Gerry Adams would talk to truth commission

David Blevins, Ireland Correspondent

Gerry Adams has told Sky News he would talk about his long-alleged involvement in the IRA if an independent truth commission was established.

The Sinn Fein leader's comments come six months after Martin McGuinness, former IRA chief-of-staff and former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, said he would address his role in the conflict if the right mechanism existed.

Asked if he was prepared to do the same, Mr Adams replied: "Yes, I have said and Martin and I said this together and we've said it quite a few times, that we would both do our best and we would also encourage other Republicans to come forward if there was a satisfactory arrangement put in place and that's my commitment.

"Martin's not here, but that's still my commitment."

Mr Adams denied that his party was focused only on the actions of British soldiers during the conflict.

"Our position has been for an international, independent truth commission that everybody can make use of but we compromised on this issue," he said.

"I believe that victims of the IRA, or at least their relatives, have the right to truth and I believe that those who are victims of British Army violence or state violence also have the right to truth and the British government is holding that back."

He said power-sharing had collapsed because Unionists had reneged on commitments, adding: "Martin McGuinness was big and strong and formidable enough to carry that to a certain degree for the rest of us.

"Martin's gone so even if we were able to cobble together something tomorrow, it wouldn't last. I want it to be sustainable."

He said the current negotiations were the first since 1972 that he had been without Mr McGuinness.

On Brexit, he claimed the only way to avoid a hard border was for Northern Ireland to have designated status within the EU and denied that would be a united Ireland by the back door.

Mr Adams said his party was exploring the option of requesting a referendum on Irish unity but didn't want to "exploit the consequences of Brexit".

"The type of Ireland we want is one in which Unionism, decent Unionists, are content," he said.

"As someone who was born into a state that didn't want me, I don't want a new Ireland to be anything other than a harmonious fraternity of all the people who live on this island."

:: Watch the full interview on Sophy Ridge on Sunday at 10am on Sky News