Taoiseach accuses Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin of 'politicising' Christmas
"We believe in a united Ireland. We always have. But give it a break for Christmas."
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has accused Sinn Féin and Gerry Adams of "politicising Christmas" during an interview on Tuesday morning (21 December).
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, the Taoiseach began by stating that the public is facing a "challenging" January while talking up the effectiveness of the vaccination program to date.
"We can get through this," he said.
"[There are] many twists and turns on this – no guarantees, one cannot be certain, but I think the combination of the booster campaign with modification on our behaviour, with the restrictions that have been introduced – if you combine all of that, I would like to think that we would be in a better position compared to last year in the context of a new variant arriving on the scene."
Asked about the prospect of further restrictions before the new year – something the Government has been keen to play down since Friday's introduction of the latest measures – the Taoiseach said his administration will continue to monitor the situation in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant.
"If we go along the route we're going, I think we've got a very good chance," he said.
Later, after Martin noted that he intends to remain as leader of Fianna Fáil once his run as Taoiseach has concluded, the conversation turned to rival opposition party Sinn Féin.
Asked what he made of Gerry Adams' recent controversial viral Christmas-themed video and if he found it funny, the Taoiseach said he thought it was "cringey".
"I really did," he said.
"I just resent the politicisation of Christmas. Like, do you really have to go at it the full 12 months of the year? Do you really have to give us politics on Christmas Day, you know, with 'Daidí na Nollag' and 'United Ireland' and all that?
"We believe in a united Ireland. We always have. But give it a break for Christmas. But also, more seriously, spare a thought for the victims.
"I watched, actually, the reaction of families of those who had lost their lives as a result of murder and mayhem from the Provisional IRA, situations that are completely unjustifiable and I think he [Gerry Adams] was very hurtful to many sons and daughters who came on Twitter afterwards saying 'this is just really hitting us hard'.
"And I think that was wrong and it should be apologised [for], he should apologise for it," the Taoiseach added.
Featured Image of Micheál Martin via Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie