Making a point of slamming the barn door once more after the horse has long since bolted, Gerry Adams tells the Irish News the Andersonstown News’s front page apology was “inappropriate” and he was “quite surprised” at it. “The paper has a right to say what it wants,” he said. Just as an aside, Jonathan Powell has an amusing anecdote in his book describing an exchange with Gerry Adams that captured the essence of Adams’ approach to things.
“For me, Adams’ approach was summed up by a comment he made in 1999 when we were caught up in heated negotiations in the Sinn Fein centre on the Falls Road. He leaned over the table towards me and said, “The thing I like about you, Jonathan, is that you always blush when you lie.” Bill Jeffery, the Northern Ireland Office political director at the time, who was sitting next to me at the table, responded immediately, “Unlike you, Gerry.” We all laughed, but there was more than a grain of truth in the quip.”
And the Irish News article:
By Marie Louise McCrory, 05/04/08
SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has described as inappropriate an apology issued to him by a Belfast newspaper after it had published a column criticising his work in west Belfast.
Mr Adams said he was quite surprised by the apology, which was published on the front page of the Andersonstown News on Thursday last week.
The apology to the Sinn Fein leader came a week after the newspaper had published an opinion article that had criticised Mr Adams, saying he should take his share of responsibility for rising crime in his constituency.
The article was written following the murder of Frank Bap McGreevy in the lower Falls last month.
The paper had a front-page apology the following week.
The paper has the right to say what it wants, Mr Adams said.
I considered whether I should respond to the article at all.
It is a great honour to represent the people of west Belfast.
I accept responsibility to do all I can do to make the streets a better place to live.