Irish American business leader Bill Flynn has emerged as the benefactor who paid for controversial prostate medical treatment for Gerry Adams in the US.
The Sinn Fein president has confirmed in an interview with the Irish state broadcaster RTE that multi-millionaire Flynn Chairman Emeritus of insurance giant Mutual of America, paid for his private healthcare.
The Sunday Independent reports that Adams believes the cost of the operation was almost $40,000.
He only underwent the private procedure after Flynn had offered to pick up the tab.
Adams explained: “He said to me ‘Get this done, I’ll pick up the tab.'”
The Sinn Fein leader has been branded a hypocrite by opponents for shunning public health care in Ireland to undergo surgery in the States.
But Adams argued: “I am not a hypocrite and was simply undergoing a procedure that was not available in the North.
“I have had a long-standing and very, very painful complaint. And I go back and forth to the States once or twice a year. One of my friends introduced me to his doctor who was dealing with these issues and he recommended that I should have a process of a particular kind, in fact he said it was long overdue.”
Describing his condition as ‘very, very painful,' Adams added “I was in constant pain. I’ve been in constant pain for the last maybe five years.
“I checked with my doctor and at that time the treatment of that kind was not available in the North.
“My doctor here quite rightly recommended that I get the very best treatment possible and accepted the US consultant’s recommendation that it should be done with speed.”
When asked how he had paid for the operation, which cost almost his entire annual salary from Sinn Fein, Adams revealed Flynn to be his benefactor.
He said: “I didn’t pay for it. A very, very good friend of mine, a man called Bill Flynn, very kindly paid for it. I haven’t told anybody that before.
“Myself and my wife and my family are eternally grateful for that. I’m still in recovery but I am doing very well.
“He was a key figure in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, chairing the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and helping to broker the IRA ceasefire.”