Adams says he does not believe people involved in the IRA are criminals

The Sinn Féin leader has hit out at the use of the Special Criminal Court

Newstalk, Sinn Féin, Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald, Thomas Slab Murphy, Gerry Adams, criminals

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says he does not believe people involved in the IRA are criminals.

He was commenting as he refused to say whether he accepts rulings handed down by the Special Criminal Court - and claimed judges deciding cases on their own could make mistakes.

Sinn Féin has come under criticism in recent days for continuing to describe the convicted tax evader as a "good Republican".

This afternoon, Deputy Adams said Mr Murphy continued to reject the claims - and he could not say whether the ruling was acceptable.

While Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald says Thomas "Slab" Murphy is a good republican.

She has been under pressure to comment on the high profile former IRA chief, who was found guilty of tax evasion last week.

Her party has been criticised for showing support for Murphy - leader Gerry Adams has claimed that his trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court was unfair.

And the North's Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness praised Murphy's role in the peace process.

The Irish Independent says Deputy McDonald broke her silence on the controversy last night - saying everyone has a duty to pay their taxes - even "good republicans" like Thomas Murphy.