Responding to an Irish Independent report on the attendance in the Dáil of Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, a Sinn Féin spokesperson said:
“The Irish Independent’s figures
relate only for the period from January to June. The paper ignores July when
the Dáil sat 11 days and the Sinn Féin leader was present for each day.
“So far this year Gerry Adams
has attended 62 out of the 79 sitting days. This is a 78.5% attendance record
on sitting days. On at least one of the days Gerry Adams was in attendance but
did not sign in.
“The Sinn Féin President – who
is the leader of the only all-Ireland party - has also attended the Dáil on 16
non sitting days, which makes a total of 78 days, to carry out his Dáil and
“In his first year as a TD Gerry Adams fulfilled the requisite number of attendance days and according to KildareStreet.com, Gerry Adams has spoken in 249 debates in the last year — well above average among TDs, and has received answers to 852 written questions in the last year — well above average among TDs.
“While Mr. Adams fully carries out his Dáil duties in holding the Taoiseach to account, the Sinn Féin President makes no apologies for taking time to travel to constituencies across the state – in particular in rural Ireland - to meet with those communities and citizens suffering as a result of this Government’s policies of austerity.
“Mr. Adams was also involved in
the Referendum campaign.
“This combined with days when he
was unable to attend due to bereavements and several days when he was off due
to personal injury account for his Dáil attendance figures.
“With regard to Leaders’
Questions it has become the norm for the Deputy Leader of all parties to take
this debate on a Thursday, with the Taoiseach generally being replaced by Eamon
Gilmore. Our own Deputy Leader Mary Lou
McDonald has played an effective role in this regard and has provided strong
opposition during these debates.
“Gerry Adams is an effective
Dáil and constituency representative for the people of Louth and East Meath and
party leader for Sinn Féin.
“The success of this work and the effectiveness of Sinn Féin’s alternative policies can be seen in the strong support for Sinn Féin and for Gerry Adams as party leader in Opinion polls since the last general election.”