Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.Photocall Ireland

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has won a significant battle over the notoriously anti-Sinn Fein Sunday Independent.

The paper was forced to publish an apology to Adams on its first four news pages after previously refusing to do so.

The latest development follows two significant decisions in October by the Press Council to uphold complaints by Adams regarding articles in the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent.

On October 19 the newspaper published a decision on page 17 of the Press Ombudsman, upholding a complaint by Gerry Adams that statements in an article published on May 18 were in breach of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines.

Adams subsequently complained that the publication of that decision on page 17 breached the Code of Practice, which states such decisions shall be published with due prominence.

The article of May 18 was published on the Sunday Independent's front page, while the decision of the Press Ombudsman and Press Council was published on Page 17.

The Sunday Independent had offered to publish a statement acknowledging this error, but the wording was not acceptable to Adams.

The Press Ombudsman upheld Adams' complaint and that decision was published in Sunday's edition of the Sunday Independent.

Commenting, Adams said: “The biased and downright offensive nature of Sunday Independent coverage of Sinn Fein and myself in particular is unprecedented in the history of newspapers in this country.

“The latest decision the Press Ombudsman is a significant and positive development which can only be good for fairness and objectivity in political coverage."