Northern Ireland news

Gerry Adams says he thinks about Martin McGuinness every day

Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams in 1992
Digital Staff

FORMER Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said he thinks about his friend and political ally Martin McGuinness every day.

Mr McGuinness died aged 66 on March 21 last year after a short illness.

Speaking to RTÉ radio presenter Ryan Tubridy, Mr Adams was told Jonathan Powell, a former adviser to Tony Blair and the British government's chief negotiator on the north, used to refer to the two Sinn Féin leaders as good cop and bad cop with Mr Adams being bad cop.

Mr Adams replied: "I would like to think we were both bad cops."

He described his friendship with the former deputy first minister.

"I miss him everyday," Mr Adams said. "I miss him in the oddest of ways... like when the Sunday Game comes on because he would ring me or I would ring him."

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Speaking of his recently-released Negotiator's Cook Book, Mr Adams said Mr McGuinness would have been "a wee bit embarrassed" by the collection of recipes, but that he "enjoyed the fare" that was dished up.

Theresa May 'amazingly resilient'

Asked about the vote of no confidence faced by British prime minister Theresa May, Mr Adams said she has been "amazingly resilient" but stressed that he disagreed profoundly with her on a number of issues and said: "the quicker that we don't have any British government involvement in any of our affairs, the better."

Mr Tubridy asked the Louth TD if he would have any message for people who would be furious at hearing him on the radio.

The presenter said: "People say 'How can you talk to Gerry Adams about a cook book when he had this past that is, to some people, unforgiveable?'"

Mr Adams replied: "They need to get a life... they need to catch themselves on. I'm elected, I'm very honoured to be elected by the people of Louth and East Meath. People don't need to agree with me no more than I need to agree with them."

The former Sinn Féin leader said he never considered running against Michael D Higgins in last month's presidential election and confirmed he had no plans to run again for office. 

Regrets so many died

Speaking about regrets from his life in politics, Mr Adams said: "I regret that the conflict went on for so long. I think it was almost inevitable there was going to be a conflict so I regret that.

"I regret that so many people died in the course of the conflict. I'm delighted we're in a better place. It will have to be a matter of deep seriousness for a government to straighten things out post-Brexit and as someone who is proudly democratic that can be done only on the basis of the people of this island shaping out our own futures."

Mr Adams said he believed a united Ireland was not inevitable but that his party would like to see a referendum held "in the next number of years."

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