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Gerry Adams - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.


Gerry Adams
Gerard Adams (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh;[1] born 6 October
Gerry Adams
1948) is an Irish republican politician who was the Leader of the Sinn
Féin political party between 13 November 1983 and 10 February 2018,
and has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for Louth since the 2011 general
election.[2][3] From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an
abstentionist Member of Parliament (MP) of the British Parliament for
the Belfast West constituency.

In 1984, Adams was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by

several gunmen from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), including
John Gregg.[4] From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important
figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact
by the then-Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John
Hume and then subsequently with the Irish and British governments.[5]

Under Adams, Sinn Féin changed its traditional policy of abstentionism

towards the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, in Leader of Sinn Féin
1986 and later took seats in the power-sharing Northern Ireland In office
Assembly. In 2005, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) stated 13 November 1983 – 10 February
that its armed campaign was over and that it was exclusively committed 2018
to democratic politics.[6] Deputy Phil Flynn
In 2014, he was held for four days by the Police Service of Northern John Joe McGirl
Ireland for questioning in connection with the abduction and murder of Pat Doherty
Jean McConville in 1972.[7][8] He was freed without charge and a file Mary Lou
was sent to the Public Prosecution Service,[9] which later stated there McDonald
was insufficient evidence to charge him,[10] as had been expected since
Preceded by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
shortly after his release.[11][12][13]
Succeeded by Mary Lou
Adams announced in November 2017 that he would step down as McDonald
leader of Sinn Féin in 2018, and that he would not stand for re-election Leader of Sinn Féin in Dáil Éireann
to his seat in the Dáil in the next election.[14] He was succeeded as
In office
Leader of Sinn Féin by Mary Lou McDonald at a special ardfheis (party
9 March 2011 – 10 February 2018
conference) on 10 February 2018.[15]
Preceded by Caoimhghín Ó
Succeeded by Mary Lou
Contents McDonald
Family background and early life Teachta Dála
for Louth
Early political career
IRA allegations Incumbent
Rise in Sinn Féin Assumed office
Leader of Sinn Féin 25 February 2011
Voice ban

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Gerry Adams - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Adams

Member of the Legislative

Movement into mainstream politics
Sinn Féin in government
for Belfast West
Political career in Republic
In office
Election to Dáil Éireann
25 June 1998 – 7 December 2010
End of Sinn Féin leadership
Preceded by Constituency
2014 arrest Succeeded by Pat Sheehan
"Ballymurphy Nigger" tweet Leader of Sinn Féin in Northern
Media portrayals
In office
Published works
10 April 1998 – 8 May 2007
See also
Preceded by Position
Further reading
Succeeded by Martin McGuinness
External links
Member of Parliament
for Belfast West

Family background and early life In office

1 May 1997 – 26 January 2011
Adams was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His parents, Anne
Preceded by Joe Hendron
(Hannaway) and Gerry Adams, Sr., came from republican
Succeeded by Paul Maskey
backgrounds.[16] His grandfather, also named Gerry Adams, was a
member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) during the Irish In office
War of Independence. Two of Adams's uncles, Dominic and Patrick 9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992
Adams, had been interned by the governments in Belfast and Preceded by Gerry Fitt
Dublin.[17] J. Bowyer Bell states in his book, The Secret Army,[18] that Succeeded by Joe Hendron
Dominic Adams was a senior figure in the IRA of the mid-1940s. Gerry
Personal details
Adams Sr. joined the IRA at age sixteen. In 1942, he participated in an
Born Gerard Adams
IRA ambush on a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol but was
6 October 1948
himself shot, arrested and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Belfast, Northern
Adams's maternal great-grandfather, Michael Hannaway, was also a Ireland
member of the IRB during its dynamiting campaign in England in the Political party Sinn Féin
1860s and 1870s. Michael's son, Billy, was election agent for Éamon de
Spouse(s) Collette McArdle
Valera at the Irish general election, 1918 in West Belfast.
Children 1
Adams attended St Finian's Primary School on the Falls Road, where he Website sinnfein.ie/contents
was taught by La Salle brothers. Having passed the eleven-plus exam in /20204
1960, he attended St Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar School. He (http://sinnfein.ie
left St Mary's with six O-levels and became a barman. He was /contents/20204)
increasingly involved in the Irish republican movement, joining Sinn
Féin and Fianna Éireann in 1964, after being radicalised by the Divis Street riots during that year's general election

In 1971, Adams married Collette McArdle,[20] with whom he has one son, Gearoid (born 1973),[21] who has played
Gaelic football for Antrim GAA senior men's team and was its assistant manager in 2012.[22]

Early political career

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Gerry Adams - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Adams

In the late 1960s, a civil rights campaign developed in Northern Ireland. Adams
was an active supporter and joined the Northern Ireland Civil Rights
Association in 1967.[19] However, the civil rights movement was met with violence from loyalist counter-
demonstrations and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. In August 1969, Northern Ireland cities like Belfast and Derry
erupted in major rioting. British troops were called in at the request of the Government of Northern Ireland (see
1969 Northern Ireland riots).

Adams was active in rioting at this time and later became involved in the republican movement. In August 1971,
internment was reintroduced to Northern Ireland under the Special Powers Act 1922. Adams was interned in
March 1972, on HMS Maidstone, but on the Provisional IRA's insistence was released in June to take part in
secret, but abortive talks in London.[19] The IRA negotiated a short-lived truce with the British government and an
IRA delegation met with British Home Secretary William Whitelaw at Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. The delegation
included Adams, Martin McGuinness, Sean Mac Stiofain (IRA Chief of Staff), Daithi O'Conaill, Seamus Twomey,
Ivor Bell and Dublin solicitor Myles Shevlin.[23] Adams was re-arrested in July 1973 and interned at the Long Kesh
internment camp. After taking part in an IRA-organised escape attempt, he was sentenced to a period of
imprisonment. During this time, he wrote articles in the paper An Phoblacht under the by-line "Brownie", where
he criticised the strategy and policy of Sinn Féin president Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and IRA Belfast OC Billy McKee. He
was also highly critical of a decision taken by McKee to assassinate members of the rival Official IRA, who had
been on ceasefire since 1972.[24] After his release in 1976, Adams was again arrested in 1978 for alleged IRA
membership; the charges were subsequently dismissed.[25]

During the 1981 hunger strike, which saw the emergence of his party as a political force, Adams played an
important policy-making role. In 1983, he was elected president of Sinn Féin and became the first Sinn Féin MP
elected to the British House of Commons since Phil Clarke and Tom Mitchell in the mid-1950s.[19] Following his
election as MP for Belfast West, the British government lifted a ban on his travelling to Great Britain. In line with
Sinn Féin policy, he refused to take his seat in the House of Commons.[26] Sinn Féin retains a policy of
abstentionism towards the Westminster Parliament, but since 2002, has received allowances for staff and takes up
offices in the House of Commons.[27]

On 14 March 1984 in central Belfast, Adams was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt when several
Ulster Defence Association (UDA) gunmen fired about 20 shots into the car in which he was travelling. He was hit
in the neck, shoulder and arm. He was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he underwent surgery to
remove three bullets. John Gregg and his team were apprehended almost immediately by a British Army patrol
that opened fire on them before ramming their car.[28] The attack had been known in advance by security forces
due to a tip-off from informants within Rathcoole; Adams and his co-passengers had survived in part because
Royal Ulster Constabulary officers, acting on the informants' information, had replaced much of the ammunition
in the UDA's Rathcoole weapons dump with low-velocity bullets.[29][30] An Ulster Defence Regiment NCO
subsequently received the Queen's Gallantry Medal for chasing and arresting an assailant.[31]

IRA allegations
Adams has stated repeatedly that he has never been a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).[32]
However, authors such as Ed Moloney, Peter Taylor, Mark Urban and historian Richard English have all named
Adams as part of the IRA leadership since the 1970s.[33][34][35][36] Adams has denied Moloney's claims, calling
them "libellous".[37] At a dinner for his Fine Gael party on 29 September 2012, Taoiseach Enda Kenny accused
Adams of having not only been a member of the IRA, but a member of the IRA Army Council, calling for Adams to
"be absolutely truthful about this" in response to Adams' calls for a truth and reconciliation commission in
Northern Ireland.[38]

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Former IRA member (and Irish Government intelligence agent) Sean O'Callaghan claimed he was at an IRA Army
Council meeting in 1983 at which Adams was present. O'Callaghan gave his account in testimony to the High Court
in Dublin.[39] Former IRA members Anthony McIntyre and Richard O'Rawe have claimed Adams was a key figure
in the IRA. Adams said: "I'm very, very clear about my denial of IRA membership, but I don't disassociate myself
from the IRA."[40]

Former IRA member Peter Rogers has alleged that Adams and Martin McGuinness ordered Rogers to transport
explosives to Great Britain in 1980, allegations Sinn Féin said were untrue. (Rogers was jailed for the 1980 killing
of Detective Garda Seamus Quaid in the Republic of Ireland, and was later released under the terms of the Good
Friday Agreement).[41] Father Gerry Reynolds, who facilitated secret meetings between SDLP leader John Hume
and Adams, has said that asking Adams about his IRA membership is a "stupid question" as the IRA was a secret
society and the "raison d'etre of the secret society is that it is secret".[42] Adams described Father Reynolds as a
"champion of the peace process" upon his death.[43]

In 2003, using parliamentary privilege, Democratic Unionist Party MP Iris Robinson claimed that Adams was
involved in the IRA's 1978 La Mon restaurant bombing. Adams denied the allegation and said the remarks were
made to deflect attention away from developments in the Stevens Inquiry into collusion.[44]

Former Belfast IRA commander Brendan Hughes named Adams as ordering the murder and secret burial of Jean
McConville in 1972.[45] McConville was one of the 16 "Disappeared", who were abducted and killed by Irish
republican paramilitaries during the Troubles.[46] Former republican prisoner Evelyn Gilroy, who was resident in
the Divis neighbourhood from which McConville was abducted, stated that Adams was the only person in a
position to authorize her murder by the Provisional IRA in the district of West Belfast at that time.[47] Among the
abductors of McConville was Dolours Price, who has claimed that she did so on the orders of Adams.[48] Hughes
and Price also claimed that Adams was involved in approving IRA bomb attacks in London in the early 1970s.
[48][49] Adams subsequently denied Hughes and Price's allegations, stating that they were untrue and motivated by
the accusers' antagonism towards him for the role that he had played in bringing the Provisional IRA's
paramilitary campaign to a conclusion in the early 1990s (which they disagreed with), and seeking to damage his
subsequent political career. He also referred to them as having been calling him a "traitor" in Irish Republican
circles, calling for his death, and being in league with other Irish paramilitary splinter groups who opposed the
Northern Ireland Peace Process.[50]

Former Garda Detective Superintendent PJ Browne has claimed that Adams was "the leader of the psychotic IRA
unit in Belfast in the early 1970s".[51]

Rise in Sinn Féin

In 1978, Gerry Adams became joint vice-president of Sinn Féin and a key figure in directing a challenge to the Sinn
Féin leadership of President Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and joint vice-president Dáithí Ó Conaill.

The 1975 IRA-British truce is often viewed as the event that began the challenge to the original Provisional Sinn
Féin leadership, which was dominated by southerners like Ó Brádaigh and Ó Conaill.

One of the reasons that the Provisional IRA and Provisional Sinn Féin were founded, in December 1969 and
January 1970, respectively, was that people like Ó Brádaigh, O'Connell and McKee opposed participation in
constitutional politics. The other reason was the failure of the Cathal Goulding leadership to provide for the
defence of Irish nationalist areas during the 1969 Northern Ireland riots. When, at the December 1969 IRA
convention and the January 1970 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, the delegates voted to participate in the Dublin (Leinster
House), Belfast (Stormont) and London (Westminster) parliaments, the organisations split. Adams, who had
joined the republican movement in the early 1960s, sided with the Provisionals.

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In Long Kesh in the mid-1970s, writing under the pseudonym "Brownie" in Republican News, Adams called for
increased political activity among republicans, especially at local level.[52] The call resonated with younger
Northern people, many of whom had been active in the Provisional IRA but few of whom had been active in Sinn
Féin. In 1977, Adams and Danny Morrison drafted the address of Jimmy Drumm at the annual Wolfe Tone
commemoration at Bodenstown. The address was viewed as watershed in that Drumm acknowledged that the war
would be a long one and that success depended on political activity that would complement the IRA's armed
campaign. For some, this wedding of politics and armed struggle culminated in Danny Morrison's statement at the
1981 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in which he asked "Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box?
But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other, we take power in
Ireland?" For others, however, the call to link political activity with armed struggle had already been defined in
Sinn Féin policy and in the presidential addresses of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, but this had not resonated with young

Even after the election of Bobby Sands as MP for Fermanagh/South

Tyrone, a part of the mass mobilisation associated with the 1981 Irish
Hunger Strike by republican prisoners in the H blocks of the Maze
Prison (known as Long Kesh by republicans), Adams was cautious that
the level of political involvement by Sinn Féin could lead to electoral
embarrassment. Charles Haughey, the Taoiseach of the Republic of
Ireland, called an election for June 1981. At an Ard Chomhairle
meeting, Adams recommended that they contest only four
constituencies which were in border counties. Instead,
Gerry Adams at a Fermanagh
H-Block/Armagh candidates contested nine constituencies and elected commemoration
two TDs. This, along with the election of Sands, was a precursor to an
electoral breakthrough in elections in 1982 to the 1982 Northern
Ireland Assembly.[54] Adams, Danny Morrison, Martin McGuinness, Jim McAllister, and Owen Carron were
elected as abstentionists. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) had announced before the election that
it would not take any seats and so its 14 elected representatives also abstained from participating in the Assembly
and it was a failure. The 1982 election was followed by the 1983 Westminster election, in which Sinn Féin's vote
increased and Gerry Adams was elected, as an abstentionist, as MP for Belfast West. It was in 1983 that Ruairí Ó
Brádaigh resigned as President of Sinn Féin and was succeeded by Gerry Adams.

Leader of Sinn Féin

Many republicans had long claimed that the only legitimate Irish state was the Irish Republic declared in the
Proclamation of the Republic of 1916. In their view, the legitimate government was the IRA Army Council, which
had been vested with the authority of that Republic in 1938 (prior to the Second World War) by the last remaining
anti-Treaty deputies of the Second Dáil. In his 2005 speech to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin, Adams explicitly
rejected this view. "But we refuse to criminalise those who break the law in pursuit of legitimate political
objectives. ... Sinn Féin is accused of recognising the Army Council of the IRA as the legitimate government of this
island. That is not the case. [We] do not believe that the Army Council is the government of Ireland. Such a
government will only exist when all the people of this island elect it. Does Sinn Féin accept the institutions of this
state as the legitimate institutions of this state? Of course we do."[55]

As a result of this non-recognition, Sinn Féin had abstained from taking any of the seats they won in the British or
Irish parliaments. At its 1986 Ard Fheis, Sinn Féin delegates passed a resolution to amend the rules and
constitution that would allow its members to sit in the Dublin parliament (Leinster House). At this, Ruairí Ó
Brádaigh led a small walkout, just as he and Sean Mac Stiofain had done sixteen years earlier with the creation of
Provisional Sinn Féin.[56][57][58][59] This minority, which rejected dropping the policy of abstentionism, now

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distinguishes itself from Provisional Sinn Féin by using the name Republican Sinn Féin (or Sinn Féin
Poblachtach), and maintains that they are the true Sinn Féin.

Adams' leadership of Sinn Féin was supported by a Northern-based cadre that included people like Danny
Morrison and Martin McGuinness. Over time, Adams and others pointed to republican electoral successes in the
early and mid-1980s, when hunger strikers Bobby Sands and Kieran Doherty were elected to the British House of
Commons and Dáil Éireann respectively, and they advocated that Sinn Féin become increasingly political and base
its influence on electoral politics rather than paramilitarism. The electoral effects of this strategy were shown later
by the election of Adams and McGuinness to the House of Commons.

Voice ban
Adams's prominence as an Irish republican leader was increased by the 1988–94 British broadcasting voice
restrictions,[60] which were imposed by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to "starve the terrorist and the
hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend".[61] Thatcher was moved to act after BBC interviews of
Martin McGuinness and Adams had been the focus of a row over an edition of After Dark, a proposed Channel 4
discussion programme which in the event was never made.[62] While the ban covered 11 Irish political parties and
paramilitary organisations, in practice it mostly affected Sinn Féin, the most prominent of these bodies.[63]

A similar ban, known as Section 31, had been law in the Republic of Ireland since the 1970s. However, media
outlets soon found ways around the bans. In the UK, this was initially by the use of subtitles, but later and more
often by an actor reading words accompanied by video footage of the banned person speaking. Actors who voiced
Adams included Stephen Rea and Paul Loughran.[64][65] This loophole could not be used in the Republic, as word-
for-word broadcasts were not allowed.[66] Instead, the banned speaker's words were summarised by the
newsreader, over video of them speaking.

These bans were lampooned in cartoons and satirical TV shows, such as Spitting Image, and in The Day Today,
and were criticised by freedom of speech organisations and media personalities, including BBC Director General
John Birt and BBC foreign editor John Simpson. The Republic's ban was allowed to lapse in January 1994, and the
British ban was lifted by Prime Minister John Major in September.[67][68]

Movement into mainstream politics

Sinn Féin continued its policy of refusing to sit in the Westminster Parliament after Adams won the Belfast West
constituency. He lost his seat to Joe Hendron of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in the 1992
general election,[69] regaining it at the following 1997 election. Under Adams, Sinn Féin moved away from being a
political voice of the Provisional IRA to becoming a professionally organised political party in both Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

SDLP leader John Hume, MP, identified the possibility that a negotiated settlement might be possible and began
secret talks with Adams in 1988. These discussions led to unofficial contacts with the British Northern Ireland
Office under the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, and with the government of the Republic
under Charles Haughey – although both governments maintained in public that they would not negotiate with
terrorists. These talks provided the groundwork for what was later to be the Belfast Agreement, preceded by the
milestone Downing Street Declaration and the Joint Framework Document.[70]

These negotiations led to the IRA ceasefire in August 1994. Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, who had replaced Haughey
and who had played a key role in the Hume/Adams dialogue through his Special Advisor Martin Mansergh,
regarded the ceasefire as permanent. However, the slow pace of developments contributed in part to the (wider)
political difficulties of the British government of John Major. His consequent reliance on Ulster Unionist Party

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votes in the House of Commons led to him agreeing with the UUP demand to exclude Sinn Féin from talks until
the IRA had decommissioned. Sinn Féin's exclusion led the IRA to end its ceasefire and resume its campaign.[71]

After the United Kingdom general election, 1997, the new Labour government had a majority in the House of
Commons and was not reliant on unionist votes. The subsequent dropping of the insistence led to another IRA
ceasefire, as part of the negotiations strategy, which saw teams from the British and Irish governments, the UUP,
the SDLP, Sinn Féin and representatives of loyalist paramilitary organisations, under the chairmanship of former
United States Senator George Mitchell, produce the Belfast Agreement (also called the Good Friday Agreement as
it was signed on Good Friday, 1998).[16] Under the Agreement, structures were created reflecting the Irish and
British identities of the people of Ireland, creating a British-Irish Council and a Northern Ireland Legislative

Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic's constitution, which claimed sovereignty over all of Ireland, were reworded, and a
power-sharing Executive Committee was provided for. As part of their deal, Sinn Féin agreed to abandon its
abstentionist policy regarding a "six-county parliament", as a result taking seats in the new Stormont-based
Assembly and running the education and health and social services ministries in the power-sharing government.

Sinn Féin in government

On 15 August 1998, four months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the Real IRA exploded a car
bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 31 people and injuring 220, from many communities. Breaking with
tradition, Adams said in reaction to the bombing "I am totally horrified by this action. I condemn it without any
equivocation whatsoever."[73] Prior to this, Adams had maintained a policy of refusing to condemn IRA or their
splinter groups' actions.

Opponents in Republican Sinn Féin accused Sinn Féin of "selling out" by agreeing to participate in what it called
"partitionist assemblies" in the Republic and Northern Ireland.[74] However, Adams insisted that the Belfast
Agreement provided a mechanism to deliver a united Ireland by non-violent and constitutional means.

When Sinn Féin came to nominate its two ministers to the Northern Ireland Executive, for tactical reasons the
party, like the SDLP and the DUP, chose not to include its leader among its ministers. When later the SDLP chose a
new leader, it selected one of its ministers, Mark Durkan, who then opted to remain in the Committee.

Adams was re-elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 March 2007,[75] and on 26 March 2007, he met with
DUP leader Ian Paisley face-to-face for the first time. These talks led to the St Andrews Agreement, which brought
about the return of the power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland.[76]

In January 2009, Adams attended the United States presidential inauguration of Barack Obama as a guest of US
Congressman Richard Neal.[77]

Political career in Republic

On 6 May 2010, Adams was re-elected as MP for West Belfast, garnering 71.1% of the vote.[78] In 2011, the
Chancellor of the Exchequer appointed Adams to the British title of Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead
to allow him to resign from the House of Commons and to stand for election to Dáil Éireann.[79] Initially it was
claimed by David Cameron that Adams had accepted the title but Downing Street has since apologised for this and
Adams has publicly rejected the title stating, "I have had no truck whatsoever with these antiquated and quite
bizarre aspects of the British parliamentary system".[80][81] Officially, Adams held the title between January and
April 2011.[82]

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In 2011 he succeeded Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin as Sinn Féin

parliamentary leader in Dáil Éireann.[83]

On 19 May 2015, while on an official royal trip to Ireland, Prince

Charles shook Adams' hand in what was described as a highly symbolic
gesture of reconciliation. The meeting, described as "historic", took
place in Galway.[84]

Election to Dáil Éireann Gerry Adams with Euclid Tsakalotos

at the Sinn Féin ardfheis in March
In 2010, Adams announced that he would be seeking election as a TD 2015
(member of Irish Parliament) for the constituency of Louth at the 2011
Irish general election.[85] He subsequently resigned his West Belfast
Assembly seat on 7 December 2010.[86]

Following the announcement of the Irish general election, 2011, Adams wrote to the House of Commons to resign
his seat.[87][88] This was treated as an application for the position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of
Northstead, an office of profit under the Crown, the traditional method of leaving Westminster as plain resignation
is not possible, and granted as such even though Adams had not explicitly made the request.[89][90][91][92][93][94]

He was elected to the Dáil, topping the Louth constituency poll with 15,072 (21.7%) first preference votes.[97]

In September 2017, Adams said he will allow his name to go forward for a one-year term as president of Sinn Féin
at the November ardfheis, at which point Sinn Féin would begin a "planned process of generational change,
including [Adams'] own future intentions". This has resulted in speculation in the Irish and British media that
Adams is preparing to stand down as party leader, and that he may run for President of Ireland in the next
election.[98][99][100] At the ardfheis on 18 November, Adams was re-elected for another year as party president, but
announced that he would step down at some point in 2018, and would not seek re-election as TD for Louth.[14]

End of Sinn Féin leadership

Adams leadership of Sinn Féin ended on 10 February 2018, with his stepping down, and the election of Mary Lou
McDonald as the party's new president.[101]

At 10:50 pm on 13 July 2018, a home-made bomb was thrown at Adams' home in west Belfast, damaging a car
parked in his driveway. Adams escaped injury and claimed that his two grandchildren were standing in the
driveway only ten minutes before the blast. Another bomb was set off that same evening at the nearby home of
former IRA volunteer and Sinn Féin official Bobby Storey. In a press conference the following day, Adams said he
thought the attacks were linked to the riots in Derry, and asked that those responsible "come and sit down" and
"give us the rationale for this action".[102][103]


In October 2013 Liam Adams, Gerry Adams' brother, was found guilty of ten offences, including rape and gross
indecency committed against his daughter, Áine Tyrell.[104][105] When the allegations of abuse were first made
public in a 2009 UTV programme, Gerry Adams subsequently alleged that his deceased father, Gerry Adams, Sr.,

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had subjected family members to emotional, physical and sexual abuse.[106][107] On 27 November 2013, Liam
Adams was jailed for 16 years for raping and abusing his daughter.[108]

Following the conviction of Liam Adams, the Attorney General of Northern Ireland, John Larkin, has been asked
to review a 2011 decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams over an allegation that he withheld information in
connection with the case. The request for the review has been made by Northern Ireland's Director of Public
Prosecutions, Barra McGrory.[109] A statement from the DPP read: "The Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra
McGrory QC, recognises that there has been considerable public interest surrounding the decision not to prosecute
Mr. Gerry Adams in October 2011 in relation to an allegation that he withheld information in connection with the
Liam Adams case. While the director has confidence in the evidential decision taken by the PPS prior to his
appointment, he has asked the Attorney General to independently review the matter. The Attorney General will be
given full access to all materials that he considers necessary to complete this review." In a statement issued in
response, Adams said: "With hindsight there are things I could have done differently, but I'm not on trial here. My
brother was on trial. Áine has been vindicated. There is a lot of healing that needs to be done."[110]

2014 arrest
On 30 April 2014, Adams was arrested by detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Serious
Crime Branch, under the Terrorism Act 2000, in connection with the murder of Jean McConville in 1972.[111] He
had previously voluntarily arranged to be interviewed by police regarding the matter,[112] and maintained he had
no involvement.[46] Fellow Sinn Féin politician Alex Maskey claimed that the timing of the arrest, "three weeks
into an election", was evidence of a "political agenda [...] a negative agenda" by the PSNI.[113] Jean McConville's
family had campaigned for the arrest of Adams over the murder.[114] Jean McConville's son Michael said that his
family did not think the arrest of Adams would ever happen, but were "quite glad" that the arrest took place.
Adams was released without charge after four days in custody and it was decided to send a file to the Public
Prosecution Service, which would decide if criminal charges should be brought.[115][116][117]

At a press conference after his release, Adams also criticised the timing of his arrest, while reiterating Sinn Féin's
support for the PSNI and saying: "The IRA is gone. It is finished".[118] Adams has denied that he had any
involvement in the murder or was ever a member of the IRA,[9][46][119] and has said the allegations against him
came from "enemies of the peace process".[9] On 29 September 2015 the Public Prosecution Service announced
Adams would not face charges, due to insufficient evidence,[120] as had been expected ever since a BBC report
dated 6 May 2014 (2 days after the BBC reported his release),[11] which was widely repeated elsewhere.[12][13]

"Ballymurphy Nigger" tweet

On 1 May 2016, Adams sparked controversy by tweeting "Watching Django Unchained-A Ballymurphy
Nigger!"[121] The tweet was not well received and was deleted, with Adams apologising for the use of "nigger" the
next day at Sinn Féin's Connolly House headquarter in Belfast. Adams's use of the slur in the tweet was widely
reported in Irish,[122] British[123] and American[124][125] media. Adams stood over the tweet stating: "I stand over
the context and main point of my tweet, which were the parallels between people in struggle. Like African
Americans, Irish nationalists were denied basic rights. I have long been inspired by Harriet Tubman, Frederick
Douglass, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, who stood up for themselves and for justice."[126]

On 4 May 2016 Adams reiterated his apology for the use of "nigger", but he appeared to double down on the use by
saying: "The whole thing was to make a political point, if I had left that word out would the tweet have gotten any
attention?"[127] He also stated: "I was paralleling the experiences of the Irish, not just in recent times but through
the penal days when the Irish were sold as slaves, through the Cromwellian period", and that 50,000 Irish were
shipped as slaves to Barbados between 1652 and 1659. The historical accuracy of these comments has been

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questioned by historians and met with a backlash in the media.[128][129][130]

Media portrayals
Gerry Adams has been portrayed in a number of films, TV programmes, and books:

1999 – The Marching Season; a spy fiction novel by Daniel Silva

2004 – film Omagh with actor Jonathan Ryan. The film is a dramatisation of the 1998 Omagh bombing and its
2010 – TV film Mo with actor John Lynch; the story of Mo Mowlam and the Good Friday Agreement
2012 – The Cold Cold Ground, a crime novel by Adrian McKinty. Adams is interviewed by the book's main
character after an associate is found murdered.
2016 – film The Journey with actor Ian Beattie[131]
2017 – film The Foreigner; with actor Pierce Brosnan playing a former IRA leader who resembles Adams[132]

Published works
Falls Memories, 1982
The Politics of Irish Freedom, 1986
A Pathway to Peace, 1988
An Irish Voice: The Quest for Peace
Cage Eleven, 1990, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-86322-114-9
The Street and Other Stories, 1993, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-86322-293-1
Free Ireland: Towards a Lasting Peace, 1995
Before the Dawn: An Autobiography, 1996, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-434-00341-9
Selected Writings
Who Fears to Speak...?, 2001 (Original Edition 1991), Beyond the Pale Publications,
ISBN 978-1-900960-13-7
An Irish Journal, 2001, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-86322-282-5
Hope and History: Making Peace in Ireland, 2003, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-86322-330-3
A Farther Shore, 2005, Random House
The New Ireland: A Vision For The Future, 2005, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-86322-344-0
An Irish Eye, 2007, Brandon Books, ISBN 978-0-86322-370-9
My Little Book of Tweets, 2016, Mercier Press, ISBN 978-1-78117-449-4

See also
List of Irish Republican Army chiefs of staff
Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland v. Liam Adams
Resignation from the British House of Commons

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gerry-adams-following-attack-on-home-1382981/). The Irish News. Retrieved 24 July 2018.

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104. "Liam Adams convicted of raping and abusing daughter" (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-

24348798). BBC News. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
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106. "Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams reveals family abuse history" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland
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107. Adams reveals family history of abuse (http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1220/adams.html). RTÉ News and
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108. Liam Adams jailed for raping and abusing daughter (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-
25122804), BBC News, 27 November 2013
109. "Review sought over Adams role in brother's abuse case" (http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/1007/478915-gerry-
adams/). Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
110. "Review of Gerry Adams role in brother's abuse case ordered" (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-
news/review-of-gerry-adams-role-in-brother-s-abuse-case-ordered-1.1552797). The Irish Times. 7 October
2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
111. O'Connell, Hugh (2 May 2014). "The PSNI have been granted an extra 48 hours to question Gerry Adams"
(http://www.thejournal.ie/gerry-adams-sinn-fein-arrest-1445393-May2014/). thejournal.ie. Retrieved 27 May
112. McDonald, Henry (30 April 2014). "Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams held over 1972 Jean McConville killing"
(https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/30/gerry-adams-held-jean-mconville-killing). The Guardian.
London. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
113. Beaton, Connor (30 April 2014). "SF MLA: Adams arrest 'negative PSNI agenda' " (http://thetarge.co.uk/article
/current-affairs/0258/sinn-fein-mla-adams-arrest-negative-psni-agenda). The Targe. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
114. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams arrested over murder of widowed mother abducted in 1972
115. Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams held over Jean McConville murder (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-
ireland-27232731). BBC News. 30 April 2014.
116. Shadow of Jean McConville murder still hangs over Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein (http://www.independent.ie
Irish Independent, 5 May 2014.
117. "Adams released without charge" (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27278039). BBC. 4 May
2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
118. "BBC News – Gerry Adams freed in Jean McConville murder inquiry" (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-
ireland-27278039). BBC News.
119. "Gerry Adams denies McConville son 'backlash threat' " (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-
27280446). BBC. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. "The Sinn Fein president was questioned for four days
in connection with the murder of Jean McConville and membership of the IRA.He has strongly denied all those
allegations. ... He again said he was innocent of any involvement in Mrs McConville's murder."
120. "Gerry Adams will not face charges over Jean McConville murder" (https://www.theguardian.com/politics
/2015/sep/29/gerry-adams-will-not-face-trial-over-jean-mcconville). The Guardian. 29 September 2015.
Retrieved 22 June 2016.
121. "Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams apologises for racial slur" (https://www.yahoo.com/news/sinn-fein-leader-
gerry-adams-tweets-racial-slur-011315030.html). www.yahoo.com. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
122. "Adams admits N-word tweet 'was inappropriate' " (http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0502/785601-gerry-adams-
tweet/). RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
123. "Adams Apologises For Using 'N-Word' In Tweet" (http://news.sky.com/story/1688589/adams-apologises-for-
using-n-word-in-tweet). Sky News. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
124. "Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein president, tweets N-word" (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/1
/gerry-adams-sinn-fein-president-tweets-n-word/). The Washington Times. Retrieved 16 May 2016.

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125. Bailey, Issac. "Facing the consequences of using the N-word" (http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/02/opinions/n-
word-double-standard-debate-bailey/index.html). CNN. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
126. McDonald, Henry (2 May 2016). "Gerry Adams defends N-word tweet" (https://www.theguardian.com/politics
/2016/may/02/gerry-adams-defends-n-word-tweet-django-unchained). The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December
127. Brennan, Cianan. " "The Irish were sold as slaves" – Gerry Adams has spoken once again about THAT tweet"
128. "Sinn Féin not allowing facts derail good 'Irish slaves' yarn" (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-
129. "Adams hit with furious backlash after racial slur – Independent.ie" (http://www.independent.ie/irish-
130. "Gerry Adams reignites N-word row with civil rights blog comparison – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk"
131. "It's all eyes on the 73rd Venice Film Festival" (http://www.breakingnews.ie/showbiz/its-all-eyes-on-the-73rd-
venice-film-festival-747224.html). Breaking News. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
132. "Pierce Brosnan channels Gerry Adams in new IRA thriller The Foreigner" (https://www.irishtimes.com/culture
/film/pierce-brosnan-channels-gerry-adams-in-new-ira-thriller-the-foreigner-1.3134256). The Irish Times.
Retrieved 6 November 2017.

Further reading
de Bréadún, Deaglán. "Gerry Adams – the face of Irish republicanism – hands over at Sinn Féin
at-sinn-fein/40230/)," WikiTribune, 22 January 2018.
Keena, Colm. Biography of Gerry Adams. Cork: Mercier Press, 1990.
Potter, John. A Testimony to Courage – the Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment 1969 – 1992.
Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 2001.
Randolph, Jody Allen. "Gerry Adams, August 2009." Close to the Next Moment: Interviews from a Changing
Ireland. Manchester: Carcanet, 2010.
The Ulster Defence Regiment: An Instrument of Peace?, Chris Ryder 1991.

External links
Léargas (http://leargas.blogspot.com/) blog by Gerry Adams
Column archive (https://www.theguardian.com/profile/gerry-adams) at The Guardian
Gerry Adams (http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/20204) Sinn Féin profile

Record in Parliament (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/gerry_adams) at TheyWorkForYou

Profile (http://www.parliamentaryrecord.com/content/profiles/mp/Gerry-Adams/Belfast-West/1) at Westminster
Parliamentary Record
Articles authored (http://journalisted.com/gerry-adams) at Journalisted
Gerry Adams (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1128049/) on IMDb
Works by or about Gerry Adams (https://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n83-142260) in libraries (WorldCat
"Gerry Adams collected news and commentary" (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/gerryadams). The
"Gerry Adams collected news and commentary" (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people
/a/gerry_adams/index.html). The New York Times.
Gerry Adams Man Of War and Man Of Peace? (http://indiamond6.ulib.iupui.edu:81/am11115g.html) Anthony
McIntyre, The Blanket, 28 April 2004
Interview with Gerry Adams (http://www.lesenfantsterribles.org/distretto-nord/interview-with-gerry-adams/)
February 2006
Gerry Adams Profile (https://web.archive.org/web/20100527040104/http://yourdemocracy.newstatesman.com

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/profile/gerry-adams) at New Statesman

Party political offices

Deputy Leader of Sinn Féin

Preceded by
1978–1983 Succeeded by
Joe Cahill
Served alongside: Joe Cahill, Dáithí Ó Phil Flynn
Dáithí Ó Conaill

Preceded by Leader of Sinn Féin Succeeded by

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh 1983–2018 Mary Lou McDonald

Leader of Sinn Féin in Northern

Succeeded by
New office Ireland
Martin McGuinness

Leader of Sinn Féin in the Dáil

Preceded by Succeeded by
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Mary Lou McDonald

Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)

Member of the Northern Ireland

New assembly Assembly abolished
for West Belfast

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Member of Parliament
Preceded by Succeeded by
for Belfast West
Gerry Fitt Joe Hendron

Member of Parliament
Preceded by Succeeded by
for Belfast West
Joe Hendron Paul Maskey

Northern Ireland Forum

Member of the Northern Ireland

New forum Forum dissolved
for West Belfast

Northern Ireland Assembly

Member of the Legislative

Assembly Succeeded by
New assembly
for Belfast West Pat Sheehan


Preceded by Sinn Féin Teachta Dála

Dermot Ahern for Louth Incumbent
Fianna Fáil 2011–present

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gerry_Adams&oldid=887714219"

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