SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has been crticised for making “grossly offensive comments” after he claimed two senior RUC officers killed by the IRA had only themselves to blame.

The Smithwick Tribunal reported this week that Irish police officers colluded in the IRA murder of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen from Kinawley and his colleague Superintendent Bob Buchanan who were shot dead in an ambush on March 20, 1989 in south Armagh.

Mr Adams claimed the RUC men thought they were immune from attack and had “a laissez-faire disregard for their own security”.

Fermanagh-south Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster has said the Sinn Fein leader's comments, made during a radio interview yesterday (Wednesday), were “beneath contempt”.

“Gerry Adams has stepped forward to defend the actions of a terrorist gang which he still claims never to have been a member of. It is Gerry Adams’ laissez-fair attitude to the truth that has been exposed as he shuns reality in favour of a world where republicans are never guilty of any crime.”   “The latest outburst from Gerry Adams is beneath contempt. This is not the first time where republicans have effectively blamed victims for their own murder, but rarely has it ever been as explicit as these comments. Those responsible for this murder were the IRA gang who carried it out and those who assisted them with information,” she said.