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Adams defends use of the N-word on Twitter following backlash

Adams defends use of the N-word on Twitter following backlash

Local TD Gerry Adams has defended using the N-word in a tweet about film Django Unchained in which he compared the struggle against slavery in the US to the plight of Irish nationalists.

Sinn Féin president faced an angry backlash from Twitter users on Sunday when he posted a tweet to his 110,000 followers using the n-word in connection with the Quentin Tarantino film.

Mr Adams appeared to draw comparisons between of one of film’s characters, a slave, and the treatment of nationalists in Ballymurphy in west Belfast.Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 10.20.14

In 1971 11 people were killed in the Ballymurphy area by British soldiers.

“Watching Django Unchained – A Ballymurphy N****r!” Adams tweeted.

A second message read “Django – an uppity Fenian!”

Mr Adams online posts, which have since been deleted, were picked up by the international press, including the Washington Times.

He insists his use of the n-word was ironic and it was not his intention to cause offence.

In a statement Mr Adams said he has been opposed to racism all his life.

“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.”