Northern Ireland

Gerry Adams: ‘I've never seen myself as white'

Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams speaking to the press following the 'n' word controversy
Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams speaking to the press following the 'n' word controversy

GERRY Adams said on Tuesday: "I've never seen myself as white" as he was quizzed again about using the 'n' word on Twitter.

The Sinn Féin leader caused uproar on Sunday night when he tweeted the racial slur while watching a Quentin Tarantino film about slavery in America.

The tweet read: "Watching Django Unchained – A Ballymurphy N*****!"

Mr Adams also referred to the main character as "an uppity Fenian".

The Louth TD initially dismissed his use of the 'n' word as "ironic" but later apologised, while defending his comparison of the treatment of Irish nationalists and African Americans.

Speaking on Tuesday to radio station LMFM, Mr Adams said penal laws were ended because people stood up for themselves, like the character Django in the movie.

"People of my own home district, Ballymurphy, have stood up for themselves. And people in Louth whether it's water protesters, not trying to compare like with like, or demanding health services, or fighting for the hospital to be returned to Dundalk or better services in Drogheda, people standing up for themselves or their neighbours," he said.

"And while they may not be like with like because if you're being horsewhipped or hanged that's a different matter. But in terms of the dignity of human beings."

He added: "I've never seen myself as white. That's only skin deep. I'm a human being. We're all human beings, whatever our skin colour, whatever our gender, whatever our ability or disability.

"The fact is we're all human beings and we all deserve to be treated properly."

DUP leader Arlene Foster has branded Mr Adams's use of the 'n' word "outrageous" and described his apology as "half-hearted".

She said it was as big a challenge for Sinn Féin as that "facing the Labour Party in dealing with anti-semitism".

However, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness described the use of the word as an "an honest mistake" and an "aberration".