Yes, that headline is factually correct.

The leader of Sinn Fein, who's known for his somewhat off-kilter Twitter persona, tweeted out a particularly bizarre message last night just after 1AM. The message, which deleted after being retweeted and screencapped several hundred times, read as the following: "Watching Django Unchained - A Ballymurphy N****r!"

Pretty soon, almost immediately, people started calling up him on the fact and the hugely negative connotations surrounding the word. Before the tweet was deleted, close to 300 people had retweeted him and a wave of angry comments were left underneath it.

A little later, Sinn Fein released a full statement on the matter. "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.”

Of course, this isn't the first time that political leaders in Ireland have used hugely racist language. In 2002, Enda Kenny used the N-word in front of journalists when describing Patrice Lumumba, the first President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As for Adams' tweet, the news travelled fast with outlets in the US picking up on it almost immediately. The story was carried by the Washington Post and others for a few hours on their frontpage. No statements so far have been released by other political parties in Ireland.


Via Twitter