Gerry Adams glad that the Troubles in Northern Ireland are over
Adams made the comments while speaking at an Easter rising commemoration at Milltown Cemetery in West Belfast.
Although Adams is proud of his involvement with the IRA, he feels the conflict "should never be glamorized or repeated."
"I am also very conscious of the human cost of the war and the great hurt inflicted by republicans."
Attending the ceremony were many of those who were senior members of the Provisional IRA.
Due to death threats from dissident republicans, there was a marked increase of security around Adams.
Adams responded indirectly to allegations made by former IRA commander Brendan Hughes in the book, "Voices from the grave".
Hughes revealed in the book that Adams was a former commander of the IRA in the 1970s.
Hughes also accused the Sinn Fein leader of being responsible for the murder and disappearance of Jean McConville, a Catholic and a mother of ten children who was murdered by the IRA and secretly buried in an unmarked grave in County Louth.
"During this phase of the struggle some of us had to leave our families and homes, go on the run, adapt many ruses, go under false names.
“We relied totally on the support of the people to protect us," said Adams.
“And we, in turn, protected the people as best we could. We did not divulge their names, their roles, their actions.
“That is still my position. And let no one think that I will bend to the demands of anti-republican elements or their allies in a hostile section of the media on this issue.”
Adams called for "an effective, independent and international truth recovery process" for the North.
"There are victims and citizens who want to know the truth about what happened to loved ones during the conflict.
"That is their right. I cannot demand truth for victims of British terrorism, collusion or unionist terror without supporting the same right for victims of republican actions."
Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness spoke at the Easter Rising commemoration in Carrickmore, County Tyrone and said that Sinn Fein supporters should be aware of "revisionists in the media and elsewhere" that "retrospectively criminalize the IRA and the communities from which it came."
McGuinness added: "Longtime opponents of Irish republicanism are seeking to damage the struggle and sully the memory of our patriot dead through a vile onslaught of negative propaganda.
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