Anger over Sinn Fein’s support for ‘Slab’ Murphy

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy has been convicted of tax evasion
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy has been convicted of tax evasion

Sinn Fein has come under fire after a BBC Spotlight programme reviewed the party’s support for alleged former IRA chief-of-staff, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy.

He was recently convicted of tax evasion in Dublin, but his reputation has been persistently defended by Sinn Fein, with Gerry Adams saying he was a firm supporter of the peace process.

Commenting on the programme, North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland said it was “a useful reminder about the life of someone Gerry Adams tells us is a ‘good republican’.

“Slab Murphy’s conviction as a tax fraudster once again highlights the need to put criminals out of business.

“If Murphy and other criminals were not properly pursued in the past, for whatever reason, this conviction plus the extra £200m of resources in Northern Ireland as a result of the Fresh Start Agreement means they can no longer rest easily.”

Innocent Victims United (IVU) spokesman Kenny Donaldson said Spotlight asks serious questions of the republican movement and “furthermore those members of the community who lend their support to a political party whose president Gerry Adams describes ‘Slab’ Murphy as ‘a good republican’.

“IVU directly challenges Mr Adams to explain that if Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy is ‘a good republican’ then what or who is ‘a bad republican’?”

Victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer added: “People wondered why Gerry Adams and McGuinness were quick to jump to his defence calling him ‘a good republican’.”

He added: “For years we have been exposing the smuggling empire in south Armagh and the criminality that goes with it.”