Stormont House Agreement providing social protections for citizens. However this is now history. The effort must be to fully implement the Stormont House Agreement. That is Sinn Féin’s focus.
Then, on March 14th the paper claimed that Sinn Féin had refused to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies in relation to the serious issue of sexual abuse. Not true. Sinn Féin and I have co-operated fully with An Garda Síochána in relation to these matters.
That the attacks on Sinn Féin will intensify as the election draws closer will be no surprise. But as the so-called ‘paper of record’ the Irish Times’ should not resort to misreporting, misleading comment or false accusations.
Gerry Adams TD,
Baile Átha Cliath 2.