Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has responded to Gerry Adams’ continued defence of Thomas “Slab” Murphy. Earlier today the Sinn Féin Leader claimed that the State’s legal process had treated Mr Murphy “unfairly” and that he was “a good republican”.

Deputy Martin commented, “Gerry Adams’ statement is absolutely extraordinary and further emphasises the fact that Sinn Féin is not fit for Government. This response is completely consistent with how Sinn Féin leadership has behaved in a string of cases in recent times. They are more interested in protecting their own than respecting and enforcing the rule of law.

“Gerry Adams’ delayed response shines a light on how important Slab Murphy continues to be to the Sinn Fein project.

“It is incredible that Adams would concentrate on the unfairness of this case when it took the Criminal Assets Bureau to carry out this investigation in the first place. CAB does not normally investigate routine non-payment of tax.

“Decent republicans are tax compliant.

“This is yet another example of Adams not facing up to the paramilitary criminality that is ongoing in parts of the North and border counties.

“His comments, when read alongside the recent independent report into paramilitary activity in the North, provide a chilling insight into how Mr Adams and his organisation do their business”.