Sketch featuring Gerry Adams withdrawn after families of IRA victims raise concern

Ex-SF leader stating ‘tiocfaidh ar lá, lá, lá, lá’ had been turned into Christmas greeting

A greeting card company has withdrawn a video and Christmas card featuring former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams which was condemned by victims of the Provisional IRA.

The video features Mr Adams in a Christmas comedy sketch in which he sings, "Tis the season to be jolly, tiocfaidh ar lá, lá, lá, lá".

The video was turned into a Christmas card with the greeting ‘have a Gerry Christmas’.

In the video, Mr Adams visits a house as a carol singer and the homeowner repeats a slogan first used by Mr Adams in August 1995 in relation to the Provisional IRA: “They haven’t gone away you know”.

Ferry Clever, the Derry-based company behind the video and Christmas card, said its business is based around "satirical comedy" and that it was "never our intention to offend anyone".

The video and Christmas card were intended to raise money for Foyle Search and Rescue. The company said it regularly creates videos and cards for charitable causes to give something back to local communities.

“However, we accept in this instance our approach has unintentionally caused hurt which we deeply regret,” it said.

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary (22) was shot dead by IRA gunmen in 1984, said that anybody who "thinks this is funny lacks emotional intelligence".

“She [Mary Travers] never got to celebrate any further Christmases and it was never the same for us just like thousands of other families,” she said on Twitter.

Troubles victims' campaigner Kenny Donaldson said it was not credible for the charity "to claim ignorance around the response this carefully choreographed video would have upon innocent victims of Provisional IRA terrorism".

Mr Donaldson added: “Many know all too well that the Provisional IRA have not gone away, that they continue to have involvement in criminal-based activities ... they continue to exercise control upon Sinn Féin’s ‘political’ policy. (as confirmed by both the PSNI Chief Constable and Garda Commissioner)”.

He said the video attempts to "downplay terrorism and the evils to which the Provisional Republican Movement were responsible for.

“The rewrite campaign is in action at all levels of our society and people need to waken up and understand it for what it is.”

On his Twitter account Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile posted a photograph of Mr Adams handing him a Christmas present from three years ago. He tweeted: “Listen. The man just loves an Nollaig. Sin é.”