Adams backs funeral-display arrests


Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said he supports the Garda Síochána arrests of 16 people following a Real IRA display at the funeral of one of paramilitary group’s leading figures.

A group of men dressed in combat gear fired a volley of shots over the coffin of murdered Alan Ryan on Saturday in Donaghmede, Dublin.

In today's raids, gardaí seized three imitation firearms, mobile phones and computers along with documentation. Those detained ranged in age from 16 to 60 years old.

Mr Adams said there was no place for such displays or for such organisations. He said “groups involved in gangsterism and crime masquerading as the IRA” had no place in Irish society.

“The IRA did the right thing on British resistance and when the peace forward came forward. They sued for peace when the chances were there,” he said. “Anybody who is a genuine republican should be about the process of building a genuine republic and not involved in these kinds of exercise which is not about republican struggle,” he said.

Asked was the Garda strategy on Saturday to maintain a distance the correct one, the Sinn Féin president replied that he allowed those involved in the operations to make the decisions on the day.

He also said that the Government-appointed Fiscal Advisory Council should “get lost” after it proposed this morning that the Government make an additional €1.9 billion in cuts and tax hikes, over and above the already-agreed adjustments, between now and 2015.

“It is reckless what they are advocating,” he said, adding that additional cuts would have a huge impact on those already struggling to make ends meet.

Mr Adams was speaking at the announcement of a minor reshuffle of Sinn Féin Oireachtas spokespeople this morning. The prime responsibilities of nine of its 14 TDs remain unchanged, including Pearse Doherty remaining as finance spokesman.

The most significant change is Pádraig MacLochlainn moving from foreign affairs to justice, replacing Jonathan O’Brien who moves to education. Seán Crowe will be the party’s new spokesman on foreign affairs.

Elsewhere Martin Ferris and Micheál Colreavy effect a straight swap with the former moving to Agriculture and Mr Colreavy taking over the communicatations, energy and natural resources portfolio.