Micheál Martin and merchants of negative spin talking nonsense - Adams
In a statement today, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams criticised the Fianna Fáil Leader and others who he says have sought to use his remarks about the recent conviction of Tom Murphy for tax offences to attack Sinn Féin.
Gerry Adams said:
“Some of Sinn Féin’s political opponents and sections of the media have sought to use my remarks about the recent conviction of Tom Murphy for tax offences to attack me personally and to make political attacks on Sinn Féin.
“Let me be very clear, Sinn Féin is strongly opposed to tax evasion. Everyone has a duty to pay their taxes and there can be no equivocation about this.
“Sinn Féin supports the Gardai, the criminal justice system and the rule of law.
“Let me be equally clear that Sinn Féin is absolutely opposed to the existence and operation of the non-jury Special Criminal Court.
“Year on year, the UNHRC has called on this state to address the issue of the Special Criminal Court.
“Furthermore it is also a necessity of the Irish Government’s obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.
“The Agreement places the onus on both governments to work towards the normalisation of policing and security matters, North and South.
“There is no place for special courts or draconian legislation such as the Offences Against the State Act (OASA) in a modern, democratic society.
“It is truly extraordinary that a case regarding a failure to complete tax returns would be heard at the Special Criminal Court.
“This is in breach of Tom Murphy’s rights under the Constitution and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“As I have already remarked there was nothing ordinary or routine about the trial and conviction of Tom Murphy who was denied the right to be tried before a jury of his peers and this raises serious concerns.
"Tom Murphy contests the verdict of the Special Criminal Court and maintains his innocence.
“We have seen many prominent figures, including TDs, accused of tax irregularities. Unlike Tom Murphy, they will not be denied their constitutional and civil rights.
“It is unlikely also that they will be labeled criminals by the same media outlets currently writing lurid headlines about Tom Murphy.
"Without any obvious sense of irony Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin and other merchants of negative spin have declared that my opinions on these matters as expressed above make Sinn Féin unfit for government. This is nonsense.
"The next government will be elected by the electorate not the Independent Media Group or the Fianna Fáil Leader.
“Many of those parties who comment on this matter were investigated by a succession of tribunals. In government they have failed to implement the recommendations of those tribunals.
"Sinn Féin looks forward to that contest when the record of all the candidates and political parties on tax matters, criminality, corruption and other matters will be scrutinised."