Irish politician and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams used a racial slur on his Twitter account late Sunday, days before his party is to contest regional elections in Northern Ireland.
His tweet appeared to link a former slave’s struggle against slave-owners in the Quentin Tarantino film “Django Unchained” and a Catholic area of Belfast, Ballymurphy.
“Watching Django Unchained — A Ballymurphy Nigger!” read the tweet.
A second message read “Django — an uppity Fenian!”
Both Tweets were deleted shortly after being posted but had already been widely shared and criticised.
“So this is acceptable is it?” asked Peter O’Brien, a Labour Party councillor in Ireland.
“What was @GerryAdamsSF thinking? A remarkably ignorant, ill-informed and racist tweet. He should be ashamed of himself” wrote Daniel Pitt.
Ballymurphy is known as the site of 1971 killings of civilians by British soldiers during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland — three decades of violence in which 3,500 people died.
The Washington Times wrote that the tweet was likely intended as “an identification” with the main character of “Django Unchained”, played by Jamie Foxx.
Opinion polls indicate Sinn Fein is likely to win about a quarter of the votes in Thursday’s election for the Northern Ireland Assembly, where the republican party has been in power alongside the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party since 2007.
Sinn Fein did not immediately respond to a request for comment.