November 27, 2021

Adams ‘gun’ comments are ‘threat’ to all journalists

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adams-appBy Jerome Reilly and Allison Bray From INDEPENDENT IE

Gerry Adams has been condemned around the world for his threatening comments about Independent Newspapers.

At a Sinn Fein $500 a plate fundraiser in New York, Adams told how Michael Collins dealt with critical press coverage from Independent Newspapers by holding the editor at gunpoint and dismantling printing presses.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and the World Editors Forum which together represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and some 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries have condemned Mr Adams.

The Chairman of Independent News & Media, Leslie Buckley said the remarks threatened the entire free media in Ireland.

Mr Buckley said Adams’ comments about holding an editor at gunpoint were “careless” and “at worst they were insidious”.He added: “I believe this to be a veiled threat by Mr Adams not only to journalists at INM but the entire free media on this island, whether broadcast, online or print.”

Mr Buckley said the comments made by the Sinn Fein leader are all the more concerning because of the murders of two campaigning journalists from Independent News & Media – Veronica Guerin of the Sunday Independent and Marty O’Hagan of the Sunday World – to gun violence in the course of their work.

“In fact, I am astounded by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams’ remarks and urge him to reflect on what he has said. It is important that we as a society never forget their courage and bravery and the sacrifice they made.”

Mr Buckley said that the role of a free media in our democracy was of paramount importance.

“A free press ensures government and public officials are held accountable, the public is informed and citizens are given a voice,” he declared.

“His comments show a complete lack of acceptance of the importance of a questioning, probing, authenticating and in some cases, sceptical media,” said Mr Buckley.

The World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) also attacked Mr Adams’ remarks.

“We are seriously concerned that this remark may be viewed as a veiled threat against Independent News & Media journalists and editors, whom you have criticised for investigating the Mairia Cahill rape scandal.

“Two Independent News & Media journalists have been murdered in the past 20 years; Veronica Guerin was shot dead in Dublin because of her reporting on criminal operations in 1996; and Martin O’Hagan was murdered in Northern Ireland by the Loyalist Volunteer Force in 2001.”

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has also condemned the New York speech as “ill judged and inappropriate in the context of the daily threats of violence against journalists globally”.

When asked yesterday if he would now retract the “editor at gunpoint” comments, Mr Adams sarcastically told the Sunday Independent. “I’m actually thinking of writing a piece about it. I’ll let you have it next week,” he said.

Sunday Independent

IMAGE: Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams has now become an electoral liability. Photo: Damien Eagers Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams

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  1. I don’t think that’s a smart idea because everything has 2 sides and we still need the positive side of this field

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