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Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Gerry Adams admits to tree hugging
Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams says he loves cuddling trees
Gerry Adams has revealed a passion for hugging trees during sensitive talks about the Northern Ireland peace process.

The Sinn Fein president confessed to cuddling trees in Downing Street and the White House as well as across the country.

Mr Adams spoke of his love of trees in an article with the Irish TV listings magazine RTE Guide.

He said hugging trees gives him a sense of calm.

Started as a joke

"I'm not really sure why I do it, to be honest. Maybe I started off by doing it for a joke, maybe I'm a druid, but all I know now is, it works!" he said.

The interview was picked up by Dublin's Evening Herald which ran it under the headline: "Gerry Adams Is Barking Mad".

But the Sinn Fein leader is unabashed.

A spokesperson for Sinn Fein said: "It shows he has a sense of humour. He's taking it all light-heartedly, that was the spirit of the article. "


I love trees

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein President
"Hugging trees has a calming affect on me. I'm talking about enormous trees that will be there when we are all dead and gone," Mr Adams told the magazine.

He said he had grown trees himself from seeds, the largest being chestnuts.

"The fact that we import all of our wood for hurleys and camogie sticks is a disgrace," he added.

He told of how he planted 12 oak trees at a redeveloped industrial site in Ballymurphy, west Belfast. The trees had been grown from seeds he gave to conservation volunteers.

Mr Adams said: "We went along with 12 of my oak trees, and children with learning difficulties, and we all planted them. It was a lovely wee feeling.

"I love trees."

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See also:

20 Apr 01 | Northern Ireland
Profile: Gerry Adams
01 Jul 01 | UK
The search for peace
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