Gerry Adams apologises for using racial slur on Twitter

"My tweets about the film and the use of the N-word were ironic and not intended to cause any offence whatsoever"

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has apologised for using a racial slur in a post on Twitter.

The Sinn Fein president posted the offending tweet late on Sunday night while watching the Quentin Tarrantino film Django Unchained. It read: "Watching Django Unchained - A Ballymurphy N*****!"

Mr Adams removed the tweet a short time later after it provoked a furious reaction. The first response was “Cmon Gerry, as a public figure, can’t be using that language. Cop on.”

Shortly after that Mr Adams tweeted again, acting as if what nothing had happened; “Time 4 leaba. Oichey oichey xozzzzzzzz”

This morning the Louth TD issued a statement saying he had either been misunderstood by those who had taken offence at his use of the term, or they were misrepresenting the post.

"My tweets about the film Django have triggered a lot of interest. Anyone who has seen the film, as I did last evening, and who is familiar with the plight of nationalists in the north until recently, would know that my tweets about the film and the use of the N-word were ironic and not intended to cause any offence whatsoever.

 "Attempts to suggest that I am a racist are without credibility. I am opposed to racism and have been all my life.

 "The fact is that nationalists in the north, including those from Ballymurphy, were treated in much the same way as African Americans until we stood up for ourselves.

 "If anyone is genuinely offended by my use of the N-word they misunderstand or misrepresent the context in which it was used. For this reason I deleted the tweets."

Speaking to reporters on this afternoon he said he was sorry, but he stands over the substance of the point he was making. 

Michael B Dougherty, Irish-American columnist with The Week magazine commented:  “Gerry Adams survived the RUC, the UVF, and British intelligence. This tweet he may not.”