Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams Quickly Deletes N-Word Tweet

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams speaks to the media as he arrives at the Irish General Election constituency count in Dundalk, Ireland, February 27. In the face of a backlash against his use of the n-word, he says he is not, and never has been, a racist. Charles McQuillan/Getty

The leader of the Irish Republican Army's political wing has defended his use of a racist term in a tweet comparing the plight of slaves in the United States to the treatment of Irish nationalists.

Gerry Adams, who heads the Sinn Fein political party in Ireland and Northern Ireland, posted the term on his Twitter account on Sunday, provoking an angry reaction on social media.

The comment was quickly deleted and Adams said his use of the n-word in relation to the movie Django Unchained was "ironic" and not intended to offend.

Any1 who saw Django would know my tweets&N-word were ironic.Nationalists in Nth were treated like African Americans.

— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) May 2, 2016

His initial tweet appeared to compare the experience of the character Django in the film, played by Jamie Foxx, to the treatment of nationalists in Ballymurphy, in West Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Ten people were killed in the area during a series of shootings by British paratroopers in 1971.

Django Unchained is set before the American Civil War and focuses on racism, slavery, violence and murder.

"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," Adams said in a statement posted to the official Sinn Fein website.

"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."