Gerry Adams has apologised for using the N-word in a tweet about film Django Unchained but defended the "context and substance" of the point he was making.
The Sinn Fein president said it was "inappropriate" to have used the N-word on his Twitter account after watching the Quentin Tarantino slavery film on Sunday night.
He tweeted: "Watching Django Unchained - A Ballymurphy N*****!" Although the tweet was removed swiftly it provoked a furious reaction.
Mr Adams said he was trying to make "a parallel between the plight of people here in Ireland the struggle of people from African-American extraction".
He added that the Irish civil-rights campaign, of which he has played a major role, was based broadly on the American civil rights campaign.