Northern Ireland news

DUP criticises Gerry Adams after border poll remarks

Former Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Staff Reporter

The DUP has launched a stinging attack on former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams after he said a border poll could take place within as little as three years.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Irish News yesterday Mr Adams said the Dublin government should start planning for a united Ireland.

He said referendums on both sides of the border should be preceded by a “process of consultation, of planning of inclusivity”.

The former Sinn Féin leader was speaking as he launched a new book, Black Mountain and other stories.

Mr Adams spoke of the "wonderfully privileged position of still being alive" and of missing former party colleague Martin McGuinness, who died in 2017.

On a border poll, he said: "If the Irish government decided now, as a matter of policy, that it was going to go for a referendum, then the timing of a referendum would also be part of that process and the timing should be set by the process of planning and consultation that's put in place."

He added that while a poll could take just three years the building of the “new Ireland” will take longer.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell last night criticised Mr Adams.

"In a rambling interview with The Irish News to promote more of Gerry's cashing in on politics he says he is `privileged to be alive' when looking back over his life," he said.

"As one of many targets of republican terrorism I also feel blessed to be alive, others weren't so fortunate, but I don't justify or defend a terrorist organisation at the same time."

Mr Campbell said Mr Adams "sounds philosophical but at his core he still, whilst denying being a member, defends and justifies the Provisional IRA".

DUP MP for east Derry Gregory Campbell

"He doesn't seem to see the irony of his statement," he said.

Mr Campbell added that there was no support for a united Ireland.

"Gerry has been telling his followers a united Ireland was coming for many years, yet any reputable poll shows majority support for Northern Ireland being part of the United Kingdom,” he said.

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