Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin calls on Gerry Adams to apologise for offence caused by ‘Tiocfaidh ar la’ sketch
14th October 2020
A Sinn Féin TD has called on former party leader Gerry Adams to apologise for the “offence caused” by a sketch where he sang “Tiocfaidh ar la, la, la”.
Mr Adams has faced criticism in recent days by IRA victim families, with Brian Stack’s son saying that the video ‘pays homage to the massacre of 1,700 people’.
In a sketch for a Derry-based greeting card company Ferry Clever, the former Louth TD appears as a carol singer, where he sings his own version of ‘Deck The Halls’ with the lyrics “Tis the season to be jolly, Tiocfaidh ar la, la, la”.
When a woman is seen asking if carol singers are at the door, another man replies: “I can neither confirm nor deny it was carol singers – they haven’t gone away, you know”, before winking at the camera.
Ann Travers, who’s 22-year-old sister Mary was shot dead and her father Tom seriously injured in an IRA gun attack in 1984, said she felt “reviled, a deep feeling of disgust and a level of hurt” upon first watching the social media video.
Ferry Clever has since announced on their Facebook page that they have now removed the video and stopped selling a card with Mr Adams in a Santy hat, which read: “Tis the season to be jolly Tiocfaidh ar la, la, la.”
Speaking to WLR FM this morning, party TD Eoin Ó Broin said he does not believe “for a second Gerry either intended to cause hurt or offence to anybody”.
“But given the fact that offence has been caused, yes I think him to apologise for the offence that has been caused would be helpful.”
He said that “all of the mechanisms” which have been agreed by political parties to deal with the legacies of the Troubles need to be “properly implemented”.
“Too often, for example, when I’m on the floor of the Dáil and people throw stuff at Sinn Féin, I don’t believe they’re in any way interested in tackling the really deep substantive issues that arise out of 30 years of conflict,” he said.
“If any of us say anything, even unintentionally, that causes hurt, we should apologise for it. But let’s also then move on as politicians and deal with the very heavy lifting of dealing with the consequences of 30 years of our own conflict.”
Deputy Ó Broin said he does not have an issue with the “long-standing political slogan” ‘Tiocfaidh ar la’ being used.
He said that “language of the past” should not be stopped from being used, but that republicans should “hold your hands up, apologise” if they make a mistake.