Gerry Adams has threatened legal action against Dublin’s Evening Herald after it ran a story criticising him over standing for election in the region where a woman murdered by the IRA almost 40 years ago was buried.
The story, published on Monday last week, featured interviews with the family of murder victim Jean McConville attacking Adams for his choice of constituency.
The Sinn FÃ©in leader is campaigning for election to the Dail this week in the Louth constituency where McConville was buried.
The paper carried comments from Adams rejecting “absolutely” the claims carried in the piece.
While Adams has admitted to being a supporter of the Provisional IRA during the years before its ceasefire, he has always denied ever being a member of the paramilitary group.
Following publication of the initial story lawyers acting for Adams contacted the paper threatening legal action.
The Herald then lead on its front page with claims that Adam’s was “hiding behind his lawyers” and published the letter sent to them by his Dublin law firm, McCartan & Burke, on page two.
The threat of legal action also brought a stern response from Evening Herald editor Stephen Rae who was quoted in his own paper saying that Adams was attempting to silence journalists ahead of the Irish general election, which takes place later this week.
The letter from Adams’ lawyers warned that the original Sunday Herald article was a “serious defamation”, and said that Adams was “considering all legal remedies open to him”.
It said: “In the meantime he requires that your newspaper desist from publishing any further untruthful articles about him.”