The Irish Times has set out its clear opposition to Sinn Féin in advance of the next general election.
Last week the paper published three editorials in the space of seven days questioning Sinn Féin’s political bona fides and fitness for Government.
In addition, Political Editor Stephen Collins (Sinn Féin casts a dark shadow over Irish democracy, The Irish Times, 14 March) made a highly-charged direct appeal to the entire political establishment to unite against Sinn Féin.
Fintan O’Toole accused us of putting party interests first; of lying and of being incapable of understanding the concepts of accountability, openness and honesty.
Each of these extraordinary anti-Sinn Féin polemics has been based on erroneous information and spurious claims.
On 7 March, the editorial made the outrageous, unsubstantiated and entirely false claim that a portion of Sinn Féin’s income was derived from illegal sources. There was no attempt to back up this slanderous accusation with any evidence.
On 11 March, another editorial claimed, completely erroneously, that Sinn Féin had “plunged the political process” in the North into crisis. The facts contradict this. The crisis was sparked by the DUP resiling from a key part of the Stormont House Agreement providing social protections for citizens. However, this is now history. The effort must be to fully implement the Stormont House Agreement. That is Sinn Féin’s focus.
Then, on 14 March, the paper claimed that Sinn Féin had refused to co-operate fully with law enforcement agencies in relation to the serious issue of sexual abuse. Not true. Sinn Féin and I have co-operated fully with An Garda Síochána in relation to these matters.
That the attacks on Sinn Féin will intensify as the election draws closer will be no surprise but, as the so-called ‘paper of record’, the Irish Times should not resort to misreporting, misleading comment or false accusations.
Gerry Adams TD,
The letter the Irish Times refuse to print apparently.