Martin McGuinness’s ties to the IRA should not have an impact on how people vote in the upcoming presidential election, the leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams has said.

Speaking from New York the Sinn Fein leader described McGuiness as a “good candidate”.

“Whatever we think about De Valera, he was a leader of the IRA,” he told the Irish Voice.

“Others that have held that position, the first president was a member of the Irish republican brotherhood, there is a long lineage of people who were involved in our resistance to British rule going on.”

Adams who was attending the  annual Clinton Global Initiative said Ireland is ready for a republican president.

“We think the country needs a president who isn’t put in the same mould as the establishment, who has a proven record of peacemaking, who’s authentic.
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“There was never a time when Ireland needed Republican politics, those core broad democratic values than at this time, Martin McGuinness embodies all of that,” he told the Irish Voice.

“We need a people’s president.”

The Sinn Fein leader said the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland has laid the groundwork in the Northern Ireland to continue his cause.

“I also think given what he has been doing in the north with Unionist and that reconciliation that he is involved in, that gives him a nice little platform to continue that work,” he said.

Speaking about the Clinton Global Initiative which he attends every year, he said he was particularly inspired by the founder of Kanchi, Irish woman Caroline Casey. An entrepreneur and well known disability advocate, Casey addressed the forum yesterday on the topic of values-based leadership.

“Caroline Casey was absolutely amazing,” he told the Irish Voice.

“She nearly had me in tears, she is so brave,” he added.