Sinn Féin leaders have met in Dublin to discuss the political fallout from the series of raids and arrests by gardaí investigating alleged money laundering by subversives.

The party's President, Gerry Adams cut short a visit to Spain to attend the meeting.

Speaking as he entered the meeting, Mr Adams said he still believed the IRA statement that it was not responsible for the Northern Bank raid.

He insisted that Sinn Féin was not involved in criminality and that he would not have anyone near him who was involved in criminality.

He criticised both what he described as a feeding frenzy by the media and what he said were attempts by Sinn Féin's political opponents to use the events to smear the party.

Mr Adams also said that the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, was wrong to say that Sinn Féin was a 'colossal crime machine'.