Adams accuses Martin of 'attack on republicans'30/04/2012 - 15:44:27
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has accused Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin of an outrageous attack after he said his party was guilty of prolonging suffering across the island.
The war of words broke out after Mr Martin used the annual Arbour Hill commemoration flatly to rule out the possibility of a coalition. He has since gone on to criticise Sinn Féin for supporting the IRA.
Mr Adams claimed the attack was motivated by difficulties in Fianna Fáil - in particular Mr Martin's leadership and challenges from within against its pro-European treaty stance.
"I believe that many people across the island, not least supporters and members of Mr Martin's own party, will be disappointed at his remarks," said Mr Adams.
"The irony of Deputy Martin using an Easter commemoration at Arbour Hill to launch an attack on republicans will be lost on very few."
Mr Adams insisted that Sinn Féin had been central to bringing peace to Ireland.
He accused Mr Martin of party political point-scoring and said he was using the conflict in the North in a cynical and opportunistic way.
The Fianna Fáil leader today reiterated his remarks that the party would not join Sinn Féin in a coalition.
He said he believed Sinn Féin had been dishonest about its links with the Provisional IRA, and that there had been a lack of accountability over the Troubles.
"I don't see Sinn Féin as a Republican party. In the first instance, their actions not just in the past but up to the present day are the very antithesis about what Republicanism should mean," Mr Martin told RTÉ Radio.
"Republicanism to me is the capacity to unite Protestant and Catholic at the centre and Sinn Féin don't have that capacity."
Mr Martin said many people found it hard to accept Sinn Féin because of the "murders and activities" the IRA was engaged in.
He added that many ex-members of the paramilitary group admit there was a real disillusionment among the organisation, particularly in the mid-1970s, about its connection with the War of Independence.
Mr Martin also claimed Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have conflicting policies on the economy - most notably given the fact Fianna Fáil is campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum on the European fiscal treaty on May 31, while Sinn Féin is staunchly opposed.
Earlier this week, Mr Martin's former deputy Eamon O Cuiv said Sinn Féin would be Fianna Fáil's preferred Coalition partner, were the opportunity to arise in the future.
He said both parties represent true republicanism and that they could work together.
But Mr O Cuiv and Mr Martin have continued to clash over recent months, with the former being forced to resign as Deputy Leader and Communications Spokesperson in February after pledging to vote against the European deal.
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