Profile: Gerry Adams (SF)
Louth: Second TD elected of five
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams (67) comfortably topped the poll in his Irish general election debut in 2011, having resigned his seat in the British House of Commons. Despite constant criticism for his grasp of economics and the persistent attention drawn to his alleged IRA ties, the Sinn Fein president maintains his electoral popularity. A native of west Belfast, he was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, interned in 1972 and arrested for alleged IRA membership in 1978, although the charges were later dismissed. Unable to escape the shadow of controversy, in more recent times he drew ire for describing Thomas “Slab” Murphy, convicted of tax evasion, as a “good republican”. In 2014 he was questioned for four days by the PSNI investigating the murder of Jean McConville. No charges followed. There was further upset surrounding his handling of controversies including the 2013 trial of his brother Liam, convicted for sexually abusing his own daughter, and in 2014 when Maíria Cahill alleged she had been raped by a member of the IRA.