Gerry Adams entitled to a right of reply over critical article but no further action

Press ombudman rules Irish Daily Mail met its obligations to the Sinn Féin president

Gerry Adams: took issue with an article in the Irish Daily Mail. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Gerry Adams: took issue with an article in the Irish Daily Mail. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Wed, Apr 2, 2014, 22:14

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was entitled to a right of reply, but no further remedial action, following a highly critical article about his character in the Irish Daily Mail , the Press Ombudsman John Horgan has decided.

Mr Adams complained through his solicitors that the article, published on November 8th, 2013, and headlined “The Disappeared, Liam Adams. we are ready for the truth, but are Gerry and Sinn Féin?” contained a number of “serious allegations which were totally incorrect, unfounded and extremely defamatory”, the ombudsman’s office said.

“He took issue in particular with statements in the article that he had effectively shielded a rapist in his own family, and had allowed his brother Liam to put himself forward as a Sinn Féin election candidate, which he said were untrue.”


Right of reply
The newspaper received a letter from Mr Adams on November 9th taking issue with the article and offered to publish it as a right of reply. Mr Adams accepted the offer and the letter was published on November 12th as an article.

On January 9th, Mr Adams’s solicitors contacted the paper seeking a retraction and apology. However, the newspaper argued it had already met its obligations.

The ombudsman agreed.