Gerry Adams scathing on legacy
In death as she did in life, Lady Thatcher has fiercely divided political opinion in Northern Ireland.
While Sinn Fein accused the former Prime Minister of causing great suffering, the Democratic Unionists described her as one of the greatest political figures of post-war Britain. Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams reacted to the announcement of Baroness Thatcher’s death with a scathing assessment of her political legacy in Ireland and elsewhere.
Margaret Thatcher has long been vilified in republican circles over her involvement in Northern Ireland, in particular her handling of the IRA hunger strikes inside the Maze prison in the early 1980s. She was a top target of the IRA, which nearly succeeded in killing her in the deadly Brighton bomb blast of 1984.
“Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister,” claimed Mr Adams.
“Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies. Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.
“Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.”