Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has emphatically denied he is a racist after an internet storm erupted over his use of the ‘n-word’ in a tweet last night.
Mr Adams hastily deleted the tweet after he was heavily criticised on social media.
Mr Adams said his use of the n-word in relation to the film Django Unchained was ironic and not intended to offend.
He explained that he had deleted the tweet to avoid any misunderstanding.
Django Unchained is set before the American Civil War and focuses on racism, slavery, violence and murder.
He said: “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.”