Irish Republican News · February 20, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: McDowell declares Adams is IRA chief
McDowell declares Adams is IRA chief

The Justice Minister in the 26 Counties, Michael McDowell has declared that Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is a member of the IRA’s ruling Army Council.

Earlier this month, the state-operated “Independent Monitoring Commission” recommended some form of political discrimination against Sinn Féin following allegations by Fianna Fail leader Bertie Ahern that Sinn Féin leaders had conspired in the Northern Bank robbery before Christmas.

Today, Mr McDowell went further by naming Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, chief negotiator Martin McGuinness and Kerry North TD Martin Ferris as members of a seven-man IRA Army Council.

He said: “We’re talking about a small group of people, including a number of elected representatives, who run the whole (Republican) movement.

“We’re talking about Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, Martin Ferris and others.”

The remarks are he strongest attack yet by the Dublin government on Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness said he rejected McDowell’s accusations “absolutely”.

“Michael McDowell has been very hostile against SF and this type of language from him is not a surprise,” Mr McGuinness added.

“I’m not a member of the IRA. I was many years ago. I am one of the leaders of Sinn Féin. I have met with the IRA to try and bring about a cessation,” he said.

In a related move, the British government is set to block funds paid to Sinn Féin’s Westminster MPs, according to reports.

A financial “sanction” is expected to be announced in the Westminster parliament on Tuesday by British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy.

Sinn Féin, which has four MPs, has already been denied expenses from the suspended Belfast assembly and this is likely to be extended.

The move will cost Sinn Féin up to 500,000 pounds sterling or almost a million US dollars per year.

Ian Paisley’s DUP said Murphy must “hit Sinn Féin hard” this week.

“Paul Murphy’s announcement on Tuesday will be keenly awaited by all democrats,” said Jeffrey Donaldson.

“The sanctions he decides on will determine in the minds of fair minded people whether the Government is determined to punish Sinn Féin, or just give Adams and McGuinness a slap across the wrists,” he said.

© 2005 Irish Republican News