'The n-word was very racist, but Gerry Adams is not' - Fallout from controversial tweet

Mr Adams has apologised for using the word in a post on Twitter

Gerry Adams, tweet, Django Unchained, USA, Northern Ireland, Tim Brannigan

Gerry Adams addressing the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in the Convention Centre, Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has apologised for using the 'N-word' in a tweet comparing the treatment of Irish nationals in the North to the struggle of black slaves in the United States.

He posted the tweet on Sunday night while watching the film 'Django Unchained'.

Mr Adams removed the tweet a short time later after it provoked a furious reaction, tweeting:

The next 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.

While speaking in Belfast yesterday, Mr Adams said: "Django Unchained is a powerful film which highlights the injustices suffered by African Americans through its main character Django".

"In my tweets I described him as a 'Ballymurphy n****' and 'an uppity Fenian'. I have acknowledged that the use of the n-word was inappropriate".

"That is why I deleted the tweet. I apologise for any offence caused".

Civil rights movement "inspired" by the US

"I stand over the context and main point of my tweet about the Django which were the parallels between people in struggle. Like African Americans Irish nationalists were denied basic rights".

"The penal laws, Cromwell's regime, and partition are evidence of that".

"In our own time, like African Americans nationalists in the north, including those from Ballymurphy and west Belfast, were denied the right to vote; the right to work; the right to a home; and were subject to draconian laws".

"This changed because we stood up for ourselves. We need to continue to do that".

"The civil rights movement here, of which I was a founding member, was inspired and based its approach on the civil rights campaign in the USA".

"I have long been inspired by Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; Rosa Parks; Martin Luther King and Malcolm X who stood up for themselves and for justice".

Former Republican prisoner, Tim Brannigan, told Newstalk Breakfast he thinks the context of Mr Adams' message was misunderstood.